Bean Bros X MCR – September 2021.
Summer is a wonderful time but I find Autumn to be superb! September has the gift of bringing the transition from one season to another and almost the best of both! So, with that in mind, this month we bring you the marvellous accompaniments of a sweet Ethiopian coffee and some super tasty Colombians….all from our great friends in Gothenburg….Morgon Coffee Roasters.
Please enjoy your brews and the following thoughts and words we have put together for you.
What recent achievements make you proud?
The biggest achievement coming out of 2020 might just be that we managed to keep the lights on, stay in business and even grow through troubling and unstable times. Keeping our commitments to the producers we’re working with is also something that means a lot to us. We’re proud to say that we were able to buy coffee from all of the producers we’ve been working with long-term, and in 2021 over 90% of our purchased coffee comes from producers we’ve formed relationships with over several years.
At the beginning of the year we were also finalists for the Sprudgie award for Most Notable Roaster 2020 and got an honourable mention.
What objectives are you focused on making happen?
Last year we obviously had to put a pin in all our travel plans. Now we’re itching to get back on the road and catch up with all our wonderful friends, partners and customers again, as soon as it’s safe of course. For us, coffee and community goes hand in hand and you can only do so much over Zoom.
Is there any particular seasonal release you look forward to?
Working with the same producers over several years, having their fresh harvests arrive at the roastery is always very exciting. One of the coolest things about running Morgon these past years have been to follow along the journey of producers, like this month’s featured coffee from Sandra Milena Mora in Colombia. Back in 2018 we bought her very first harvest of Tabi and every year since we’ve only seen it improve and grow into one of our very favourite coffees.
It is nice to see some more posts coming back about events. How are things at the moment? Happy to have some sunshine and sharing coffee and food with people?
It’s incredible having folks back at the roastery again! With spring and summer in Gothenburg we could have spacious seating outside the roastery on the dock by the water. This means we’ve had lots of people enjoy our coffee every day while we’re working and roasting and every last Saturday of the month we’ve had bigger events with coffee, food and even live music!
When we took over and renovated our harbour shed in 2019, the idea was to use it as a production space only. When the pandemic hit we didn’t really have that much production going on for quite a while, so we made use of our brewers and espresso machine and started serving coffee to the few people who were still working in the area. Over a couple of months we got to see our roastery space grow into a meeting place and having smiling, friendly folks enjoy cups of coffee outside or place in rain or shine throughout the pandemic really helped motivate us and brought a lot of joy
to otherwise worrisome days.
Something really exciting to come out of this was us getting nominated and placing in the top 10 of the Swedish Gastronomy Price for “The Barista’s Coffee Experience” of the year.
Have you enjoyed getting new designs sorted for your bags? What is involved in that process?
Yes! We started working on them in late 2019 actually. In March 2020 we had to put the whole project on ice due to, well you know. The new look was drawn up and created by Simon Söder (@simonsoeder) in close collaboration with us. He has been working with us since our start, drawing our logos and graphic designs as well as of course creating our label designs along with Elinor Vestergaard.
We drew a lot of the design from travelling, shipping, freight and of course our neighbourhood in the old shipyard. We wanted our packaging to have the same big bold lettering and clear statements as the shipping containers that can be found all around the roastery and that our coffee travels in. We also updated the shape of our labels, from the original postcard ratio to the new polaroid one.
The idea behind the unique artwork for each coffee comes from travelling and telling stories and postcards and polaroids have played a big part in this for us over the years. They’re made of 100% CO2 compensated plastic that helps keep the coffee fresh and makes for easy recycling.
Great selection for this month, tell us a bit about what we have.
You’ve picked out some real gems for your subscribers this month! The first coffee comes to us from the Chelbesa washing station in Gedeb, Ethiopia. Our co-founder Gabriella and our designer Elinor Vestergaard travelled to Ethiopia in December 2019 for what turned out to be our very last business trip before the pandemic. They visited the Chelbesa station where Gabriella got to taste the coffee cherries that would later turn out to be one of our favourite Ethiopian lots. Elinor drew inspiration for the label design from the wooden scaffolding used in improving and renovating the station’s infrastructure and the use of shade for the drying coffee beans during the hotter hours of the day.
The second and third lots are both from Sandra Milena Mora, one Caturra variety and one Tabi. Her Caturra was one of the very first coffees we purchased when we started Morgon and the 2018 harvest of her Tabi was her first ever, making these two lots very special to us. Sandra runs the farm El Porvenir together with her husband Hector and together they work their 9 hectare land. They only grow coffee on 5 of those 9 and the rest is left for nature to run, with a beautiful forest filled with plants, birds and insects that all help in making sure the coffee grows in the healthiest soil possible.
Are you working direct or with importer?
We are working directly with Sandra and import her coffee ourselves, along with all the other Colombian lots we work with. The lot from Chelbesa we picked out at origin and bought through an importer, which helps us handle smaller lots like this one.
All our coffee in south and central America, we source ourselves, but we use sometimes an importer to get in home from the origins.
All our coffees from Colombia we take direct and import ourselves, but when it comes to Costa Rica and El Salvador for example we get help from an importer and share room in their containers. It depends on how much coffee you can buy from the producer you are working with. It’s not economically sustainable or environmentally friendly to ship five or six pallets in a container. Then it’s much better to share room with an importer that you are working with and ship everything together in one container.
Our dream is to be able to source and ship all our coffees from every origin ourselves, but to be able to do that you need a volume that can cover the cost and the sustainable thinking about the environment. And that takes time to be able to do.
The importers that we work with are really, really good at what they do and are a very important part of the chain. For a small producer and a small roastery like ours, we think all the parts in the chain are very important. Producer, exporter, importer, roaster and finally the coffeeshop. We are all doing this together to make it as a sustainable as possible and to get the best quality as possible.
How do you choose your coffee and who to work with?
Some coffees we simply pick out from a cupping table. Profiles and taste notes that we just can’t wait to share with everyone. When it comes to lasting commitment to a relationship it takes a whole lot more than a fun and exciting profile. Usually it would mean us meeting with the producer, discussing our and their long-term goals and ambitions.
We have been working with sourcing and roasting of coffee for almost 15 years now and during this time we have met a lot of producers and cupped so, so many coffees. For us it’s very important to work with producers that have the same vision and thinking as we do. To work with a producer or importer/exporter is like any other relationship. Both parts must want it to work to be able to get the best out of it.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s doesn’t. But after all these years we are really proud to say that the partners we are working with are people that we really like and have worked with for a long period of time.
The coffees that we have to offer have a good range of different varieties and taste profiles. And that is important for us so that everyone can find their own favourite coffee. All from full-bodied chocolaty and nutty coffees to light, floral and fruity coffees.
This will also showcase how different coffee can be and how different varieties and terroir can taste.