Scandinavian coffee and the northern lights

Northern lights

As a speciality coffee lover Scandinavian coffee often crops ups as an enviable part of the industry. This comes as no surprise knowing that Finland, Denmark, Iceland and Norway commonly rank within the top 6 countries as the worlds biggest coffee consumers. They obviously take it seriously and as a result are home to big players in the game like the influential Tim Wendleboe, Nordic Approach, alongside a generally high standard of speciality coffee shops and coffee.

The coffees may involve superior beans that play a large role, but the way in which they’re roasted make them unique in what many deem to be the ‘Scandinavian style’ of coffee. Although it doesn’t apply to all, Scandinavians are known for roasting their beans lighter than most, and it is slowly becoming accepted as having a superior taste in many cases. This could be down to a slightly different palate to other countries but the philosophy behind it runs true, which is why here at Long & Short Roastery we adopt a similar mindset.

Against the traditional norm of dark roasts a lighter roast tends to bring out the origin characteristics of a coffee bean better with brighter and more recognisable tasting notes particularly for fruitier beans that are naturally processed, particularly those that tend to come from Africa.

Not many know this but although Italians are known for bringing the espresso to the known world, part of the reason for adding milk to many espresso based drinks is to relieve the bitter taste associated not just with the espresso flavour but the traditional dark roast. This is one of the reasons, in my opinion, filter coffees commonly taste better with lighter roasts….as they don’t need milk to balance the flavour profile. Even when roasted right there should be no need to add sugar, as the so called sweet spot on a roast should provide enough natural sugary goodness from the beans when they are caramelised.

As consumer habits are changing so too are the days of everyday bold and strong shots of coffee that seemed like the only way coffee could be drunk back in the day. The Scandinavian style is one of roasting innovation that is becoming more widely accepted for a more delicate, lighter and flavoursome coffee that whether we like it or not, can enhance the coffee experience.


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