A guide to import certifications.January 13, 2020
Unlike their fellow roasters in Europe or North America, most of our customers in Asia or the Middle East face challenges in bringing the green coffee beans to their countries. Customs regulations change frequently, and there is an extra layer of bureaucracy with customs officials demanding to see different certifications. Sometimes it can be confusing, …
A guide to shipping outside North America or the EUJanuary 8, 2020
After talking about how important it is to plan your coffee purchase, we would like to share how you should manage your shipping, if you are a roaster located in other countries outside North America or the EU. We are fully transparent about our product costs, so let us be equally transparent about freight. Using …
Connecting the dots: from farm gate to sale priceDecember 16, 2019
We have just released our first origin transparency report from Rwanda. In the coming months we’ll release reports for all of our origins. These origin reports break down the FOB price and how it is distributed among the different players of the value chain in that country. There is a lot of information you need …
Pride (and nerves) for our first origin transparency reportDecember 12, 2019
By Suzie, Morten and Jamie We published our first origin transparency report with price data from Rwanda today. We are very proud, and just the tiniest bit nervous for our numbers as they go out into the world. We stand behind our numbers, we know we pay our farmers and producers well in the context …
Rwanda 2019 | 20twenty…!?December 4, 2019
While we’re literally only just starting to sell our 2019 offering, our partners in Rwanda are hard at work to plan for 2020 and distribute the right knowledge and fertilisers. Fertilisers Wait… fertilisers!?!? Isn’t that a bad thing? Sometimes yes, frequently no. Heavy use of fertilisers without considering what the soil actually needs can damage …
Planning = better coffee for lessNovember 26, 2019
It is my personal quest to ruin every coffee party by talking exclusively about purchase planning. Despite this, I feel that roasters still don’t fully get the concept or how valuable it can be to their businesses. Planning is one of those crucial things that’s much easier to talk about than to actually commit to …
Introducing our new origin: PeruNovember 25, 2019
We are amazed by the potential in Peru. With simple equipment, minimal infrastructure and hardly any government support, smallholder farmers are producing amazing coffees. Alas most of them go into a big pile which is sold for much less than it is worth. The country is known for certified coffees at low prices which means …
A Fresh Perspective on BrazilNovember 13, 2019
Rosimeire’s house was immaculate. Every surface gleamed and not a single item looked out of place. Her kitchen, where she served us coffee and cake, had all the modern appliances. This was not what I expected. I lived in Colombia for several years, and it is where I have the most origin experience. My recent …
Experimental coffees from Java, and a new project from Sumatra!November 6, 2019
This is the fourth year for us working with Wildan Mustofa and his family. Wildan is the entrepreneur and producer. His son Fikri recently graduated from university and is involved in processing and operations, while Wildan’s wife, Atieq, manages the financial side of the business. We also began a new project in Indonesia this year …
Why Transparency Matters Part 5: Close Encounters with the C-PriceOctober 19, 2019
In our very early days we took a big risk, betting that a community of quality-minded roasters would value exceptional coffees from trustworthy and progressive producers, regardless of any movement of the C-market. Thankfully that community exists.
Being transparent about transparencyOctober 17, 2019
This blog post is part of a series called Why Transparency Matters. Read all posts in this series here. For several months we have been working on a transparency model, with the aim of releasing a transparency report that breaks prices down beyond FOB, and be clear about our own costs and margins. Our goal …
Rwanda 2019 | Gitesi’s first naturalsOctober 3, 2019
One the goals going into a new Rwanda season this year was to diversify the profile range. To that end we asked our long-term partners, Aime & his father at the Gitesi washing station, to prepare some naturals for us. It was their first time with this process. Always exciting! To sell naturals in Rwanda, first …
How to plan your menuSeptember 27, 2019
For new roasteries, one of the toughest questions, after “which roaster should I buy?” is “what should go on my menu?” The answer will be different for everybody, depending on your customers, your location, and your capacity. To help decide what is best for you, we asked some of our customers how they tackle this …
Why transparency matters part 3: creating a specialty coffee pricing mechanismSeptember 18, 2019
Today the specialty coffee sector is still dependent on the C-price in varying ways. Even when we make our best efforts to pay prices that are not influenced or related to the C-market, we are compared to it. In order to break entirely from the C-price, the specialty industry needs its own pricing mechanism for distinct high quality coffees.
Coffee competitions in originSeptember 9, 2019
Coffee competitions in origin: What are they, why are they important and how can you get involved? We run two annual competitions in origin, the Apas Cup in Brazil and the Tarqui Cup in Colombia. Each competition judges a selection of coffees from producers working in a particular region. The top lots earn significant premiums …
Burundi, 2019 | What’s cropping?September 2, 2019
Slight turbulence ahead. Things were a little bumpy going into the season this year, but we have become accustomed to that over the years. And the Burundis, taste, well… like stunning Burundis: amazing complex coffees and so characteristic. Definitely worth a few bumps and jumps. Low yields this year As every year our focus is …
Can you feel it – a workshop on detecting mouthfeelAugust 28, 2019
At Nordic Approach HQ in Oslo we regularly hold sensory training events for our staff. This month we ran a workshop to help the team detect mouth feel. I learned this exercise from Ida at CoffeeMind. It’s great for training yourself to discern body and mouthfeel when cupping coffee, and best of all, it’s easy to …
North America buying strategy in ColombiaAugust 21, 2019
In summer of 2018 I first visited producers that have been part of long-standing Nordic Approach quality-based premium programs – some for nearly a decade. The premium program Morten built years ago still benefits a growing number of producers and roasters (and other importers), so this year, 2019, I went to investigate how we could …
Update from Juan David CordonaAugust 20, 2019
David is a young producer in Antioquia, part of an informal group of innovative young farmers who are determined to prove the potential of their region goes beyond chocolate and caramel cups. His father thinks David’s ideas are too radical and their pair argued about the best way to manage the family farm. To solve …
Rwanda 2019 | our renewed focusAugust 12, 2019
Busy but beautiful times! … wait wait wait, it’s 2019 and August already? Are you sure?But… the summer of 2018 just ended?That pretty much sums up the feeling I had going into this summer, and I think all the staff over here in Oslo are with me. A bummer for me this year was that I’ve …
Meet the producers of IntibucaAugust 9, 2019
Seeing their name on a bag of roasted coffee is a privilege few farmers experience, and not always because their coffee isn’t good quality. In many parts of the coffee growing world there simply isn’t the infrastructure to maintain lot separation all the way to the port. In Honduras, the producers suffer a lack of …
Why transparency matters part 2: the real power of price informationAugust 7, 2019
Beyond simply publishing numbers, price transparency is important for understanding the supply chain, for valuing the different parts of that supply chain and most importantly for stimulating a greater responsibility to pay producers a price that not only makes their production sustainable but profitable and enriching.
