An average Finn enjoys about twelve kilos of coffee every year – that makes roughly some four cups a day and the most coffee per person in the world. Even if many of us still drink black coffee long-gone is an espresso order as special roasted coffees have pretty much taken over. Local microroasteries bring a sweet smell of coffee into the street air, as coffee is roasted right in the middle of the city. New concepts have evolved around cafés, such as crafters and designers, flowers, exhibitions or art to add the experience. A new emerging coffee culture is taking over Helsinki.
Still the number one consumer of coffee per capita, it was only natural that at some point the Finns would pick up the premium title in the Nordic Barista Cup. Kalle Freese, a 21-year young coffee maker, is a new bold owner of the most recent coffee place in Helsinki. Freese Coffee Company opened doors in September 28th in Töölö district sizzling of creative people in hunt ofthe perfect cuppa. Kalle is both the Finnish Barista of 2012 and the Nordic Barista of 2013 – adding something extra special to the blend. For him coffee is not only a necessity but also a way of life and a serious business. He wants to change the attitude for coffee and make people drink less, but better.
Helsinki – a city of an evolving coffee culture
Kalle’s own coffee place will be a fresh addition to the excisting places concentrating on tastings during the week and on weekends there will be a coffee haven for the bigger public – serving curated quality coffee from the local as well as international roasteries. Kalle is challenging the concept of cafés – “Who said there should be a counter in a café or why shouldn’t a cup of good coffee cost more than four euros?”, he grinds.
Kalle drinks an average of two to three cups per day. The first cup always tastes the best – and even better shared with someone as for Kalle there is a strong social aspect that goes with coffee. The Swedes call it fika – meaning the whole process of inviting someone over for a cup, putting the coffeemaker on, waiting and chatting, enjoying and socialising over a cup of coffee.
Kalle’s idol is a Norwegian coffee-man Tim Wendelboe – barista world champion from way back now running a café and roastery in Oslo, Norway. Another inspiration Kalle sources from the many cafés, bars and restaurants around the world, recently homebound from San Francisco. In London friends of his opened a café in a barber-shop. Kalle believes that this is very much the future – quality coffee can be enjoyed anywhere and not only in cafés.
Just as the helsinkians are comfortable with their Soya-Lattes, Cappuccinos and Macchiatos, back comes the ordinary blends and home-brewed coffee – the way it used to be. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden and a dear neighbour of Helsinki, is already seeing a merging trend where coffee is served to table and let slowly drop for the aroma to linger the taste buds and bring back the childhood memories of Arabia porcelain, shabby Marimekko table linen and Grandma’s oakmeal cookies on the side – somewhat a norm along coffeemakers in every 1960’s Finnish home – will surely soon pop back in Helsinki too. Only this time called slow coffee or slow-pour. Kalle believes that quality is key – fresh roasted and fresh poured coffee will be served in many more tables along the all-time Finnish favourite Juhla Mokka by Paulig – a light roasted mix of good, light and sour coffees that Finns have been drinking forever.
/ Freese Coffee Co.