Product Manager and Founder
Morten’s favourite coffee at the moment is PB Iyela from Tanzania, which he describes as “Great complex and slight funky with florals and stonefruit”.
Morten founded the company in 2011, and has basically managed and been involved in everything from sourcing & strategy, staff/administration and marketing up til 2017. He is now focusing more on product development, strategy and sourcing as well as content marketing related stuff.
Morten has more than a decade of experience sourcing and direct buying from producers in Africa, Central/South America and Asia. Before starting up Nordic Approach in 2011 he worked 9 years as the product manager and buyer at Solberg & Hansen Coffee roasters in Oslo, Norway. He started to cook as a professional chef in 1992 before he took a bachelor in food science in 2000. Thats when the coffee interest started.
Besides managing the company Morten is the main buyer and cupper for Nordic Approach and has a very clear idea of what profiles and quality criteria Nordic Approach should stand for. His experience has taught him how process and growing criterias are linked to cup quality. His mantra would be that any coffee Nordic Approach buys would be something he could stand behind as a buyer in a quality roastery himself. He knows that great coffees comes from projects and longer lasting relations where producers are well paid for quality. He’s also involved in product development and are managing quality at our washing station project in Rwanda, Motherland Farmers. He’s good in building strong relations in producing countries, overall management, creativity in starting up projects, like to work his ass off, but might not always be the most organized guy on earth. So don’t worry if he’s not always quick on responding on emails.
Key Accounts and Strategy
Alec’s favourite coffee right now is Mokanesa Bulga (US), which he describes is “Heavy fruit and spices. Great acidity and balance. Hoppy, roasted pear, lemons and limes”.
Alec has been with us since the beginning and is part of the company’s DNA. Besides doing our main portion of sales he has been operational on every level, from sourcing to developing systems and structure to logistics in and out. He will now focus more on sales and key accounts as well as sales and product strategy for different markets.
Alec started his coffee journey from the other side of the counter, as a regular at Murky Coffee and then Peregrine Espresso in his home town of Washington, DC. After moving to Norway, he had a life-altering experience at Tim Wendelboe with a cup of coffee from Hunkute in Sidamo, Ethiopia. Coffee obsession soon followed.
He has a background working with start-up companies in politics, technology, and climate change, plus a highly enriching (and highly unsuccessful) stint as a musician. He joined up with Nordic Approach when it was in its infancy in 2011, and has since been trying to respond to emails slightly faster than Morten. After managing all the operations during the early years, Alec is now managing our sales, focusing on helping new and existing customers manage their growth through planning, cupping, and consultation.
Head of Sourcing & Procurement
Joined the company in January 2015 and are managing all operations related to procurement and incoming coffee. Specialized on sourcing in Africa but is generally deeply involved in all origins we buy from.
Although her love for coffee began long before, Joanne formerly entered the coffee industry as a barista at one of London’s early established, fine coffee serving cafés Dose in 2009. Here she learnt her foundational skills. From there she moved to Origin Coffee Roasting in Cape Town, South Africa where she lead the barista team for the company, trained baristas for their wholesale accounts and was involved in espresso blend development. While at Origin Roasters, she was the Western Cape regional barista winner two years running. Joanne then moved to London where she joined the team at Mercanta and took up the position as the East African green buyer, this is where she has been for the last three years until her recent move to Nordic Approach. Joanne is very relationally driven and enjoys building relationships at both ends of the spectrum of the coffee community.
Lab manager & Quality control
Kaya really adores Colombian coffees. They can taste so similar to an actual coffee cherry, which she really likes. Fruity, sweet and herbal. Plump, juicy and often with peachy and lemon-like attributes. Her favourite coffee at the moment is Negele Gorbitu Magarrisa #14, Negele Gorbitu Yirgachefe coffee has a special place in Kaya’s heart, and it was one of her first favourite Ethiopian coffees. It has a lot of fruit and lime, and unlike most other Ethiopian coffees it is single farm.
Kaya joined the company in 2015. She is managing the lab, meaning all samples in and out, roasting, cupping as well as systems such as cropster lab for samples and product registration.
Kaya began working with coffee in September 2012 as a barista in Solberg & Hansen’s concept store in Oslo. After two years as a barista she started roasting coffee for Solberg & Hansen, before moving to Nordic Approach where she now is managing the lab.
As lab manager Kaya is roasting and developing profiles for incoming coffees, keeping track of all incoming and outgoing samples, assisting with QC and cuppings, and making sure the rest of the team don’t make too much of a mess.
Jenny S. Christensen
Sales & Logistics
Jenny’s favourite coffee is AB Chorongi #098, which she loves due to it’s tea-like character and sweetness.
