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The arrival of our new microlots from Cusco and Puno (Peru)

My name is Gabi Leikute. I’m the most recent person that has joined the team of Cafetoria. I’ve been really passionate about coffee for more than four years now and even though I joined Cafetoria only recently, it has already been full of new experiences. One of the most exciting ones to me so far has definitely been the arrival of our new micro-lots from Peru!
As my passion for coffee grew I’ve been more and more curious about the behind the scenes of the world of coffee that most of us don’t get to experience. The amount of work that goes into producing a simple cappuccino is truly understated and some of us never even think about how deep it truly dives! From the planting of coffee, to the growing, the picking, the processing, packaging, shipping, unloading and roasting, down to the final moments of brewing – the journey of coffee is long and delicate. I have always appreciated the hard and meticulous work that goes into roasting, but after experiencing the amount of work that goes into simply getting the coffee into the roastery, I feel like my mind has been opened even more. This is why I wanted to share my experience with you guys!
When I first heard about the new shipment of coffee arriving a few weeks before the event itself, I instantly volunteered myself to help in this laborious process. I knew I wouldn’t be much help in the process of carrying the sacks, so the job of photographing and journaling the event fell into my lap. I was beyond excited. Just days before the arrival of the coffees, Helsinki got a surprising amount of snow – we knew this would make the work a little more difficult, but none of us lost our excitement, in fact it grew with each day. The Cafetoria roastery was not the first roastery I have ever visited, but there was something so much more magical about seeing a roastery that I work for. I think the best way I can describe this feeling is by comparing it to the feeling of coming home, feeling of belonging.c
Finally, the day of the coffees arrival had come. The container, full of four different micro-lots from Cusco and Puno, was delayed many hours because of weather conditions. While waiting for the container, Levi shared how each Cafetoria member had a role and position that they always took when unloading the coffee. He shared how the seal of the container gets broken and how there’s a ritual-like routine to it. Hearing him share these stories with me made my heart race with excitement!
The breaking of the seal to the container was just as the other team members have described it – ritual-like. As the door of the container swung, the exotic aromas of the jungles and fresh green beans were invading the environment. Yet, although this could have paralysed a normal observer, the members of Cafetoria didn’t act with hesitation and everyone got immediately to work – everyone found their rhythm and place, like gears and cogs in a clock working together. The team became more like a part of a machinery to make this process efficient so that the tens of heavy sacks (69kg each) can be unloaded in the shortest possible time. Even with the cold weather biting at everyone’s fingers – no one stopped even for a moment. With my camera in my hands I felt like a gleeful child, that occasionally got absorbed by the excitement that surrounded me. I often forgot to take pictures as I was in awe with the hard work that was happening in front of me. I took on the challenge to try and help a few times, but we all agreed that I was more helpful behind the lense of a camera. At the end, the Cafetoria family worked so hard and fast that the container got emptied
within an hour! I have never witnessed such strong team work. You could feel the delight, pleasure, pride and appreciation towards each member in the air as the empty container was closed and we waved the driver goodbye. Seeing this beautiful teamwork makes you appreciate and understand the amount of work that goes into coffee at each stage of it’s life.
By Gabi

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Christmas breakfast at our Töölö Café

You are welcome to join our Christmas breakfast and celebrate with your loved ones the most exciting season of the Year! Our Breakfast will be offered during the Saturdays and Sundays of the two last weeks before Christmas (weeks  50&51).
To make the weekends even more special we are offering a tasty Christmas breakfast which incorporate flavours from our multicultural team – Ireland, Peru and Finland!☕️.

CHRISTMAS MENU

• Hand-made granola, topped with chia pudding and our home-made cranberry jam.
• Bosc pears – poached in Glögi de la Casa . Served with oat yogurt.

• Traditional Spanish toasted bread, topped with fresh tomato and ham.
(veggie option available with feta cheese)
• Triple Sandwich – Peruvian avocado, fresh tomatoes and boiled egg.

• Spiced Christmas cake – cranberries, dates and lot of Christmas spices
• Banana Bread, served with an extra flare – cream cheese and maple syrup.

Menu (in Finnish) below.
Price of the Breakfast: 20e
Please be aware that due to social distancing regulations, we will limit the spaces that are available and you may need to wait during peak times. We hope you can be patient. If you want to make a reservation for a group, contact us privately or via email. Slots available will be at 10:30, 12:00 and 13:30.

#töölö #christmasbreakfast #joulu#kahvila #myhelsinki #visitfinland#kahvi #coffeetime #jouluinen

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Welcome to the Latin Party at Otaniemi!

