FreeseCoffee Interior pics by Osmo Puuperä
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Helsinki Goes with Coffee

Written by Milla Visuri
A new coffee culture is taking over Helsinki. New coffee shops are opening around the city. It’s not surprising, given the title held by Finns as among the largest coffee drinkers in the world. Finns drink an average of 9.6 kg (dried) of coffee per capita. This is in comparison to the other top five coffee guzzling contenders: Sweden (7.9kg per capita), Norway (7.2kg per capita), Netherlands (6.7 kg per capita) and Slovenia (6.1 kg per capita). If you visit Helsinki, it is not uncommon to notice the sweet smell of coffee wafting into the street air, as beans are roasted from the city’s new crop of micro-roasters.

FreeseCoffee Interior pics by Osmo Puuperä

Not only does the city welcome the increase of coffee roasters, café concepts too, are evolving in number and breadth to include complementary businesses and services such as crafters and designers, flowers, exhibitions or art. Although helsinkians are comfortable with their soy-lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos, the traditional blends and home-brewed, drip coffees are back with a vengeance.

FreeseCoffee Interior pics by Osmo Puuperä

Stockholm, Helsinki’s neighbor, has already embraced the onslaught of micro-roasters and shops {Drop Coffee, Koppi Coffee, Snickarbacken 7, John & Nystrom}. The cafes follow a back to basics mantra where their coffee is slowly dripped to perfection and served at the table so customers can relish the lingering aromas on their taste buds. This slower style of coffee preparation and presentation, which is in sync with the Swedish practice of fika,  evokes childhood memories of Arabia porcelain, shabby Marimekko table linens and a plate full of Grandma’s oatmeal cookies – a setting that could be seen in every 1960s Finnish home; Only this time, the coffee brewing method is referred to as slow coffee or pour-over style.

FreeseCoffee portraits by Tuukka Kosk
In Findland’s increasingly competitive and highly caffeinated landscape, it was inevitable the Finns would win the premium title at the Nordic Barista Cup. In 2013, Kalle Freese, the 22 year old Finnish barista took home the title of Nordic Barista, an accolade to add to his previous 2012 Finnish Barista award. Not long after his new notoriety, he launched Freese Coffee Company in Helsinki’s Töölö district, a creative hub whose locals can be found hunting for the perfect cuppa.

FreeseCoffee Interior pics by Osmo Puuperä
With his new shop, Kalle set out to challenge the notion of what a coffee shop should look like and what the traditional coffee drinking experience is about. Gone are the days of simply ordering an espresso. Now it’s all about specialty roasts from micro-roasters who invite you to smell and taste the nuances presented in the fermented and roasted beans– “Who said there should be a counter in a café? Why shouldn’t a cup of good coffee cost more than four euros?” he questions. In London, friends of Kalle’s recently opened a café in a barber-shop.

Kalle believes this is very much the future – quality coffee can be enjoyed anywhere, and not only in cafés. Driven by a desire to change people’s coffee consumption patterns in favour of drinking fewer cups of higher quality brew, he educates his consumers by hosting coffee tastings during the week and on weekends, the café organizes larger tasting events serving curated high quality coffee from the local as well as international roasters.

FreeseCoffee Interior pics by Osmo Puuperä

Kalle now joins the line of Scandanavian baristas who champion coffee education and roasting quality. One of his idol’s is none other than Norwegian coffee-man Tim Wendelboe – multi-winning barista world champion, who now runs a café and roaster that bears his name in Oslo, Norway. Kalle’s shop is no doubt, a fresh addition to the roster of cafes around the city.

FreeseCoffee Interior pics by Osmo Puuperä
Photo Source: Interior Photos-Osmo Puuperä, Portrait: Tuukka Koski.

Address: Freese Coffee Co. Freesenkatu 5

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