Jenny moved to Norway in late 2014 after working more than 18 years in FMCG industry in Indonesia. After a year busy studying the Norwegian language, she met Morten and joined us in early 2016.
Having a long experience in operations, analysis and CRM, she plays an important role to streamline our business process by employing faster or simpler working methods.
She is managing sales and logistics as well as developing new emerging markets. Her simple happiness is when our customers are happy and satisfied.
In Nordic Approach, she is learning how a great cup of coffee can be exceptionally enjoyable without milk and sugar. She has a sweet tooth and loves cooking Asian food for the team.
Managing Director & Co-founder
We started doing peaberries from Rwanda three years ago, and they are consistently tasting great, with a few performing outstandingly, like this PB Kageya.
Andreas was instrumental in setting up the company in 2011 and has been involved since then as the Chairman of the board for Nordic Approach. He joined the company full time January 2017, and is trying to manage the business and people.
He grew up in a household with “strong” coffee rituals with regards to storage and manual brewing, but not coffee of high quality (although nobody had high quality coffee at that time).
He has a background in sociology, economics, kindergarden management, social work, and property management. He started Dromedar Kaffebar (DK) in Trondheim in 1997 (how he formally entered the coffee scene).
Andreas has been a general manager of Solberg & Hansen for 16 years (before the job here), and have worked a lot on relationships and purchasing coffee in addition the usual admin. He is a director of Nordic Barista Cup and Nordic Roaster Forum, and has been on the board of Cup of Excellence.
Andreas likes coffee because it is a pleasure product (hobby) and because it combines taste, travel, interpersonal relationships (extended family) in a very good way.
Her favourite coffee at the moment is La Claudina #2 by Juan Saldarriaga. Tastes like a playful natural (despite being fully washed). Tasting notes of guava, tropical juice, strawberry and caramel fudge. Funky, chunky fruit, winey and bright.
Linda joined Nordic Approach in January 2017 to do marketing, social media, the website etc. She’s also the voice of the newsletter ☕📰 which you should totally sign up for if you haven’t already. She moved to Oslo from London after 12.5 years in the UK (thanks Brexit!).
Growing up Linda hated coffee, but at the age of 18 she accidentally had to drink coffee at a South American ambassador’s house. Being too polite to refuse the coffee, she had to drink it (no milk, no sugar) and it was the greatest thing she had ever experienced.
She now enjoys traveling the world and sampling coffee and food, as well as growing plants (mostly edible) and fermenting things (mostly drinks).
Jamie’s favourite coffee at the moment is Shembati #11
Jamie joined the sales team in February 2017 to be inspired and be baptised in the world of coffee importing and to help new & existing roasters get the best experience of Nordic Approach.
He began his coffee career as a barista in a local coffeebar in Rotterdam, The Netherlands of inspiring coffeechain “CoffeeCompany”.
Soon after he wanted to expand his knowledge in the specialty industry and started working as a freelance barista travelling to festivals throughout the Benelux.
He had learned a lot, had huge amounts of fun.. And a proper amount of beers to accompany him, yes just a proper amount. Really.
But missed the feeling of leading and building up a team from the ground up. This is when he teamed up with a local inspiring entrepreneur to put their mark on the local coffee scene and started roasting coffee because for him “Green coffee for me is like what a piece of raw meat is for a chef. You don’t want that to be delivered to your kitchen pre-cooked & -seasoned. You want to be able to tweak or not tweak every little parameter that accompanies it”.
5 years in, they transformed an old tropical swimming paradise into a bar, restaurant & later on the roastery, which was his main focus the last years moving on to this new adventure just before getting an award in “Best Coffee Concept in the Netherlands”.
At the moment he’s really into Mahembe 84, which is super clean and clear, with tasting notes of florals and apple, and a great malic acidity.
Can has been working in the Lab since January 2017, helping Kaya with roasting and sending out all the samples to you all. He’s relatively new in the coffee business, but says he has learnt a lot from all the clever and humble people at Nordic Approach.
He didn’t start drinking coffee until he was 25, but has always been curious about flavours and love trying what all the roasters are doing.
Mia M. Bruce
Mia joined Nordic Approach in 2017 when she returned back to Norway after spending eight years in the UK. She has a background in marketing and sales and spent several years with big publishing houses in London before she decided to give daily flat whites and overcrowded tubes a rest, in favour of a Norwegian lifestyle and a world of coffee.
She brought her experience from international sales to the team and will be making sure our customers are really well taken care of, while, most likely, exceeding her recommended daily caffeine intake.
Паничева Алена (Alena)
Russia Marketing & Sales
AA Muchagara #064 is her favourite coffee, “it’s so floral and bright, it really stands out on the cupping table”.
