Enjoy this short, but sweet video interview with Anne Lunell from Koppi Coffee in Helsingborg, Sweden. Anne talks with Kalle Freese, the current Finnish Barista Champion and owner of Freese Coffee Co. about her and partner Charles Nystrand’s approach to sourcing, selecting and roasting the coffee they serve.Tweet Follow @DCILY
Introducing Coffee Crazy, the brand new EP from Helsinki-based musician Fanu. The new 5-track album is inspired by the musician’s love of coffee and the creative fuel it provides to so many artists of every talent. DCILY is excited to be the first to share this album with Fanu listeners, new and old. So grab a fresh cup and dive into the beats.
Perky Percolator Jam – kicks off the jam with playful vibes, rolling breaks, and a double bass line, making you feel as perky as if you had just gulped down good sips of that percolator brew.
Above Waters – describes the ethereal vibe you have while on a coffee high, making you feel like you’re floating above the sea.
Bad Coffee – got its name from a bad coffee experience Fanu had at St. Petersburgtrain station. Fanu had to put the horror into some kind of form to get it out of his system, and this is the result.
Espresso Deluxe – a sweet combination of rich yet smooth elements that lets you savor the subtlety and intricacy you might find in a classy cup of good-quality coffee.
Mocca Overdose – another case of putting bad experiences into musical form. Fanu downed two percolators worth of mocca + a few cups of filter coffee in a few hours (true story!), and the result was very heavy and brooding that seemed to last a little too long – just like this track. Enjoy with caution!
Fanu is originally from the north of Finland where much of the year it’s dark, cold and the people drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world. Now based in Helsinki, Fanu has continued his musical explorations stemming from his love for breakbeat and electronic music that began as a teenager, while being inspired by The Future Sound of London, DJ Shadow, Source Direct, Photek and Amon Tobin.
This album integrates coarse ground layers beneath the smooth flowing beats of a double bass that capture the joy in a great cup of coffee as well as the dark brooding moods that make you need one. I truly hope the EP finds further definition in a full length.
Download the full Coffee Crazy EP on NoiseTrade. If you enjoy it, be sure to tip!Tweet Follow @DCILY
Before I landed in Helsinki, most people I encountered in Stockholm warned me that the coffee in Finland is pretty terrible and it may be hard to find anything good. Thankfully I came across the blog of Finnish barista, Kalle Freese, which led me in all the right directions including to the shop he works at—Kaffa Roastery.
Kaffa wasn’t the first place I visited, but it was without a doubt, the best. The shop doesn’t have tables, just bars, and it’s tucked in the back corner of a larger building that sells vintage and designer housewares. They have a pretty extensive collection of home brewing equipment displayed on the back of a miniature truck and a stack of Barista Magazine dating back longer than I knew they existed.
What made the experience even more incredible than the coffee, was Kalle’s hospitality. He invited my girlfriend and I to the shop and fixed us a syphon pot of an Ethiopian Nekisse they were test roasting for competition. It was an amazing cup of coffee that just exploded with strawberry. Definitely the best cup I had on this trip to Scandinavia. After the shop closed, we hung around for a bit while a few other baristas stopped by to train for the Finnish Barista Competition (where Kalle recently competed in the finals). There was good conversation and an endless stream of espresso shots going around.
Depending on the amount of time you have in Helsinki, Kaffa is a little bit out of the way, just west of the design district, but well worth the trip in such a small city. If you don’t have time to leave downtown (i.e. on a day cruise from Sweden/Estonia), you can visit La Torrefazione which offers press pots of Kaffa coffee as well as great salads and sandwiches for lunch.
Another shop worth a visit is a small spot in the old red-light district, called Caneli Café. It’s run by an Iranian guy who specializes in smoothies and herbal living, but also maintains a nice stock of coffee from Swedish roasters da Matteo and Johan & Nyström. I had an AeroPress and shot of espresso while we talked about his uphill battle against the terrible quality of traditional Finnish coffee. He actually seemed a bit defeated by it all, saying that Finns learned for so long that bad coffee is what coffee should taste like, it’s hard to get them to enjoy anything else. Something many of us can relate to.
Lastly, Kahvila Sävy, is a place I didn’t get to visit because they were closed for the weekend, but Kalle highly recommended it. They are northeast of the city center and they brew single origin coffees from Turku Coffee Roasters, which I have yet to try. The photos of their pastries and baked goods also look pretty stellar.
While there isn’t anywhere near the number of quality coffee bars in Helsinki as there are in Stockholm, it’s a much smaller town with a lot of room to grow. The few who are doing it right are making great coffee and won’t leave you disappointed on a visit to Helsinki. If they do however, the city’s amazing architecture will make up the difference.
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Finland is known more for the quality of their design than their coffee, but they drink a lot of it—so well-designed coffee accessories shouldn’t come as a surprise. While browsing the Design Forum in Helsinki last week, I came across a nice solution to the problem of coffee bags without closure tabs—the Kapu.
The Kapu is both a bag clip and coffee scoop, made from Finnish Birch plywood, that will help keep your bag sealed and your coffee fresh. Designed in 2003 by Teemu Karhunen, the early prototypes where entered into a design competition and a small batch where given as gifts to a few friends who became big fans of them. One of those friends was the manager of the Design Forum Shop, who encouraged Teemu to produce more of them.
A few years later Teemu joined his girlfriend Hilja Nikkanen, who founded the socially responsible design company Hile, to relaunch the Kapu as part of their product line.
The production process of the Kapu is kept within a 100km radius of Helsinki and the simple, high-quality design is typical of the Scandinavian style. Even the packaging, with one color printing on raw cardboard, maintains an elegant feel that matches the craftsmanship of the product itself.
At $25 the price is steep, but it’s a beautiful object that should last a lifetime or more.
Photos by Paula LehtoTweet Follow @DCILY