It is time to decide who is the world’s best kokekaffe brewer of 2022 at the World Kokekaffe Championship, taking place in Oslo, Norway.

The event will be carried out as part of the Kaffe Dagen of Kaffebrenneriet this Thursday, 8th of September from 16:00 to 19:00, at Grønlandsleiret 32. 

This year our beloved lab manager, Espen, will be one of the judges, along with a remarkable team of coffee professionals. 

We had the opportunity of talking to the organizer of the World Kokekaffe Championship, Ola Brattås, who has shared with us some insights into this year’s competition. 

 What does Kokekaffe mean?

Kokekaffe (known as boiled/ steeped coffee, or cowboy coffee in English) is reportedly the world’s most widely used brewing method. 

In Norway this brewing method is very traditional, and although it was largely replaced by the electric coffee maker since the 1960s, many coffee enthusiasts still think that boiled coffee is the best coffee they can get.

It’s as simple as it can get. The recipe is: boil water, add coffee and let it steep.

 How did the World Kokekaffe Championship start?

It started in 2017, and was originally part of a festival called Trøndelag Coffee Festival, which is a coffee festival up in the middle of Norway.

Nevertheless, the organizers wanted to have a different type of competition with a more relaxed and easy-going approach. Still focusing on the coffee, of course, but easier to join for the general public, and not just for coffee experts.

So, some aspects that make this competition different are that the participants don’t brew in front of the judges, the judges are not sitting in a stage, the rules are simpler and people just focus on the flavor of the cup. 

Which coffee will they brew?

An important fact is that every single competitor will be brewing the same coffee, so this way everybody has the same possibility of making the best cup.

As Ola says – “this year we chose a washed Kenyan – Kagaa sponsored by Kaffebrenneriet, partly because I believe that a lot of people thinking of this type of brewing always think about really full-bodied dark roasted coffees. Nevertheless, for me, it is the opposite, because a light acidic fresh coffee benefits from the full body that you get from the immersion, it gets more mouthfeel, and actually that gets another dimension into these coffees that traditionally people wouldn’t choose for this way or brewing.”

As this year’s participants have assured – this coffee is going to be challenging. 

Rules of the competition – World Kokekaffe Championship

Each participant must serve 4 judges a cup of coffee each + 1 cup to set aside (that will be used for testing for coffee grit if the taste scores are equal). 

The judges taste all 4 cups that are put in front of them, and they push the cup they like best to the center of the table. The winner of the heat is the competitor who has got the most cups in the middle. 

If the taste scores are equal between two or more participants, the fifth cup is poured through a paper filter. The filter that has the least grit will be the winner.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own cups (thin porcelain cups) as the cup would actually affect the way the coffee tastes. 

How did they choose their judges for this year?

They have collaborated with professional judges since the creation of the competition to make sure that competitors are fairly judged.

This year – “we chose Espen ’cause we know he’s cupping a lot of coffee, and he’s basically tasting coffee all the time. So, who better to judge a great cup of coffee than someone’s tasting so many cups of coffee every day?” – Ola

The other judges will be: 

  • Bjørnar Hafslund, Director of Operations at Fuglen Coffee Roasters
  • Simo Kristidhi, Production & Logistics Manager at Solberg & Hansen
  • Thomas Pulpan, CEO at Kaffebrenneriet

“Although I’ve cupped an incredible amount of coffee in the past years, I’m still pretty new to judging. I had my first try at judging Kokekaffe last year, and it was both very fun and pleasant. I really enjoy how informal it is, simply selecting your favorite brew.
But my favorite part might be the cups! Last year there were so many different kinds of charming, old school cups like you’d expect to find at your grandparents’, and I’m excited to see what kind of cups will be brought this year.” Espen

Who are the Competitors?

This year there will be 13 competitors from Finland, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Austria, Colombia and Norway.

According to Ola, the original plan was to have only 12 competitors, but two people applied at the same time at the last minute, so the number increased. It is important to him that everyone has the same opportunity to participate. 

Do you want to attend or follow the competition?

The World Kokekaffe Championship will start at 16:00 (Thursday 8 of September) at Grønlandsleiret 32 in Oslo.  Nevertheless, if you cannot participate in person, the organizer will be livestreaming the event in their Instagram account

They expect the winner to be announced around 6 or 7. 

If you are wondering, there will be more to enjoy than just the competition, since there will be a brew bar and you can chat and hang out with the judges!

There will also be some members of the Nordic Approach team there, as we have an important invitation to share with you – our 10-anniversary party is approaching, and we would love to celebrate with you!  

Check more here and see you soon. 

Thanks to Ola for taking the time to sit down with us and tell us more about the World Kokekaffe Championship

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