This Tuesday 28.07 come to Otaniemi to enjoy good Latin music, great food, drinks, and artisan coffee and beers. We will be serving popular and authentic dishes from the Peruvian gastronomy such as the world-famous Ceviche, Pisco sour and Chilcanos.  You will find also great coffees from our artisan roastery and artisan beers from our our colleague Coolhead brewery.  Live music from DJ El Pibe and Cumbia band “Una de Gato” will be playing in our big terrace where you can also join and dance!.
Welcome to join this unforgettable day! More information about this event at Facebook.
We start at 16:00 and will not stop till 22:00!

  • Address: Cafetoria Aalto. Otaniementie 14 (few meters from Aalto University metro station)
  • FREE ENTRANCE
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Summer is here and our Summer coffees too!

I am writing this post during a rainy Friday of a Finnish Spring! Anyway, the Sun was shining during early days and that was enough to get inspiration about the content of this post!
When thinking about Summer coffees, here at Cafetoria we think about bright coffees, light roasted, with sweet and vibrating aftertaste and fresh notes of fruits and berries. Thus, drinking a cup of a Summer coffee for us at Cafetoria would be like enjoying a cup of juice!  We know that some coffee drinkers do not like to find “weird flavours” on their cup but a cup of coffee that resembles COFFEE. If you are that type of coffee person, we have some interesting proposals for you at the bottom of this post.
For this Summer 2020 we encourage you to try the following refreshing coffees:

Kenyan coffees, compared to the Peruvian ones, have a more complex aftertaste. This subtle “explosive” aftertaste is what I always look for in the coffees. Kenyan coffees can be, however, a bit too complex for some people who would rather prefer a more approachable and “down-to-earth” coffee. Here is where our Peruvian coffee complements quite well the Kenyan. Both Peruvians cause on the consumer the same effect as a candy does for a child. They enchant the drinker with a more simple but addictive message of sweetness. So if you are looking for a coffee which you can drink several times per day, the Peruvians will do a good job.
Interestingly, the coffees listed above are from recognised coffee farms. Our Kenyan Karimikui AA placed 2nd at the Helsinki Coffee Festival 2017. Peru Perlamayo, from our Compadre Juan Heredia, placed 5th place at the 2019 Cup of Excellence (this coffee is from the same Finca but obviously not from the same lot, as otherwise we will certainly price it much more!) and, finally, Las Cortaderas placed 30th place at the 2018 Cup of Excellence. Unlike Perlamayo, this lot of Las Cortaderas belongs to the same lot used during competition.
Last, but not least, our Summer Wind is another beautiful coffee which we just launched some weeks ago. This blend was created with the idea of offering a fruity coffee yet balanced and with a subtle aftertaste. This nice medium roast coffee will delight you with its subtle flavours of berries, tangarine and milk chocolate. A pleasant summer coffee that will satisfy all demanding coffee drinkers!
And now, for the conservative ones ……
For our conservative coffee drinkers, we can suggest you some coffees with clear notes of chocolate: Gran Palomar light roast, House Blend and Rwanda Mahondo. Specially on the two first coffees, you will find nice notes of chocolate and pleasant sweetness!
Decafs coffees for this Summer? Yes we have!
Our organic decaf coffees, chemical-free, are becoming the favourites of all coffee drinkers who have chosen freedom to drink coffee anytime! We have two beautiful suggestions for Summer. First, our Ethiopia Sidamo will delight you with notes of flowers and cherries and will give you a sensation of drinking a nice cup of tea. If you want something more like coffee, our Decafe will be a nice, easy going coffee with notes of chocolate and a nice carob-like sweetness.
BREWING TIPS

Some light roast coffees out there requires special grinding and preparation settings to get the best result. Our Summer coffees, however, perform very well with any kind of brewing tools. Some standard coffee machines such as MoccaMaster does a good job producing consistently good cups although due to high temperatures used, the fruity notes are not strongly present. And here is where those manual pourover methods can be so satisfying. For getting the vibrant after taste, try brewing it with Hario V60. We use a medium coarse grinding and 18g, 300g of hot water between 90C and 93C. In Aeropress you will also get a nice and smoother profile, though you will miss a bit the vibrant aftertaste.
Have a good Summer!
Juanca Oré / RoastMaster at Cafetoria

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Coffee Influencer of the Year 2020

