The Coffee Collective was started four years ago, in the summer of 2007. At the time, they were only a roastery. In February of 2008, they moved into their current location in Jægersborggade, Copenhagen, where they have expanded the roastery to include a coffee shop. At the moment, they are the only place in Denmark to roast and serve coffee in the same space open to the public.
Their aim is to share the amazing experiences they themselves have with coffee with a broader audience. Not content with only sourcing the best coffee they can, The Coffee Collective are also actively exploring the possibilities of coffee: “We think coffee is still a young and unexplored drink that can be developed a lot more…”, says Klaus Thomsen, “…and that requires education of the public too. In the end, our experience is that everyone is able to taste the quality difference.”
The crew at TCC are some of the most accomplished people in the Nordic coffee industry. Peter Dupont, their roast master and green buyer, has a long career as a barista behind him, as well as having written his MSc thesis on the water environment at coffee farms. In 2006, Klaus Thomsen won the World Barista Championship, and in 2008 Casper Engel Rasmussen became World Cup Tasting Champion. The same year, The Coffee Collective won the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe’s Young Entrepreneur award.
2011 has been yet another strong year for TCC: AnneStine and Christian, two of their baristas, placed first and second in the Danish Barista Championship. Torfi, another TCC barista, won the Danish Brewers Cup.
Coming into The Coffee Collective shop, you instantly realize that this is something different. Instead of having a typical bar layout, everything is in the open; it feels more like stepping into someone’s kitchen. This gives TCC a degree of intimacy few other coffee shops can match.
Aeropress is their preferred method for serving brewed coffee, however they also offer French Press and Hario V60 on demand. Another interesting option is the so-called Skimmed Americano – an Americano made from a filter roast espresso, with the crema taken off before serving.
To them, Nordic coffee culture is seen in an emphasis on the aromatic side of the coffee flavor; a preference for higher acidity and the fresh liveliness that comes with it. “Lighter roasts bring those things out more”, says Klaus Thomsen.
The Coffee Collective is a big advocate of Direct Trade, and sources all their coffee directly. From Kenya, Guatemala, Brazil and Panama, they pay a minimum of 25% above the Fair Trade price – directly to the farmer – and negotiate prices and contracts with them. Wholesale customers in Denmark have full access to their contracts, so everyone can see what they pay.
This level of direct interaction between roastery and farmer offers many exciting possibilities:
Klaus Thomsen: “We have been buying from [Edwin Martinez in Guatemala] since the beginning and have visited now 4 times. In return we get to select between his 14 microlots and pick which ones we’d like to buy every year. We have done several experiments with him on processing methods and continue to share ideas and thoughts both ways. It is, however, very important to us, not to dictate the work of the farmers. We love to give them ideas, but it needs to be their goal and wish to produce quality that leads their desire to work.”
The Coffee Collective recently opened a new shop in the brand new Copenhagen Food Hall (Torvehallerne). Read more about the shop on the TCC blog.
Visit The Coffee Collective at www.coffeecollective.dk