This is my list (no particular order) of the best coffee roasters in Scandinavia. Few things strike your senses as intensely as that first smell of freshly roasted beans. When done well.
When coffee beans gets roasted dark, the sugar and oils in them burn out their natural flavours. The flavours gets taken over by the roasting process and it gives the beans a bitter, smoky or even burnt taste. Dark roasts therefore tastes much more similar to each other than light roasts, and you’ll see descriptions like “chocolate” on most of them. Some people prefer dark roasts, but compared to a light roasts, where you get words like “raspberry”, “peach”, “watermelon” (I know!), “gooseberry” and “white lilac”, I think we can at least end the discussion on which type is more interesting.
Red Rooster explain this difference very well, and as they roast both light and dark, their standpoint is more nonbias than mine:
Lighter roasted coffee has deep complexity, intense sweetness, fruit tanginess, high floral aroma and is representative of the country of origin and the talent of the roaster to bring out those unique elements. A Darker roasted coffee is mainly representative of a particular roast profile reflecting the roaster’s ability to create sweetness and richness out of what will inevitably be a less complex character.
“Scandinavian style” roasting gives you a lightly roasted bean. You really experience the unique flavor of each bean and their region, and see both the skills of the growers and of the roaster.
No longer than 4 weeks is the general rule of how old a roast can get, before the quality starts to decline. Therefore, if you order coffee, make sure it ships quickly. That way you still have time to actually use it.
In my case, I like the light Scandinavian roast, and get a kick out of delivered from my fellow vikings Denmark and Sweden. If you’re not from Scandinavia; consider ploting some of these places onto your Google map next time you holiday here. Most of them have their own café or espresso bar at their addresses.
These brands will make for both a great shot of espresso and a tasty cappuccino. That’s the two things we need in life, so that’s what we’ll test for.
This list will be updated regularly.
First things first. Credit where credit is due. Me and Chris (boyfriend material extraordinaire) have a really good threesome going with Kaffebox. I highly recommend them. Most of the coffee on this list are, and will be going forward, from Kaffebox. We wouldn’t have experienced half as many bags of amazing beans without them. If you want yourself well; get a subscription. Hereby voted “Decision of The Year 2017” by Mia Carlsen. Trust me, it’s a very prestigious award 🏆
Excerpt from Kaffebox: We exclusively feature roasters with a light “Scandinavian Style” roast profile, as we want you to be able to taste the terroir and cultivar that make each lot of beans unique.
They have many great things about them, like being globally conscious and giving back, both to nature and the community, but my favourite thing about them, apart from the coffee obviously, is their presence on social media. Their interactions with their customers. They care and often comment on mine and many many other’s posts, and it makes the experience personal.
The community they’ve made on instagram is great. Every coffee lover comes together to share pictures and thoughts, with loads of competitions going, where you can win merchandise from the month’s roasters. Really good fun.
So, that’s my two cents. Let’s begin.
- Homebase: Oslo, Norway
- Personality: Loving & Comfortable
- Skills: Will wake you up with a soft hug. Let’s you get up at your own speed, gently nudging you when the clock gets close to 10 am, giving you a massage as it steers you to towards the door
- Brownie points: 6 personal espresso blends. Run by two chemist’s and a biologists, that’s just so fascinating
- Visit: Lippe
- Homebase: Sandnes, Norway
- Personality: Kind & Caring
- Skills: It will guide your sleepy eyes from the bed to the coffee pot, help you pour and gently place your hands around the warm mug, softly stroking your hair as you have an extra snooze by the breakfast table
- Brownie points: Focuses on creating that perfect setting. A good book, friends chatting, cosy fireplace
- Visit: Coffee Berry
- Homebase: Slöinge, Sweden
- Personality: Deep & Aromatic
- Skills: When you sit there, yawning, you will feel your thoughts start to roam around the outskirts of your mind. It will make you think, daydream a little and explore those morning thoughts only a caffeinated morning can produce
- Brownie points: The roastery is located in an old hotel. No chemicals are used on the coffee plants
- Visit: Slöinge
- Homebase: Lund, Sweden
- Personality: Single & Proud
- Skills: Calls you up with the best late night stories. “Do you remember last night when you…” “So I told the guy; listen you scumbag…” “….like, you know how hard it was to get this eyeliner this straight?” You can always count on a good story, a fun day and a good, trusted friend by your side
- Brownie points: Their founder, Daniel, is a skilled sommelier, obsessed with flavours and aromas.