We are pleased to hear that Mia Nikander and Ivan Ore, founders of Cafetoria, have been nominated for the “Coffee Influencer of the Year 2020”
Ivan has long been active in the Finnish coffee market. After graduating from Aalto University with a Master’s degree in Telecommunications, he worked for Nokia Networks as a research engineer developing 3G/4G mobile phone networks, but, at the same time, enthusiasm for coffee arose and he founded our small coffee roastery in 2002. Very soon our coffee roaster joined SCA and get involved in different coffee trainings around the world, including Switzerland and Belgium, South Korea and Italy.
Ivan is Finland’s first Cup tasting champion (2007), an important feature for a coffee roaster to know how to distinguish flavors and nuances. At the moment, in addition to roasting, Ivan also seems to be one of the few AST coffee trainers in Finland. He is an Authorized SCA Trainer for a few years now.
Mia Nikander has been promoting speciality coffees in Finland since our first batch of coffee arrived in 2003. Since then, she has been tireless promoting organic cultivation and specialty coffees. It is not a secret that, although she enjoys different kinds of coffees, her favourite one is the Peruvian coffee Gran Palomar. It is thanks to her efforts that the Peruvian smallholder farmers have been looking the future with hope and optimism knowing that they can count on the Finnish market.
 
 
 

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Peru 2020: report from our trip

It is a tradition from Mia and me to scape for holidays to Peru, on Christmas eve, just the next day after closing the doors of Cafetoria. This time, however, the trip did not start well: KLM personnel did not allow Mia to get onboard. Her passport was going to expire in less than 6 months which basically means that no inter-oceanic flights are allowed in such conditions. A heavy stone felt on us on that early morning of December 24th. What should we do now? Will we stay in Finland during Christmas? If we beg KLM to let us go, will Peruvian Customs let us in?  Still in shock, and knowing that everything was still uncertain, we decided that I will take the flight to Peru and Mia will stay in Finland hoping that Finnish Police can grant her some kind of temporal permission to travel during those days. Fortunately, Mia got a temporal passport and took the flight to Peru the next day, on 25.12.
I love being in Lima during the Christmas season. It’s shiny and not too hot but more importantly, the traffic! As people are already on holidays it is so easy to move from one place to another and I feel that for those few days only, Lima was like it used to be, accessible by any means.
During those days we moved a lot across the city, especially touring around known and new third wave Cafés which are constantly popping up in the coffee scene of the Capital. Most of these new Cafés flourish in the districts of San Isidro and Miraflores, the most attractive districts of Lima. You could think that drinking a good cup of coffee should be fairly cheap in a city like Lima, being Peru a coffee-producing country. Yet, you will be amazed to hear that in many cases coffee drinks are more expensive than in e.g. Helsinki and for sure much more expensive than in Italy itself. An espresso could cost 1.5e and cappuccino and Latte up to 3e. There are some reasons for such prices. First, the third wave coffees need good coffees that require rewarding the farmers with premium prices. Coffee consumption is not so high in Peru and that also means higher prices on drinks to make business sense. However, I believe that another strong reason for such high prices is the high rent in commercial zones which has skyrocketed in the last 10 years.
On the road to GRAN PALOMAR
On the first days of January, we departed from Lima to the region of El Palomar, to visit our dear friends who produce our best seller Gran Palomar. To reach the village is a must to pass by the cities of Tarma and La Merced. Both cities are just at 2 hours’ distance from each other but they are so different in terms of cuisine, geography, and culture. Tarma is located at 3100 masl and we decided to stay one night there and walk around its traditional streets. Tarma is a milk-producing region and famous also because of its flowers.
The following day we arrive at the village of El Palomar. It does not pass more than a couple of minutes to say hello to people that we know already for quite some time. We then leave our things in the small and only hostel that the town has. “The members of the Cooperative are waiting for you in the processing plant,” says Dante Pallardel, the manager of the Cooperative and an old good friend. He has been carrying the big responsibility of keeping the Cooperative united and motivated until now. A man of few words and good moral values and always concerned about the future of his people. I am not exaggerating by saying that without Dante’s contribution we would not be enjoying such a good coffee in Finland.
We took a truck to the processing plant which is just located a few minutes from the town but, before our arrival, we could hear already voices of children and adults and a voice coming from a speaker trying to orchestrate the event. The producers have been waiting for us for some time and we are ready for the welcome ceremony. This ceremony has not changed much across the years. The cooperative follows very formal protocols where different members of the board are given time for a short speech about internal issues and their Finnish guests. We also thanks to them for a new good year of cooperation. This time we brought to them the good news: thanks to the Lord and their own efforts, our sales of Gran Palomar have increased considerably in the past year, all this despite the hard competition. We did mention to them what many customers have said about Gran Palomar, that has it all because it is organically grown, sustainable and taste just delicious. We finish our meeting with some lottery of food baskets donated by us and also we then spend time talking while drinking a cup of chocolate and panettone, the traditional food during Christmas time.

