Archive for April, 2011


Just a few months into this quest and I’d say things are actually progressing at a pretty impressive clip. While I may be no closer to owning my own coffee shop than I was in January what I have been able to do is make connections. If there’s one thing I’ve taken with me from DC to Sweden is this, it’s all about who you know. Social capital doesn’t necessarily translate into actual capital but it does have quite a bit of value.

Here’s a perfect example. I went to a shop here in GBG called Kaffemaskinen. It was there that I met two wonderful fellow professional coffee enthusiasts named Jesper Tullback and Sofia Strömberg. In the past few months I’ve had a number of very helpful and enlightening conversations with them about coffee and what’s good and bad within the coffee culture here. Anyway, when Jesper went to Stockholm several weeks back for the Swedish Barista Championship (he competed in the Brewers Cup!) he gave my card to Per Nordell of Åre Kafferosteri. Not long after that, I was sitting in the middle of Castellet when I got a call from Per himself. We chatted briefly but just long enough to come to the understanding that we had very similar ideas about the business, about the way coffee is consumed and the room for growth that exists in Sweden’s café market. Additionally, I had purchased a bag of their Yirgacheffe and I am not just being hyperbolic when I say it absolutely floored me. They absolutely NAILED it. The last time I’d had a coffee with that much personality in one cup it was when I was at DaMatteo and we had a Geisha.

Nevertheless, the conversation was a very thrilling moment and I decided that whatever future exists for First Degree Coffee it would be helped a great deal if partnered up with Åre Kafferosteri. Now, nothing is set in stone but I feel very comfortable in at least hoping that I’ve got the wonderful coffee roasted by the dynamic husband and wife duo of Per Nordell and Eva Gefvert Nordell backing me up in any future endeavors.

Here’s to the future.

*The day before I hop on a plane to visit my family in the States a package arrived via DHL from Åre. The package contained their newly roasted Cup of Excellence Rwandan as well as their Espresso blend “Pop” (which is comprised of beans from El Salvador, Brazil and Ethiopia.) While I’m going there with the number one goal of helping my family pay tribute to my father, I am also planning on spending some time at Filter Coffeehouse to get some hands on experience in exactly the type of shop I’d like to see more of in Göteborg.


Look! It’s a Survey!

So, I’m testing out the survey/poll feature here on my blog. This isn’t just a test, though, I actually want to know what people think so please answer and for goodness’ sake SHARE! Post this on your own wall or Tweet it or whatever. The more the merrier!

What is the most important thing to you about a coffee shop?