Why transparency matters part 1: what I thought I knew about coffeeJuly 25, 2019
Nordic Approach intern Timna Eckschmidt charts her journey from consumer to coffee professional, and what she learned about the supply chain along the way.
Intibuca, Honduras: increasing profitability through micro-lot separationJuly 19, 2019
Honduras presents as an exception in Central American coffee production, being the only country to increase volume, and at a rapid rate. Steadily holding its place within the top ten producing countries of arabica coffee, Honduras went from the fifth largest producer of arabica in the world, to the third in 2018, overtaking Ethiopia. Yet …
What does a green coffee buyer do – part 6: risk managementJune 20, 2019
In this final post in the series “What does a green buyer do?” Alex explains the risks and benefits of buying on FOB terms.
World Of Coffee BerlinJune 6, 2019
We’re at booths V2 and V3 and Tables 1 & 3 in the Roasters’ Village. Drop by our stand for a chat, we’d love to see you. We’ll have beers from 4pm at our booth every day… 🙂 Plus, every day there will be a chance to meet some of the producers we work with: Schedule: …
What does a green coffee buyer do – part 5: shipping
Someone once told me, you have to babysit your coffee. Follow it everywhere it goes and make sure that it has what it needs to get out the door, so that is my main goal in this part of the season. Of course, every other buyer is doing the same, so Ethiopia is absolutely buzzing with anxious coffee professionals trying to be at the front of the line at each point in the process.
What does a green coffee buyer do, part 4: pre-contractingMay 29, 2019
There are many steps to making a purchase decision and flavour is just the beginning. The value chain has many checkpoints and several things can happen along the way. We’re dealing with a fresh moving product after all. It is crucial I understand what a sample represents, and how much of a commitment I must make to secure the lot.
Meet the Caballeros
If you’re coming to World of Coffee in Berlin next week, you can meet Marysabel Caballero and Moises Herrera at our booth on Thursday 1pm to 1.30 pm (we’re at at booths V2 and V3 in the Roasters’ Village). Not in Berlin? London folks will get a chance to meet them at our cupping at Ikawa …
Rebuilding RwandaMay 23, 2019
It has been 25 years since the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi. We don’t pretend to understand the devastation of this event on the lives of people living in Rwanda or those who fled, but we can report on how coffee is helping people rebuild their lives.
What to pack for an origin trip
Going on your first origin trip and wondering what to pack? No worries, our seasoned Nordic Approach staff have you covered! 1) First of all, being able to fit everything into a hand-luggage sized bag is a big bonus. This means no lost luggage for starters. It’s handy to sort your packing into smaller bags …
What does a green coffee buyer do – part 3: first selectionsMay 22, 2019
Ethiopian coffees are renowned for needing some time to open up. One of the key skills a coffee buyer must hone is cupping fresh coffees. Buyers need to be able to taste beyond the astringency and muted flavours, to the coffee it will become.
Part 3 in a series first published on our Tropiq blog: What does a green coffee buyer do?
What does a green coffee buyer do – part 2: reportingMay 16, 2019
Reporting from origin means taking copious notes to capture both the technical details, and the emotions that run high when meeting the people who produce these coffees.
Part 2 in a series first published on our Tropiq blog: What does a green coffee buyer do?
What does a green coffee buyer do – part 1: planningMay 13, 2019
Many coffee professionals hear a coffee buyer talk about travel to exotic countries, and dream of doing the same one day. It is a fantastic job and I feel so privileged to be able to do this work, but there are many misconceptions about the life of a green coffee buyer.
Part 1 in a series first published on our Tropiq blog: What does a green coffee buyer do?
Why are Kenyan prices so varied?May 7, 2019
I have been asked several times why the prices of Kenyan coffees differ so much even though the lots might come from the same station. More specifically, I have been asked to explain why Karimikui AB #170 can be more expensive than Karimikui AA #062 seeing that AA is a higher grade and of supposedly …
Tropiq currently sourcing in EthiopiaMay 3, 2019
Is your roastery buying volumes of 100 bags or more? Are you in a position to take on some additional financial risk? If you answered yes to these two questions you could save your business money by buying direct from origin. Our sister company, Tropiq, offers sourcing services for companies seeking high quality, traceable and …
Rwanda: great potential for long-term producer/roaster relationshipsApril 30, 2019
If you want to create a direct relationship with a washing station or producer in Africa, you should consider Rwanda. “The country is so organised,” said Clay Parker of Rwanda Trading Company (RTC), “there is so much you can do if you want to work directly.” The organisation of the coffee sector in recent years …
Spring Cupping sensory workshopApril 16, 2019
Last year during our Autumn Cupping we ran a sensory workshop for our roasters. The event received so much positive feedback, we decided to run it again, only this time bigger and better! We kicked off our recent Spring Cupping with another sensory workshop, hosted by our friends at Espressospesialisten. This time we expanded the …
El Salvador report: yields are down but quality is upMarch 27, 2019
Responding to market demand Two years ago we had a conversation with our partners in the Santa Ana region of El Salvador, Andres and Jose Antonio Salaverria from Jasal, about changes we could see in the market. We realised that the volumes of washed El Salvador coffee we were buying didn’t allow for enough variation …
Kenya 2019 update, part 2: Rungeto CooperativeMarch 25, 2019
Frederik, the manager of the Rungeto cooperative, has a unique approach. This may be due to his years of practical coffee experience managing Karimikui and Kiangoi washing stations. Firstly he views coffee as part of the broader agricultural potential of the region. He encourages coffee farmers to also raise cows, and alongside the coffee washing …
Kenya 2019 update, part 1: changing Kenyan profilesMarch 22, 2019
I once tasted a Kenyan coffee that I swear wasn’t coffee at all, it was a cup of blackcurrant juice. It is the classic Kenyan profile so many of us seek, and it is disappearing. Coffee Berry Disease When I visited Kenya last November, things looked grim for producers. They predicted they would lose 60 …
Ethiopia 2019 coffees just around the cornerMarch 12, 2019
Not sure what it is with Ethiopia as there is always a childish excitement building up when you get close to the season and the first arrivals. You can expect a standout range of washed and naturals this year. And yes, it’s finally happening, we have our first Ethiopian containers ready to ship. Pre-shipment samples …
Colombia & the Tarqui CupJanuary 31, 2019
As some of you know, this wouldn’t be my first time in Colombia. Until May last year I was Nordic Approach’s green buyer there and visited this beautiful country several times a year. This time, in November 2018, I got the chance to experience this from a client’s perspective. I had met up with Kenji …
New warehouse 2019January 2, 2019
Our latest updates and information on new warehouse in Belgium and cooperation with Seabridge.