Before starting her barista career (2013) in a small coffeeshop not far from the University Alena’s coffee experiments were more like the process of creating potions. But luckily, as time went on her curiosity smoothly transferred into great interest about the coffee world. Inspired by outstanding specialty projects she launched a start up in collaboration with the local enthusiasts. It was a catering coffee shop travelling from festival to festival and introducing new popular RAFs and amazing black coffees. The last event was iVolga 2016 – Youth Forum for young entrepreneurs where Alena also found herself on a position of project manager overseeing dozens of projects from small startups to mature businesses. This is when she convinced herself she’s inspired by the combination of different working types like marketing, sales, international relations and, specialty coffee, undoubtedly. Few months later, she met Morten and came to Nordic Approahc as an intern in early 2017. Becoming a part of the team she still can’t believe this opportunity to share not only the great experience to the Russian coffee market but amazing coffees that is more valuable.
Accounts & Logistics
Rwanda, Nyamagabe district, fully washed, is in Simen’s very unbiased opinion the best coffee in the world. Like Kitantu Remera for instance.
Joined in January 2018 to do work with the accounts, logistics and the surrounding systems.
Growing and processing is the first steps to coffee and this is also how Simen got his first steps in the coffee business. Through working 18 months at a coffee washing station and farm in the Nyamagabe district, in the southern province of Rwanda, Simen got to know coffee, and also Nordic Approach. If you bought Rwandan coffee from Nordic Approach a couple of years ago, you might have bought the coffee Simen was a part in producing.
The time between working in coffee production in Rwanda and joining the Nordic team, Simen worked in different industries, but always with a focus on computer systems and numbers.
As a customer you might come in contact with Simen through the email@example.com email answering your requests or sending out statements.
Head of sales and sourcing, North America
Jordan Crosthwaite joined Nordic Approach in February 2018 as head of sales and sourcing for our North American operations. Based mostly in Brooklyn, and sometimes Montreal, Jordan works closely with our buying team to secure coffees destined for the best roasters in the United States and Canada.
In the decade before working with Nordic Approach, Jordan helped start, build and grow roasting and quality-focussed operations for roasters in Montreal and New York. Before Nordic Approach, Jordan served as the Director of Coffee at Parlor Coffee in Brooklyn, further ingraining rigorous quality practices in both the sourcing and roasting coffee.
At Nordic Approach, Jordan works to connect roasters with their supply chain, using education and quality as guiding factors in building lasting relationships between producers, roasters, and their markets.
Kamilla Therese Gjønnes
Sales and logistics
True to her Salvadoran heritage, Kamilla prefers coffees that are sweet, chocolatey and nutty. Currently her favourite is El Recuerdo Lavado #2
Kamilla joined Nordic Approach in April 2018 after working with humanitarian affairs and information management at the UN Palais Des Nations in Geneva. She did her studies at Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Madrid, studying contemporary history and international relations, and focused her IR MSc on digital marketing of specialty coffee and the challenges of producing coffee in El Salvador.
Having lived in El Salvador and being half Salvadoran, she has a soft spot for creamy and nutty coffees that tastes of chocolate. However, after joining NA she has opened up to the broad array of coffee flavours. She loves to travel to new and exciting places and enjoys searching for cafés that serves dreamy espressos together with a relaxing interior style, and an interesting coffee mission & concept.
Being passionate about the importance of good-tasting coffee, transparency of coffee production, and quality, as well as her ability to see the needs of coffee-consumers brought her to work for Nordic Approach where she takes great pleasure in making an impact in the specialty coffee world.
Tim’s career in coffee began in 1998 at age 19 when he started working as a barista for Stockfleth’s, a small chain with 3 stores in Oslo at that time. He teamed up together with his friends and colleagues Alexander Jensen and Andreas Hertzberg to change all the Stockfleth’s stores and open new branches.
After winning the World Barista Championships in 2004 and World Cup Tasting Championships in 2005 Tim left Stockfleth’s in early 2006 to work as a freelance coffee consultant and barista trainer. In July 2007, he started his own espresso bar, training centre, and micro roastery at Grünerløkka, in Oslo, called Tim Wendelboe, where he imports, roasts and sells high quality coffee. Tim Wendelboe won the Nordic roaster competition in 2008, 2009 and in 2010 and was awarded the Allegra European Coffee Shop Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to the European Coffee Industry’ in 2011 and the Allegra European Coffee Shop Award for “Best Coffee Roaster – Europe 2013” Tim has also written and published the book «Coffee with Tim Wendelboe» which is translated in to 5 languages.
Tim has very close relations with all the coffee producers he buys coffee from. He spends a lot of time working hands on in origin in order to help the coffee producers develop their coffee quality. On his journeys he also helps out with sourcing for Nordic Approach and he assists with cuppings and selecting coffees together with Morten from Colombia, Brazil, El Salvador, Kenya and Honduras.