Here at Bean Bros, we are enjoying the start of Spring and trying out lots of coffee from amazing roasters! We have some exciting projects and collaborations planned for this year, and look forward to sharing with you. As usual, we look to have some of the best equipment in our webshop to support you with quality tools to get the best from your coffee, please check it out!
For our featured roaster this month, we are delighted to be able to share coffee from one of the best out there…long established and always providing high quality, great tasting coffee…please enjoy your subscription featuring Koppi! For our interview, we spent some time with Charles Nystrand and explored some more about how Koppi manage to be so great!
Interview: Kris Thurbin.
Charles Nystrand- Koppi Roasters
Tell us a bit about the team at Koppi and your values…
We are a small, lovely team at Koppi. It consists of Charles, Anne, Rie and Björn. Rie, who is originally from Japan, started working with us in 2015 and Björn a year later. Rie was initially in charge of the coffee program at our former coffee bar and when we closed it in 2017 she moved on and started working at the roastery. Now she is in charge of the roasting at the HQ. Since we are such small team it is important to have a sense of connection and respect for each member.
13.5 years…that’s a long time and a lot of work! Is there any particular moment that you look at with great pride?
Just having had our company for almost 14 years now is something to be proud of I think! Over the years we have faced challenges, big and small, and a couple of times it probably would’ve been easier to give up rather than persist and keep going. But we have always been stubborn and also felt so much love for Koppi so it was worth putting in some extra blood sweat and tears. Seeing our coffee being enjoyed all over the world on a daily basis is something that makes us feel very proud and humble.
Is there anything you wonder if you could have done differently?
Being our own hardest critics, there are lots of things that we perhaps wish we could have avoided doing or at least done differently. We did open two new bars before we realised that we didn’t want to run cafes but instead focus 100% on roasting and sourcing coffee.
Are there particular types of coffee you like to feature?
We only carry coffees we love. The majority of the coffees we buy are from producers that we have worked with for many years. Our longest relationships go back 11 years and now we consider them not only fantastic producers but also great friends. These are the coffees we feel extra proud to offer.
With the Ethiopian and Kenyan coffees we work with Nordic Approach as our green coffee supplier. Anne has travelled many times to Ethiopia and Kenya visiting the co-ops and factories but this has never been with the intention to try to buy coffee straight from there but just to get a greater understanding of how things work in the different countries.
I have enjoyed your coffee for many years and always know that when I get something from you, I can expect consistency and a cup of coffee that tastes great. What do you want to be known for – is there a deliberate focus on certain things or approaches?
Well this is a hard question. What we are trying to do is to source, roast and share fantastic coffees. Consistency and trust is key. Our hope is that people find our coffees delicious whether they are from Colombia, Ethiopia or any of the other origins we work with. That they will have a positive experience no matter which coffee they select. We want to be approachable. We work with some of the best producers in the world and their coffees are the absolute top. But with that said our approach is to share them in a way that is simple and fun. Exploring and brewing our coffees should be fun.
What are your views on the more exotic processes at origin? I have a preference for washed, but enjoy a nice natural…always curious to try an extended fermentation or other more drawn out / tailored processes…but some of the coffee I have had recently has been close to undrinkable!
We unfortunately share your experiences. There has been a strange focus on experimental processing techniques that many times result in an undrinkable cup. We have carried both natural processed coffees and also an anaerobic fermented coffee that were delicious. But it is fairly hard to find those coffees that taste clean, vibrant and well-processed.
Is there any particular seasonal release you look forward to the most?
I would say that it is always with great anticipation we await the delivery of the first Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees. After a long and dark winter we just can’t wait to have a taste of a fresh and fruity African coffee bursting with vibrant summer flavours!
How do you profile for roasting?
We always try to bring out the flavours that we think are unique for each coffee. When we receive a coffee, we always roast a few slightly different profiles of the same coffee and then cup and brew them to see which profile we like the most. Next step is to roast three or four variations of our favourite profile from the first round. That way we can really showcase the unique character and quality of each coffee we have. And we keep exploring and experimenting.
How much debate amongst the team at cupping?
We always talk about the coffees when we cup and usually we are pretty much in tune. Actually almost always.
HARIO V6O / CHEMEX
You will need: Coffee of high quality, clean water, water boiler, grinder, kitchen scales, timer, V60 kit or a Chemex, pouring kettle with a fine nozzle.
Step 1. Rinse the paper filter carefully with hot water and leave it to “dry” for preferably 5-10 minutes. Collect the rinsing water and if possible save it for watering plants, washing windows etc.
Step 2. Weigh out 30 grams of coffee for 500ml of water
Step 3. Grind the coffee for filter and place it in the V60/Chemex
Step 4. Put the brewer on a kitchen scale and tare the scale
Step 5. Start the timer and immediately pour around 60-70ml of water over the coffee. Give it a couple of swirls to make sure all coffee grounds are soaked.
Step 6. After the 30 seconds pour a couple of small circles avoiding pouring on the paper filter and then go over to pouring steadily in the middle until you reach 250 g.
Step 7. At 1 minute start the third pour repeating the same technique – pour a couple of circles and then go back to the middle with a steady pour reaching 375ml.
Step 8. After 1 minute and 30 seconds start the last pour repeating previous pouring technique and pour up to 500ml finishing pouring after around 1.40-1.50 minutes.
Step 9. Let the water go through the coffee and remove the filter when it starts dripping slowly. The total brew time should be somewhere between 3-3.30 minutes.