Autumn Cupping sensory workshopDecember 21, 2018
At this year’s autumn cupping, we prepared a sensory workshop for all the attendees. It was a great success and people have been asking me to share how we did it. So, here it is, this blog post is going to guide you step by step so you can do it in your roastery or …
Burundi arrivals | first half of fresh harvestNovember 13, 2018
Mwaramutse! The most wonderful time of the year has come.…no not Christmas. Scrap the bearded guy with the out of fashion red tracksuit from your calendar, the Burundi’s are coming in. The first container landed last Friday – have to be pretty quick, only 4 lots left. November – This first half of the Burundi …
Rwanda arrivals | first half of fresh harvestOctober 17, 2018
The time for Rwanda has arrived! Season has come to an end, the last cherries left the drying tables a while ago and we made our buying decisions. Our friends in Rwanda are now hard at work to get the lots we chose onto containers with some of them on the ocean already and on …
Java 2018 cropOctober 9, 2018
We are thrilled to announce that we have just received fresh Javas from Frinsa coming in earlier than ever. I am more convinced now than ever before about this being a pretty unique project and concept. The development of the coffees are great as well as the producer Wildan is totally delivering as promised both …
Meet our neighbor: ROEST.September 27, 2018
“Our goal from day one was to develop and manufacture a state of the art coffee roaster.” In this blog post, I am going to introduce you to ROEST and what is their story with sample roaster. A sample roaster is essentially a coffee roaster that was built with really small volume capacity in mind. …
Brazil harvest update 2018 and effects of the C marketSeptember 25, 2018
We are excited about the Brazilian coffees we have coming in this year. We have a group of 6 producers, mostly small to medium and one larger in size that we are working with consistently and have agreed on fair prices that are not determined by the current market price. These producers are committed to …
El Salvador end of harvest updateSeptember 13, 2018
We have been privileged to work with producers in El Salvador who we have a long relationship with and who have really enriched our business and have given us a unique range of coffees that have always made us proud to have on our offer list. Working with Gilberto Baraona from Los Pirineos, and Andres …
New management team in Tropiq EthiopiaSeptember 6, 2018
Meet our new colleagues in Tropiq Ethiopia! Ethiopia is a diverted and a complicated place to work in. We are constantly travelling there, and we have an origin office with ground staff, and a cupping lab located in Addis Ababa. We know what we are looking for and will be cupping through loads of coffees …
Love in a time of RoyaAugust 18, 2018
“If you don’t love coffee, you cannot produce great coffee” Marysabel Caballero When Marysabel Caballero was a little girl, her parents decided to get back into coffee, quit their city jobs and started farming. She remembers life on the farm fondly. She loved being with her family on the farm and helping out. Her mother …
Costa Rica Journal 2018August 17, 2018
I love when the dry season starts in Costa Rica, the sunny weather really makes me feel the harvest atmosphere, we know that the harvest is coming as soon as we see nice sunsets and indigenous people arriving to the farms, coming mostly from Panama to pick the coffee cherries. The first week, after I …
Our Burundian selectionJuly 30, 2018
Burundian washed, naturals and honeys are on their way. Oh yes, and some really good ones too. We were there in end of May to visit our producer, Salum Ramadhan, and to cup. Already then the coffees for this season were cupping very well, and much better than last year at that time of year. …
Notes from the Costa Rica harvest 2018July 13, 2018
Costa Rica has always been known for its “tico time” and this is something that you might not have heard of before. In a few words “tico time” means no worries, “Hakuna Matata”, everything will be alright and if we say a meeting will be at 8:00 am, ahh it’s ok if we show up …
Picking costsJuly 10, 2018
We’re always looking for ways for all roasters, big and small, to have a chance to get some of the most beautiful coffees in the world. We want everyone to have access to a wide variety of coffees and foster long lasting relationships with the producers who make them. That’s why we do what we …
Shade dryingJune 26, 2018
It is commonly accepted that the drying phase of coffee production is essential in maintaining the qualities and characteristics that already exist within the bean, and extending the longevity of the product. Initially coffee parchment will have a moisture content of around 45%, and at this stage the coffee is at high risk of being …
How to choose green coffee for espressoJune 18, 2018
We, as an industry has come a long way from the traditional concept of espresso. It doesn’t have to be something strong and bitter anymore. Or perhaps, more importantly, it can be a lot more than that. Let’s start by acknowledging that all different styles of espresso have its place and that the important part …
A musungo introduction to Rwanda | season 2018, June update.June 12, 2018
Ever since I got into roasting coffee quite some years ago, before joining up with Nordic, I was always searching for personal stories on travels to origin. Without too much luck. I’ll try to fill that gap a little by giving you my personal and educational insight into Rwanda and try not to get into …
Burundi update – June 2018June 6, 2018
It seems to be a good year for coffees, and our Burundian coffees are tasting great this year! We should be able to make our first selections now the next few weeks with shipments around July/August. We will buy naturals and washed as well as a small selection of honeys. The harvest is more than …
Ethiopia update: the effect of changes in ECX rules and direct tradeMarch 22, 2018
It’s been an exciting start for this year’s Ethiopian purchases. First of all we have seen amazing cup profiles, overall much better than last year. Secondly, last year they changed the regulations allowing producers with privately owned washing stations to sell their coffees directly, outside of the ECX (Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, which sells coffee through …
HuilaMarch 15, 2018
What’s the thing with Huila? Why are we and so many roasters almost addicted to those coffees? Well, I think it’s first of all the combination of tons of fruit, the sweetness, richness and the complexity you can find in many of the great coffees there. But there is also a wide flavor spectrum! There …