- Visit: Love
- Homebase: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Personality: Delicate & Strong
- Skills: This will tell you it made pancakes for breakfast, whilst also remind you there are laundry to be put away. Expects you to get up, and does a good job making this happen, both with coaxing and nudging. The discussion will always end with you awake and ready to conquer the day, clothes neatly folded in their drawers. As you leave it will gently tap your bum, with a “God job, proud of you hun”, which you secretly love
- Brownie points: Believes the only way to grow a company is together with a tight group of passionate friends.
- Visit: April Coffee Roasters
The Coffee Collective
- Homebase: Frederiksberg, Denmark
- Personality: Colourful & Giggly
- Skills: Places a vase of fresh field flowers on the table for you to smell while you wake up. Will bring a dandelion into the bedroom and stroke your nose with it until you join in on the giggles, then pulls you up.
- Brownie points: Their dream is for a coffee farmer in Kenya to have the same status and living conditions as a wine grower in France.
- Visit: The Coffee Collective
- Homebase: Arendal, Norway
- Personality: Determined & Environmental
- Skills: Will bring the thunder of Thor down on you should you push that snooze button, but always rewards your sleepy eyes with a kiss on the cheek. Chats until you wake up, telling exiting stories, jokes and making breakfast.
- Brownie points: Plants coffee trees. Shop is on a lighthouse island! Arendal was inspiration for Frozen!
- Visit: Coffea Circulor
- Homebase: Aarhus, Denmark
- Personality: Bright & Smart
- Skills: Knows your habits, so will not let you put your slippers on unless you’ve proven you can still be trusted to go to work when you have bunnies on your feet. Follows you around the house until you’ve perked up sufficiently to be let lose on your own, but will watch you intently from the mug.
- Brownie Points: Winners of 10 brewing and barista championships. Teaches their customers the beauty of coffee and food in harmony
- Visit: La Cabra
- PS: Check out their Goat Story mugs
- Homebase: Stjørdal, Norway
- Personality: Fresh & Inspirational
- Skills: This one wears silk pyjamas and saunters around the house humming “My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard”
- Brownie points: Based in a cute little red ‘stabbur’, a traditional Norwegian storehouse (see the little red house in the logo and all their pictures?)
- Visit: Langøra
- PS: They sell to-die-for tin mugs!
- Homebase: Oslo, Norway
- Personality: Headstrong & Lively
- Skills: Will deliver a strict “Get up!”, before it’s more gentle side hits in and it ruffles your hair, adding “You little bedhead you.”
- Brownie points: In 2017 the little company waged war against big chains in Oslo, by opening 6 new coffee shops. Making sure the people of Oslo got some god damn decent coffee options
- Visit: Norð
- Homebase: Gothenburg, Sweden
- Personality: Fun & Playfull
- Skills: Twirls you around, while humming a little happy tune, before letting you sin on the couch to catch your morning breath
- Brownie Points: Responsible for bringing the smell of coffee back into Gothenburg. A then forgotten craft
- Visit: Da Matteo
- Homebase: Oslo, Norway
- Personality: Empowering & Tough
- Skills: Wants you to be happy, but also productive. Says things like “What are you doing today?” with the expectation of you replying “Definitely not sit at home and watch series, that’s for sure”
- Special traits: Actually meets and shakes hands with their farmers. Calls themselves a ‘taste lab’
- Visit: Kaffa
Hope you enjoyed this list so far. Test them out, well worth it, and if you are in the area I highly recommend you visit their coffee shops for a truly unique experience and taste.
[UPDATES ROUGHLY EVERY THREE MONTHS]