Helsinki Coffee Festival
Helsinki Coffee Festival
The largest coffee festival in the nordics for lovers of coffee
After a couple of years hiatus the Helsinki Coffee festival returned bigger and better than ever. Roasteries small and large from all over Finland and abroad, came together for the one weekend at the Cable Factory to create one of the largest collective pop up cafes in the north. This year Mare Terra Coffee made the trip up north to get in on the action and we were blown away by not only the amazing coffees on show, but the support the industry has from their public. Consuming per capita more coffee than any other, the Finns came out in full force to immerse themselves in all things specialty coffee.
While most exhibitors were there to showcase their work and their coffees, there were a number of workshops, panels of experts discussing topics local and global, as well as competitions recognising the work of all those who make up the Finnish Specialty Coffee scene. Colombia, Peru and Mexico had representation from origin for the panel discussions tackling many of the issues the industry faces as well as their course of actions to navigate through them. A special guest we had the pleasure of getting to know was the reigning WBC Diego Campos. The roastery of the year and espresso of the year went to the well deserved @makea.coffee whose work towards carbon neutrality and transparency along the supply chain play an integral role in how they roast. For the second time one of our own coffees, the Tempestris from Ethiopia was entered for filter of the year by @pirkanmaanpaahtimo, the reigning champion with our Kenyan Fram AB. However this time the honor went to our friends at @cafe_solo_porin_paahtimo who took home the prize with a natural Pink Bourbon from Colombia.
I managed to try many of the competition coffees from the roasters participating and for me they were all winners in their own right. So glad that it wasn’t me who had to choose, but i think those who did made the right choices.
They weren’t the only competitions featured at the Helsinki Coffee Festival, we too conducted our own. For our competition we focused on skill sets and on one’s ability to match a coffee with its origin. Sounds simple enough.. I am sure, but as word got out about how tricky it actually was to match two coffees out of six possible choices, coffee enthusiasts and professionals alike were queing up to have a go at how well their abilities worked with the limited information available. Using visual aids to display selected information about the profiles of six origins (We at Mare Terra Coffee offer), participants were given two moccamaster brewed coffees and basically using their sensory skills and powers of deduction were tasked to work out which two origins they were drinking. The six coffees featured throughout the festival were our Coffcak from Indonesia, Panche Siquila from Colombia, Ika – Hau from Honduras, Añas Blues from Peru, Furla from Ethiopia, and the Eira Rua from Brazil.
Every session we switched out the two coffees for another two, so those coming back to have another go were met with new profiles and new key descriptors to decipher. Very interesting to see the different approaches and techniques applied by coffee professionals and coffee enthusiasts. Both groups produced correct guessers, who then went into the draw for the prize of two of our top Kenyan lots. Taking home the prize with his on point guessing was Mike from Kaffa Roastery Helsinki, however we had so many entrants we felt it necessary to expand the competition a little more and award a runners up prize which went to Fynn from Main Lane Coffee Roasters in Berlin. May they roast and drink their Kenyans in good health and happiness 🙂
After three full days of cuppings, competitions, chats, catch ups and new introductions, what was the take away from our visit up north to Helsinki? First off, the team at the Helsinki Coffee festival really knows how to organize an event and put on a show. It was nothing but good vibes and good coffee for all of us. Secondly the enthusiasm from the public and their thirst for great coffee with meaning, can match any of those more well known and famous cities of specialty coffee around the world. And thirdly the community the roasters and coffee shops have built together, is one of inclusion and collaboration that is striving to support those at origin and each other, elevating the standards for the specialty coffee community. Can not wait to return in 2023!
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