Harvest and purchase update from KenyaMarch 12, 2018
Writing this while sitting in a car on my way to Nyeri and Kirinyaga. After some days with loads of cupping we’ll be visiting Kamwangi and Gathaiti among other places.. Hopefully we can find a way to build in some more value to our relationships there. I am here with Kaya and Alena from Nordic …
Juan Saldarriaga and Tierra de CafeMarch 5, 2018
We have the last few years been involved in a project with a producer in Antioquia that’s been having such a great progress and development with his coffees and quality. It’s about great washed coffees of different cultivars, but also naturals dried in an innovative way. But most of all it’s just great to work …
From Addis, with loveFebruary 19, 2018
From being here almost one month now, I am actually starting to get a hang of this place. But for those of you who do not know Ethiopia, I have listed my favourite fun facts about Ethiopia below. Over 80 languages are spoken in this country. The most widely spoken local languages are Oromo, Amharic, …
2018 Harvest and Purchase UpdateFebruary 9, 2018
I have tried to wrap up what we are currently doing on the sourcing side, and what to expect of this season’s harvest. ☺ In addition to Colombian arrivals it’s the time of year again when everything seems to happen at once, both in Centrals and East Africa. Ethiopia and Kenya is just done with …
Coffee ClubFebruary 6, 2018
We’re sponsoring a new educational project in Tanzania called Coffee Club, with the aim to improve the future for the kids in the regions we are buying coffee from, and increase the quality of the coffee in this region long term. We will sponsor Coffee Club in one school, the school is in the area …
Kenya harvest preview 2018February 2, 2018
Cups on cups on cups on cups of delicious, fresh, acidic, fruity and flavor intense coffees. Black currants, lime, mango, papaya, passion fruit and raspberries. This is just a few of the flavor attributes found in the Kenyan coffees this year. Kenya is famous for their coffees, and for their way of growing, processing, washing …
Creating a brand new conference concept in originJanuary 16, 2018
We’re now under one month away from our first ever conference in origin. Of course it’s not really a conference. First of all, the audience is limited to 30 tickets, so it will feel cosy. Everyone will have time to ask questions, and form long lasting relationships with famers, producers and other participants. Everyone will …
A quick guide to cupping and evaluating coffees from NordicJanuary 8, 2018
We cup alot here at Nordic Approach HQ. We cup coffees at 4 different stages: Type sample – This is a sample of a lot that is not yet finished or blended yet. It can give us an indication of what a coffee can be like. And usually it is our Coffee Buyers who are …
Sample roastingDecember 13, 2017
For this blogpost, I wanted us to go through sample roasting. How do we go about doing it? Well, let’s start with the basics. What is a sample roast ? Anything from 50-300 grams of coffee can be roasted on a sample roaster. It usually takes less time than a normal roast, because with such a …
Limited selection of coffees from Java, IndonesiaNovember 29, 2017
For the second year we are doing a small and limited selection of fully washed Indonesian coffees from Java. These coffees are in our opinion pretty unique and different from most other Indonesian coffees. It’s all from Frinsa Estate located in West Java. We were there in September and have done our final selection and approved the PSS samples. These coffees are now ready to ship and should arrive in end December.
Organic Colombian coffee in da houseNovember 6, 2017
This is exciting stuff. We are finally increasing our range of organic coffees, this time from Colombia. We didn’t buy them only for being organic, they taste great too. It’s from a recent buying program we have initiated with an exporter. They also have their own purchasing point (bodega) and agronomists in Planadas in the …
Origin trip report from Brazil, 2017October 24, 2017
On my most recent trip to Brazil I visited the three main partners we are working with in Minas Gerais. Two of the coffees we work with are in Sul de Minas area of Minas Gerais, Jaguara and Diquinho. We also work with Augusto, in Mantiqueira. He is a 5th generation coffee farmer following in …
New services: Payment terms and financingOctober 9, 2017
Since we started Nordic Approach, we’ve tried to bring roasters along with us into the confusing and complicated world of sourcing green coffee. One of the most important but least-talked-about subjects is: $$$$$$$$$, in this case meaning financing. We have coffees landed in our warehouses available for purchase by any roaster, as little as 1 …
Tanzania update 2017September 14, 2017
Tanzania has been the most exciting country for me this year, largely ignored and marginalized for never quite having good enough coffee, well I am happy to completely disagree! While there is no doubt there are some areas of concern one should pay serious attention to, and a certain effort in finding great coffees and making sure they arrive in your warehouse tasting as great, what would the point be in only looking in places where good coffees came easily.
Whooopty duh, but what does it all mean Basil?!August 24, 2017
Measuring moisture and water activity in green coffee samples Coffee, the liquid deliciousness that binds us all together. Whether it is from Africa, South America or Brazil – we all love our cup of joe, especially when it’s fresh! A fresh brew, fresh roast, or even better fresh harvest. But what makes a coffee fresh? …
Burundi update 2017August 14, 2017
Burundi is a tiny country with a history of conflict and struggle, known for its close relation to its neighbour in the north. Yet whenever I have crossed from Rwanda into Burundi I have felt a stark contrast between the two countries. Of course, I see the rolling hills unfold as you travel through Kayanza, …
My First Origin Trip to ColombiaAugust 2, 2017
Neiva, Colombia – I was practically stumbling out of the plane. It was only a 40-minute long plane ride but I swear (and I don’t believe I am exaggerating when I say) it was one of the biggest teases of my life. You see, that previous night I got into Bogotá around 1:00 a.m. (thanks …
Rwanda update 2017July 19, 2017
I have just returned from a trip to Rwanda where we visited our partners and cupped through a wide range of coffees coming out of this season’s harvest. We are excited about the coffees we will have in this year!
