Market Reports

Nordic exposure: World of Coffee goes to Gothenburg

When it comes to levels of coffee consumption, few regions in the world can weigh up against the volumes sipped by the coffee lovers of the Nordic region. Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden take up four of the top six spots globally in the list of top coffee drinkers, when looking at kilograms consumed per capita. This love of coffee extends from beyond simple volumes, to an appreciation for speciality as well, according to Pernilla Olow-Gard. She is the Local Project Manager for the Nordic World of Coffee event that is set to take place in Gothenberg, Sweden from 15-16 June this year, when the European industry will descend upon this coffee loving city to see just how richly this local coffee scene has developed. “Gothenburg is a vibrant city full of creativity. It’s small enough for visitors to really get to know the city, but big enough to offer diversity,” she says. With Gothenburg sitting at a convenient three hours travel from neighbouring Nordic metropolises of Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, this year’s event can be seen as a homecoming to where the speciality coffee movement in Europe began, according to David Veal, the Executive Director of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE). “Coffee lovers in the Nordic region are the world’s most prolific coffee drinkers,” says David. “With such a passion for coffee, it is little wonder that the speciality coffee sectors in Nordic countries are among the most exciting in the world, setting trends and leading innovation in our industry.” One example of the innovative talent in the Gothenberg coffee scene is Matts Johansson, Owner of da Matteo Coffee Company. Johansson’s speciality coffee roastery, bakery, and bread shop has four cafés in Gothenberg. He says that the city’s coffee scene is largely fuelled by tradition, with the “fika” – a morning coffee break of coffee and tea – a regular activity for most Swedish citizens. With many of these patrons becoming more discerning in their coffee selections, it’s left plenty of room for the speciality coffee scene to thrive. “The Gothenberg café scene is considered, by the Gothenburgers and Swedes, as a lively one,” says Johansson. “There are many cafés [in the city] and it has grown considerably in the past 10 years. The kind of cafés that have grown are the traditional cafés, but in the past couple of years we have also seen more speciality coffee shops open. Consumers are opening up to trying new ways of drinking coffee.” SCAE’s Veal says that any decision on where to host a World of Coffee event takes into account the association’s vision to pay tribute to a local coffee scene and culture, while also trying to boost the efforts of local association chapters. The past few years have seen the show tour countries including Italy (2014), France (2013) and Austria (2012) where in each stint they’ve been able to inject new enthusiasm about coffee competitions, and the speciality scene in general. “One of the major objectives of World of Coffee is to leave a lasting coffee legacy in the host city and region, and we are really confident that this will happen this year in Gothenburg,” says Veal. In addition to bringing Nordic World of Coffee to Sweden, SCAE is also hosting an impressive line-up of global competitions. The event will host the most talented baristas, brewers, roasters and mixologists from across the globe as they compete in the World Cup Tasters Championship, World Coffee Roasting Championship, World Latte Art Championship, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship and World Brewers Cup. Veal explains that these competitions are all about showcasing the elite coffee talent in each field. Since their launch, he has witnessed how trends seen in these competitions make their way into the industry, increasing standards for coffee across the globe. From a local perspective, hosting the competitions can help attract new talent in this space. Elin Conradsson, of Kale’i Kaffebar in Gothenberg, is hoping this year’s Nordic World of Coffee event will do just that. Conradsson opened the Kale’i in 2013, after coming into contact with the first ever winner of the World Barista Championships (WBC) Robert W. Thoresen. Conradsson is hoping other locals will take inspiration from the coffee competitions taking place at World of Coffee. “I hope that hosting the competitions will make it appealing for more Swedish baristas and roasters to participate in the local championships, resulting in a higher level of whose who make it to the WBC,” she says. “Sweden hasn’t gotten very far in the international competitions yet, but I know many [baristas] who are working hard at getting there and I think they are pretty close.”  Now in its 15th year, the SCAE event is expected to draw more than 5500 visitors to Gothenburg with major exhibitors including Brita, BUNN Corporation, BWT water+more (event sponsors), CMA Astoria, Dalla Corte, Giesen Coffee Roasters, Gruppo Cimbali, Marco Beverage Systems, Nestlé Nespresso, Nuova Simonelli and more. The Indonesian Speciality Coffee-Indonesian Embassy has been appointed Official Coffee Producer Sponsor. Joining Indonesia at the event are ADE Nicaragua, African Fine Coffees Association, Anacafé, Brazil Speciality Coffee Association, Café De Costa Rica, Café Honduras, Cafe de Colombia, CSC (Consejo Salvadoreño Del Café), Guatemala, Kahawa (Fair Trade, Tanzania) and PRONicaragua. “This is the largest number of coffee producing countries to take part in the event and with many more countries set to sign-up in the coming months, we expect The Nordic World of Coffee to be the essential guide to coffee origins in 2015,” says SCAE’s Veal. To learn more about World of Coffee, book tickets and to keep up-to-date with the plans for Gothenburg 2015, please visit GCR

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