FUN TIP: Add a couple of grams of lemon juice or a few drops of vinegar to your brew water if you think that your coffee taste a bit chalky and flat. This will affect the alkalinity of the water and hopefully help extract more of the acidity in the coffee. This obviously depends on the water quality you have as a starting point but it is a cheap and very easy way to potentially brew much better tasting coffee without an advanced filtration system. We do not support using bottled water except for when it is a general health recommendation due to poor water quality.
There is also several filter kettles on the market that is good for filtering tap water, removing particles, impurities, metals and carbonate hardness.
Featured Coffees in our subscription box:
Coffee Cumber 1: Colombia – Finca La Fuente
Farm: La Fuente
Cultivars: Caturra, Pink Bourbon and Colombia
Producer: Yobani Ramos and Yaved Guarnizo
Origin: Tarqui, Huila – Colombia
Process: Fully washed, dried on raised beds
Yobani Ramos and her husband Yaved own a small farm called Finca La Fuente in the region of Tarqui in Central Huila. The farm is situated at the end of the road at 1825masl and stretches all the way up to 2000 meters above sea level. Together they have about 6 hectares of land planted with Caturra, Colombia and Pink Bourbon. Both Yobani and Yaved are focused on keeping a constantly high quality and since we started working together they have done big investments and improvements on the farm and in the beneficio. The beneficio was renovated a couple of years ago with new tiled tanks and vessles that are easy to clean. They have also invested in new drying beds that are covered by shade nets to slow down the drying process.
Yobani and Yaved are growing their coffee according to organic and biodynamic practices, caring for the plants and wildlife on the farm. Yaved is interested in biodynamic studies and is making three different composts/compost teas as well as a couple of clever natural pesticides. Due to the high elevation, the cooler average temperature allows a slow ripening that builds up lots of sugars and complex flavors in the coffee cherries. The cherries are bursting with flavor of papaya, lychee and melon. Yobani and Yaved are constantly pushing to be better and they produce some of the best coffee we have come across. Anne has visited twice per year since we started working together. They don’t only have one of the most beautiful farms in the world but they are also some of the most generous and humble people out there. Spending time with them at the farm is always a highlight.
This is a truly special coffee showcasing the very best of Colombia. We are excited to share it with you.
Coffee Number 2: La Lia
Farm: La Lia
Producer: Luis and Oscar Monge
Origin: Santa Rosa de Leon Cortez, Tarrazu – Costa Rica
Process: Several different processing methods
Cultivars: Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Pacamara, Typica, SL28, Geisha
La Lia is a farm and micro mill in the heart of Tarrazu owned by the brothers Luis and Oscar Monge. The farm has been in the family for almost 70 years but it was in 2008 that the brothers took over the production and started their own micro mill named after their mother Lia.
The farm is divided in 7 plots of land with the highest parts reaching up to 2100 meters above see level where the coffee cherries ripen very slowly resulting in high sugar concentration. They grow mainly Red Catuai on the highest altitudes and Caturra slightly lower. They also have extended their range of varieties to Bourbon, Pacamara, Tipica, Yellow Tipica, SL28, Kenia and Geisha to name a few. The annual production of the 60 hectare farm land is around 1000 bags of green coffee. All coffees are separated by farm, cultivar and picking date. The same families that have returned to work at the farm for 14 years are handpicking the coffee. The 60 pickers have been trained to only pick the perfectly ripe cherries and also to sort the cherries after the picking. This is hard work but very important to be able to produce delicious coffee.
We have been working with Oscar and Luis since 2012. They are doing an amazing job and their coffees are consistently tasting amazing. Visiting Luis, Oscar and Lia each year has made them feel like family and it is always with great warmth we set foot in Tarrazu. To be able to work with people like Luis and Oscar means everything to us and we are so happy to be able to share their coffee with all of you year after year.
Coffee Number 3: Monte Copey
Farm: Monte Copey
Producer: Enrique and Josue Navarro
Origin: Santa Maria, Tarrazu – Costa Rica
Process: many different processing methods
Cultivars: Typica, Caturra, Villa Lobos, Bourbon, Geisha, Catuai, SL28 and Venecia
In 2009 the two brothers Enrique and Josue decided to take over the family owned farms belonging to Monte Copey to produce some of the best coffee found in Costa Rica. They invested in a Penagos – a mechanical depulping machine – which was one of the first steps in their way improve the production and quality. They also built 22 drying tables to get the coffee off the ground to avoid contamination and slow down the drying process.
Monte Copey is divided into 5 plots of land adding up to close to 20 hectares of which 15 is planted with coffee. All coffees are separated by farm, cultivar and picking date. The same families that have returned to work at the farm for 20 years is handpicking the coffee. The pickers have been trained to only pick the perfectly ripe cherries and also to sort the cherries after the picking. 30 people are working in the field and 4 people are working at the micro mill during the harvest.
They are working with sustainable farming and use only environmentally friendly fertilizers and no pesticides. Every year they do a soil analysis to be able to keep the soil in good health and secure a good yield. The annual production from the 15 hectares is about 300-350 bags of green coffee. When we started working with them in 2010 they produced only 80 bags so they have done a fantastic job growing their production without compromising the quality.
We are very proud to have been working with Enrique and Josue since 2010. The Navarro family is incredibly warm and friendly and on top of that they produce, in our opinion, some of the best coffee we have ever come across. Half of the family is involved in the production but it is Enrique who is in charge and lead the way planting new varieties and developing new processing methods creating unique and delicious flavor profiles. Enrique started as the manager of the farm at age 17 and it has been amazing to follow the progress. The next step will be to build more drying tables to be able to cope with the increasing volumes.