We love Rwandan coffee and have been working with many of the same suppliers for the last 5 to 6 years. They have consistently been working on their production, and we have seen the coffees being produced have great consistency in cup quality.
Get to Know Our Fresh Crop Costa Ricans with MarianelaMay 30, 2017
Our fresh crop Costa Ricans have landed in our warehouse in New Jersey. 🙌 Whether you are looking for honeys that pop or a Geisha that stuns, we got you covered. We all know there’s a lot to love about Costa Rica. Whether it’s the lush mountains from a picture or the promise of adventure in a tourism catalog, we already feel close ties to this coffee origin. We may even have been fortunate enough to experience these things first hand.
First shipment of current crop Ethiopia has arrived!April 12, 2017
we have an established office and lab space that has been fully operational throughout this season, this has given us an ability to function on a much broader scale in our efforts to find coffees that are cupping great and show a good range of what can be produced in Ethiopia. It has also facilitated building relationships with new suppliers and stronger relationships with our existing partners.
Kenya 2017 PreviewApril 3, 2017
Kenyan coffees are important to us, and we love both the big classic fruit profiles as well as the subtle, herbal-like Kenyans. It has taken a little more cupping work this year to find the kind of coffees we love Kenya for and we realise they are expensive, we have been extra careful to only buy coffees that at the time we cupped them for purchase were tasting outstanding!
El Salvador update 2017March 21, 2017
The first El Salvadors from Las Cruces are shipped and on the way. Los Pirineos just ended the harvest and we are currently making our selection. Quality this year looks great. Compared to last year’s cupping, at this stage the coffees seems to be more intense and fruit driven, with a lot of structure and body to it. We spent days in different periods both in the fields and at the cupping table and we have high hopes for both quality and new interesting profiles.
La Angostura; A Glimpse of the Future Generations of Coffee ProducersMarch 9, 2017
The two daughters, Maria and Arlene, who assist their father in running their farm, are a glimpse of the future generation of coffee producers.
We love the java jive – our new origin: IndonesiaMarch 6, 2017
We just started selling coffee from Indonesia, and wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about the project. This story has everything, an underdog entrepreneur trying to win over the villagers, fighting climate change, building communities, and of course, delicious coffee for you.
SamplesFebruary 7, 2017
I wanted to write this blog post just to give you all an insight into how we in work with samples. Samples are a big part of the daily routine here in the Lab and our main way of selling coffee to our customers. In average, we roast 3 hours daily, to prepare for cupping or to send out to you guys and gals.
Preview of the 2017 harvest in Costa RicaDecember 29, 2016
Last year was a pretty productive harvest for Costa Rica. In the history of the country there hadn’t been so much volume like the 2015-2016 harvest. Which was good but at the same time tough for farmers to sell their coffees because of the high offer in the market. Despite the harvest was massive for Costa Rica, the good quality was there and I found great coffees among a small group of 6 farmers, with whom we decided to start to work for many years.
Colombia, fall 2016November 28, 2016
2016 has been an unusually tough year for most coffee farmers in most parts of Colombia because of El Niño – a complex weather pattern resulting from variations in ocean temperatures, that can lead to extreme weather conditions. Because of drought this year harvests have either been delayed, very small, or in some cases even non-existing. A severe lack of rain in many coffee growing regions has affected the quality of the coffee in a negative way, and thus there has been an increase in the number of hollow beans, leaf rust, and broca (coffee berry borer).
Rwanda update and incoming coffeeOctober 21, 2016
This year’s production volumes in Rwanda have returned to a more normal level after last year’s huge harvest. As a whole the production volume appears to be average, though some rule changes in how cherries are delivered has caused some regions to drop in volume more than others. Overall we have less coffee available than last year but the quality of the coffees is generally improved.
What’s cooking?October 6, 2016
We are at the time of year when many roasters are thinking: what’s next? We’re talking about fresh greens, of course. We’ll try to give you an overview of our current and upcoming purchasing so you can plan the next 6 months or more. There are lots of fresh crop goodies on the way from Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Colombia and Brazil. And if all goes well we’ll launch a new origin, Indonesia.
Israel Degfa – moving from quantity to quality in EthiopiaSeptember 2, 2016
Israel Degfa is a young business man in Ethiopia with a sure and steady focus. He owns thirteen washing stations and a farm, across the South and South West of Ethiopia. In previous years the production at these washing stations has been focused on volume but over the last two or so years Israel has shifted his focus, and is now working on the quality of processing across his washing stations as priority.
Lalo – an Ethiopian single farm projectAugust 22, 2016
We are introducing a selection of coffees for the first time, through a new project were we are working with a single farm. The farm is able to produce lot separation according to different parts of the farm and by varietal, with complete traceability. This is the first opportunity these coffees are being exposed to the market in this way. We have been working with Mohammed Lalo over the four or so months I travelled to and from, as well as around Ethiopia. The anticipation of the final results from our investment and the investment from our new partner has been mounting.
Our Costa Rica Coffee ProjectJune 22, 2016
The most fascinating thing with costa Rica is the awareness of lot separation and different processing and preparation methods. You’ll find great representative coffees of everything from fully washed, different levels of honeys as well as super clean naturals. Even if the coffees can be expensive due to cost of production we totally find it worth it.
Ethiopia – ECX colour wheelJune 13, 2016
We both want to maintain transparency in what we do and communicate why we chose any one of the coffees we sell over the many others we cup through. So we have looked at the kind of profiles we work with from Ethiopia, we have associated these flavor profiles to colors that make sense to us and we have created a color wheel of Ethiopian coffee profiles.
Ethiopia 2016 – Part 1May 23, 2016
Working in coffee in any producing country is like working in a shifting landscape, and for me no landscape shifts quite so much as Ethiopia. Still a magnificent landscape all the same.This 2015/2016 season has been really exciting for us because of developments in our own business which have lent us far greater scope to explore and uncover the coffees of Ethiopia.
Our Brazilian coffees 2016February 8, 2016
I guess many are thinking of Brazil as an origin with huge mechanized farms selling relatively cheap coffees by the container. But this is really not the case.
Current offer list walk-throughJanuary 7, 2016
2015 was as a great year for us at Nordic thanks to all of you that’s supporting us as producers, exporters and clients. We know that many of you have great sales before Christmas and we would like to give you an update on fresh available and incoming coffees, as well as some good offers. Hopefully this will help you plan the purchase for the next months.
Colombia movieNovember 25, 2015
We have made a new film! This time from Colombia, showing some of the various farms, environments, production facilities, surroundings, and daily life of the farmers we are working with in Colombia.
Colombia update, fall 2015October 1, 2015
We have been focusing a lot on Colombia over the last two years, putting a lot of time and work in developing the projects we have started with Fairfield Trading (our exporter) and Coocentral in Huila, Cafisur in Tolima, and Buesaco in Nariño. The focus for this trip, in July, was on Hulia and Tolima.
Burundi 2015September 8, 2015
It’s no secret that Burundi can be a tricky origin, especially for milling, internal logistics and shipments etc. Even if some of the coffees last year were tasting amazing they came later than expected. I have to admit that we were in doubt this year if we were going to continue because of the logistical issues, but with a great dialogue with the producer Salum we agreed on a different strategy to get it all moved and executed faster.
Planning your next 6-8 months of greensAugust 26, 2015
If you want to have fresh coffees in your inventory all year round, now is a good time to plan your purchases all the way until April 2016.
Through this post I’ll try to give you a heads up on how to plan your purchases, what’s in stock and what’s coming in the next months.
Rwanda 2015August 11, 2015
It’s summertime, and that can only mean one thing – new Rwanda coffees are on their way! Preshipment samples are available now. Here’s an update on the projects we are working on this year.
Ethiopia 2015May 29, 2015
We are proud to again present a great range of Ethiopian coffees. Still, it’s no secret that 2015 was a tough year for Ethiopian coffees in general. Even if we have found great coffees they have been harder to come across than before. There have also been a lot of delays and prices internally have been relatively high across the board. Even so, the coffees that we bought are super juicy and sweet, and can as always out-cup most coffees around.
El Salvador update 2015April 16, 2015
After two tough years for El Salvador’s coffee industry, with leaf rust and record low harvests, this year is looking a bit better. When we visited our producing partners the Salaverrias (Jasal) and Gilberto Baraona (Los Pirineos) in February the farms were looking great, full of cherries in the higher altitudes. Quality is great and while volume isn’t huge, it is up from last year.
Update on incoming coffees from EthiopiaMarch 24, 2015
We are getting in to the peak of the purchasing season for Ethiopia. We have tasted and bought coffees this year that are better than ever. It is still mainly washed coffees we are currently buying, but we have started to see a few interesting naturals coming in from the fields as well. And there will be way more to come the next month or so. There are more great coffees around than what we can currently purchase right now, We are still trying to figure out and plan what you all need, and how much we are going to stock up with for this year.
2014 Wrap up – 2015 PREVIEWFebruary 16, 2015
We would like to take this opportunity to give you all a 2014 wrap up, and an update of what is going on in 2015.
Overall 2014 has been a great year for us at Nordic. Our coffees have tasted great and have been very well received in the market, many baristas have performed well in competitions with our coffees, and most importantly we have had a return of satisfied customers increasing their annual volumes with us.
Ethiopia pricing 2015February 6, 2015
On our most recent visit to Ethiopia, we had the pleasure of cupping some pretty amazing coffees, coffees we cant wait to share with you! There are a couple of things we learnt on this trip that we would like to talk about first. Coffee from Ethiopia stands out both because of the incredible diversity of profiles across the different growing regions in Ethiopia and for its complexity in the cup. It is this complexity that has lead to these coffees being widely under valued.
Burundi – winter arrivalsJanuary 8, 2015
We have just received our last shipments from Burundi in to the UK warehouse. These coffees are from the later pickings of this year’s harvest. We think these coffees definitely have a place in the high-end market and are generally undervalued. They work well both as espresso and filter, and are in our opinion very well priced compared to the quality and flavor attributes.
Rwanda: Motherland Farmers – KamiroNovember 3, 2014
We are now partners and shareholders in Motherland Farmers, a coffee project in Rwanda, and we’re more or less finished with our first season as coffee producers. It’s been a great learning experience, and we are getting more humble than ever before in regards to coffee farming and production of high quality coffee.
Coffee update OctoberOctober 20, 2014
The coming period can be a challenge for many roasters wanting to have fresh crop all year as they often run out of coffees from Centrals and Ethiopia/Kenya, and new arrivals from these regions won’t arrive until spring. This is why we have focused a lot now on other origins with great potential and opposite harvesting periods.
Colombia August 2014
We’re working on 4 main projects in 3 regions in Colombia this year – very exciting and lots to learn. Besides Finca Tamana, where we have been working for some years, we are working on projects with Coocentral in Central Huila, Cafe Sur in Tolima, and Buesaco in Nariño.
Burundi 2014August 28, 2014
Some of the best coffees we have ever tasted in Burundi are already purchased and on the way.
We are now in our 3rd year in Burundi and we clearly see great improvement both from the producers end, and also regarding our ability to get things going on dry milling, internal logistics and shipping. We do now feel we are in control of the whole chain, and this is why we are stepping up and increasing volumes. We have locked in three containers this year mainly from three different producers. Still as everything is separated by area and days of picking we have about 25 lots with a very broad range of flavor profiles and lot sizes.
Costa RicaJune 19, 2014
June 19 2014 — The first container of Costa Rican coffees has arrived in Oslo, and another is on its way to London — here’s a trip report from our visit earlier this year.
2014 preview: KenyaMarch 31, 2014
We have bought a bunch of great Kenyans, and some are already on the way to Eniti in the UK. They will arrive around the 25th of April. We do have some limited amounts of pre-ship samples available.
2014 preview: Ethiopia
Here’s an overview of what we have coming in from Ethiopia this year, from Yirgacheffe, Sidamo, and Agaro.
2014 preview: Central America
El Salvador has been hit hard by leaf rust in addition to the low harvest cycle. Still, we have a selection of coffees from Jasal this year as always. We are increasing our range of Costa Rica this year compared to the past. We have spent some time there to find new producers and have selected a really good range from different micro mills in Terrazu.
We want to let everybody know about some warehousing changes we’ve started for the 2014 harvest. As you can see on our new offer list, we are landing an increasing amount of coffee in the UK at Eniti, a specialty coffee and tea warehouse that is already quite well known in the industry.
There are several reasons for this, and all are related to giving more flexibility, better service, and a smoother and more economical option for coffee delivery.
El Salvador February 2014February 17, 2014
We just finished up a trip to El Salvador to follow up on this year’s harvest. It is still quite early for the highest altitudes, but there were already a lot of samples to cup, and the quality seems to be great. It’s apparently the lowest crop in 50 years, and a huge shortage of coffee, but fortunately we have locked in a lot prior to harvest. In general we are working out contracts for two–three years at a time, mainly for our special preparations.
Fazenda Ambiental FortalezaJanuary 31, 2014
We recently received a range of coffees from the Fazenda Ambiental Fortaleza (FAF). This is a good mix of coffees from small to medium sized separated lots of different varietals and from different local municipalities. This is based on a concept where FAF is growing and processing their own coffee, while also running a coffee initiative to develop a great range of products from the neighboring farms. We think this is a unique concept for Brazil and the flavor profiles are really complex and interesting compared to many other Brazilians we have tasted.
A letter from Solange Pereira Dos Santos
After buying the coffee from Bela Vista the producer wrote us a letter for us to be able to better understand their philosophy and products. It’s translated from Portuguese to English by Felipe Groce, and posted as it is, including the pics, without any editing from our end.
Ethiopia January 2014January 24, 2014
I recently spent a week in Addis to gather samples and to cup and take position in coffees. At this point it’s mainly Yirgacheffe and Sidamo coffees from private wet millers and producers in Kochere, Wote (Konga), Chelelektu, Aricha, Guji, Dumerso. The quality of what we found so far is outstanding!
Kenya, January 2014January 15, 2014
As some of you might have noticed there is a local political challenge in regards to the coffee supply from the Cooperative Societies in Nyeri at the moment. Se PDF at the bottom of the post for a statement sent out recently from our exporting partner in Kenya.
Las Cruces coffees recovery from leaf rustOctober 12, 2013
As many of you know Central and South America is suffering from heavy leaf rust attacks. This is a small presentation from our producers in El Salvador, Salaverrias, on how they work to recover. Even if they were far better of than many other producers as they have good altitudes and have great farmer practices …
Catching upOctober 8, 2013
It’s been a while since we posted some news here – I think it’s about time to do a wrap up so far this year. It’s been a great year up to now and really busy. We have been doing our very best to keep up with the coffees coming in, sample distribution to all …
Preview: Burundi 2013
First of all I want to announce that we have 9 fantastic micro lots on their way. They are from different micro regions in the Kayanza area, and are all processed at the wet mill Buziraguhindwa, owned by the producer Salum Ramadhan. Most of the coffees are a result of an improved preparation the producer …
Preview: Rwanda 2013
We currently have 4 lots of Mahembe coming in soon and one lot from a CWS (Coffee Washing Station) called Gitesi. Again this year it’s all exceptional coffees according to our standards. The four Mahembe lots are all slightly differentiated in flavor, but they all have that mature and warming dark fruit notes. I have …
Preview: Ethiopia 2013/2014
It’s really been working well this year for us with Ethiopia. Most of the coffees were sold out even before they entered port here in Europe, but we have been holding back a little to still have Ethiopian coffees to offer for the next few months. There are a couple of great Yirgas left, as …
Preview: Kenya 2013/2014
Kenya was kind of challenging this year as well. Not because what we got wasn’t good enough, but basically we couldn’t get enough AA’s with the profile we were looking for. But fortunately some of the AB’s were killer coffees as well! As for Ethiopia most of them got sold prior to arrival, at least the …
El Salvador purchase 2013June 14, 2013
All our El Salvadors for 2013 is now in stock. As many of you know El Salvador, as the other Central American countries had a tough year because of the leaf rust that reduced the crop and quality significantly. Still, our partners and producers performed great, as expected, as they are systematic in their agricultural …
Ethiopian arrivalsJune 12, 2013
To be honest I was a little concerned regarding the quality VS the expectations we had on Ethiopian coffees this year. But apparently I shouldn’t have been at all, as they are damn good when landed, even better than last year! When I was there earlier in the season I felt the flavors where slightly …
El Salvador 2013: Three great producersApril 9, 2013
Even if many producers in Centrals were hit hard by leaf rust and die-back of trees this year, the producers we work with — the Salaverrias at Las Cruces, Roberto Ulloa at La Divina Providencia and Gilberto Baraona at Los Pirineos — are all doing well.They are doing great work in the fields and …
Yirgacheffe single farmer projectApril 2, 2013
This year, we were given the opportunity to support and be a part of a new and unique Ethiopian project: small- to medium-sized farmers, who previously delivered cherries to the Cooperatives in Yirgacheffe, have constructed micro–mills with the support from micro financing organizations, the government and the Yirgacheffe Cooperative Union. They are now able to …
Kenya 2013: One Co-op, different wet mills, and a bunch of different coffeesMarch 25, 2013
2013 Purchase This year we took three trips to Kenya all together to follow up with our partners and select the cream of the crop. We have so far bought a great bunch of AAs and ABs and some are already shipped. The coffees are carefully selected and totally meet our requirements for what stand-out …
“One Farmer, One Roaster”February 1, 2013
(A guest post by Seife Tuuloskorpi of Ethiopian Beans about a project he is working on in Ethiopia. Read more about our partnership here, and please email us if you are interested in buying this coffee!) Tekle Mammo has been working with coffee growers all his life. He has taken the initiative on a project …
Nordic Approach and Ethiopian Beans CooperationNovember 29, 2012
Ethiopian Beans and Nordic Approach will merge and cooperate on all activities in Ethiopia from this harvest and on-wards. Goal: To be able to supply the best Ethiopian Coffees ever!! We, Seife Tuloskorpi from Ethiopian Beans, Morten Wennersgaard and Tim Wendelboe from Nordic Approach have always had a good relationship and shared the values and …
The latestSeptember 3, 2012
View and download September offer list Honduras We have some great new microlots from the Caballeros in Honduras that have just arrived. All of their small farms are separated, all varietals are catalogued, and we were lucky enough to have Marysabel and Moises visit us in Oslo some weeks ago. Read more here: The Caballeros …
Copenhagen cuppings during NBCAugust 3, 2012
Nordic Approach will have open cuppings in Copenhagen before and after Nordic Barista Cup. All roasters are welcome! Time: Wednesday the 8th 12-17 and Sunday 12th from 12-17. Place: Copenhagen Roasters: Gammel Koege Landevej 22 Building V, Copenhagen. We will cup Hondurian coffees together with our producers from the Caballero family, and a broad selection …
Coffees from the Caballeros in HondurasAugust 2, 2012
We are currently getting in a good number of different micro lots from the Caballero family in La Paz, Honduras. They have a bunch of different small farms like El Puente, Campo, Francisca, Arcadio, Matilda, and Pantanal, among others. We bought 14 different lots from 9 of their many farms. All lots are processed slightly differently …
Vienna, here we come!June 10, 2012
We’ve been busy here at Nordic Approach preparing for this week’s event in Vienna. Come say hello to us in The Village, where we’ll be hosting cuppings several times per day all week. The schedule is below: Tuesday: 12.00 Guatemala & Honduras 16.30 Ethiopia Wednesday: 10.30 New Arrivals 13.30 Fresh crop Rwanda/Burundi (straight from the drying tables) …
The Las Cruces project, El SalvadorJune 8, 2012
This is a project we initiated with a producer I have known for years, Jose Antonio Salaverria. His two sons, Andres and Jose Antonio Jr., are also heavily involved. He has three different areas of coffee production around the Santa Ana volcano in El Salvador. The coffees are all processed at a centralized mill, Las Cruces.
Western Ethiopian coffees
Western Ethiopia was mainly known for low quality sundried (natural) coffees, and includes coffee areas (zones) like Limu Kaffa, Djimma, Illubabor, Wellega and others. There was previously some other washed coffees in Limu, where the state owned farm Kossa started with washed coffees about 30 years ago. There are other small farms in the area and private washing stations currently selling their coffees as non traceable through ECX (Ethiopian Coffee Exchange). Those are not very interesting for Nordic Approach!
Nordic Approach goes to ViennaJune 5, 2012
We will attend the SCAE World of Coffee in Vienna sharing a table with Tim Wendelboe an Solberg & Hansen for cupping and presentations in “The Village” area. We have the following preliminary cupping schedule, but changes can occur. Follow us on twitter for updated schedule. Tuesday: 12.00 Guatemala & Honduras 16.30 Ethiopia Wednesday: 10.30 …
Kenya general informationMay 20, 2012
Key info: Production pr year: about 50 thousand metric tons on average. Production is mainly divided in to areas in Central Kenya and Western Kenya Main areas Central Kenya: Kiambu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Muranga and Thika Main areas Western Kenya: Nakuru, Bungoma, Kisii, Kitale Number of Cooperative societies: About 550 Number of washing stations …
Sales, purchasing and shipmentMay 13, 2012
Sales and purchases We are already starting to get orders and pre sell coffees. Thanks to everybody who’s supporting us and believe in what we do! We will start selling volumes down to one bag as soon as we have the webshop in place. As for now we normally do orders at minimum one pallet. …
May 2012 offer list
We are just about to get our first coffees in to Oslo. The fisrt box of El Salvador and Kenya is allready in port and we will do custom clearence and reload the containers this week. Some coffees are pre – sold, but there is still some good amounts of great stuff available. Next coffees …
Rwanda/Burundi 2012May 9, 2012
Just finished of this years “early crop” sourcing trip to Rwanda and Burundi. It’s still a little early to nail all our coffees, but I already found some beautiful batches of smaller quantities and it’s very promising for what’s to come. I had a few coffees on the cupping table the last few days that’s …
Nordic Approach update 2012March 29, 2012
It’s been a while since we have posted on this blog. The reason for that is simply the fact that there has been a lot of traveling as well as a lot of non-coffee related stuff to deal with. As Nordic Approach is a new company there is a lot of strategically and structural things …
Kenya purchaseFebruary 28, 2012
Intense berry flavors and fruit, rich, complex, juicy, floral and elegant, that’s Kenyan coffee at its best! The Kenyan coffee harvest has come to an end. We have some fantastic coffees coming in this spring. First container will arrive early April if everything goes as planned. The prices are slightly down from last year, but you still have to pay up for the good ones. And again it’s totally worth the price!
El Salvador teaserJanuary 18, 2012
Beneficio Las Cruces Even if the harvest started early this year, the higher altitudes are still not picked. We are currently working on a project at Beneficio Las Cruces in the Santa Ana area on farm/block selection, processing and drying. We will this year do trials on about 10 different small farms and blocks. Coffees …
Ethiopia 2012January 10, 2012
General information Ethiopia lies at longitude 30 – 50 degrees and latitudes 3-15 degrees. It covers an area of 1.1 million square kilometers. It’s the second largest populated country in Africa with more than 82 million inhabitants. The two main growing areas is in the west and south as well as there is production in …
Interview with Morten on Ethiopian coffeeDecember 30, 2011
Here is an interview with Morten on Ethiopian coffee, filmed by Tim in Ethiopia after a week long trip in the south of the country in November 2011. We will be expecting a lot of coffees that we will be selling to roasters around the globe, so if you are interested in buying Ethiopian coffees …
Tanzania update 2011October 30, 2011
Compared to the neighboring country Kenya you have to digg deep to find the super complex and intense fruit driven coffees in Tanzania. Still, there is great potential around. Price wice it’s cheaper coffees in general than in Kenya and Ethiopia . If you are looking for heavy bodied and sweet coffees with flavors of dark cherry, cocoa and roasted nuts Tanzania might be something to look in to.
Rwandan expectations 2012September 30, 2011
After recently spending three weeks in Rwanda I am pretty confident that the coffees we will get out of there next year will be amazing. We will aim at early shipments in July targeting coffees from the peak of harvest during April/May.
BurundiSeptember 16, 2011
My trips to Burundi the last two years visiting producers and cupping through loads of their coffees from different washing stations have convinced me. The quality and flavor potential is great! With a pretty diverse range from mature dark fruit flavors to complex citrus, current and stone fruit nuances I am sure we will be …