The Women of Gram Palomar
After the celebrations, Patricia Rodriguez, wife of the President of the Cooperative show us proudly their roasting machine. She is leading the women section of the Cooperative and has tried to find with them alternative commercial activities than growing coffee. We noticed her curiosity and enthusiasm as many years ago when we donated an espresso machine to the Cooperative and she was the first one jumping on the machine and trying to learn how it works. The roasting machine has been used to generate resources for roasting services as many producers also want to sell their own coffee in Lima. Besides this activity, Patricia told us also that they want to grow their own coffee carefully and offer as a special selection.  We were so glad to hear that. We want to be part of this project and we offered them our desire to be the first customer of their coffee providing they succeed in obtaining a good quality product. So, this year, our Gran Palomar women version will arrive in Finland. Epic!
It was so comfortable to spend time with the producers. As a matter of fact, after the house of my parents in Lima, this village is our second place where we spent most of the time in Peru! We left the village with good news for both this year. This year will be the first time that we will order more than a container from them and will also include some micro-lots, from specific producers and of course, the special selections of the Women coffee!
Team Peru is back in Finland now and if all goes well I should be having a short visit to them on July.

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Café Chef/Cook wanted!

Cafetoria roastery is in the hunt for a Head Chef for our new Café. We are looking for an innovative and motivated chef that has a passion for creating dishes and following food trends. Being Cafetoria a Latin-Nordic coffee roastery we want the Head Chef to command our  kitchen together with  our crew will take the culinary concept of Cafetoria to the highest level.
Must have

  • At least 2 years experience
  • Able to work independently and work within a team. Innate leader and responsible
  • Be passionate about food and look to create amazing dishes and eager to incorporate influences of the Spanish and Latin american cuisine.
  • Attention to details and a continuous learning mindset
  • Experience in Cafe food environment
  • Availability on Saturdays (optional)

We’re really looking for someone who is passionate and responsible. Wants to put in and develop and enhance the food. Someone who can align with our vision. We want our food to look amazing and taste better. Cafetoria will provide an excellent and inspiring working environment where the Chef/Cook can develop its creativity, grow as a professional and have enough time to enjoy with family and friends. We  Please email your resume to info@cafetoria.
 

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Deluxe packaging for deluxe coffees!

We just lunched a nice and luxury packaging box for our coffees. The box communicates the spirit of Cafetoria: cheerful, approachable and yet elegant. We designed this box not only for product packaging purpose but also as a way to promote reusability: our customers will find it very appealing to use it also as a coffee storage. Yes, feel free to use it as a replacement of those metallic and plastic coffee storages!
At this moment, the deluxe packaging will be only available in these products:

  • Finca La Flor: Winner of the Cup of Excellence – Peru 2017
  • Finca Perlamayo: 5th place at the Cup of Excellence – Peru 2019
  • Kenya AA Karimikui: “Filter of the Year”, Helsinki Coffee Festival 2017, 2nd place.
  • Finca “Mitad del Corazon”, espresso. A nice Peruvian gem found on the highlands of Peru
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Escaping Finnish Winter… Hola Peru!

Christmas time for Mia and me is about family, hot weather, turkey and panettone! Yes, since many years ago, we are spending the Christmas season in Peru. Unfortunately this time we were forced to postpone our trip till the end of December, arriving to Lima just before New Year’s eve. Our routine during the first days in Peru is nothing pretendious, just enjoying the presence of my parents and other family members, walking on the neighbourhood and appreciating the warm shiny days that have been neglected to us for so many months. This is magic!
On the second week of January we travelled to Cajamarca. This is a region located in the North of Peru which has become the main coffee producing region in Peru. Coffees of Cajamarca are also occupying most of the top places in National competitions, such as the Cup of Excellence. One thing that came to my attention is peculiar similarities between the shape of the Cajamarca region and Finland. Surely this was the preamble of the strong connections between Cajamarca and Finland that we were going to have.
I have been many times in Cajamarca but only on the highlands (Sierra). This time we travelled to Jaen which is located in the jungle side of Cajamarca. I was very impressed about how beautiful and different the jungles here are compared to other jungles such as from Chanchamayo (where our coffee Gran Palomar comes from) or from Amazonas. The jungles in Jaen are not wild, you do not see the typical muddy rivers or the exotic wild plants growing everywhere on the hills, like in other jungles. Rather, the vegetation here looks like carefully spread across the mountains, in a more aesthetic way. With the exception of the hot weather I would consider these scenarios more alike to the Highlands of Peru than rather a typical jungle geography.
We spent the following days visiting some coffee producers and their farms. Reaching them required driving through narrow trails. Javier Saucedo, from San Jose del Alto, was the first producer that we met. We tasted a sample of his organic coffee on December and now we are meeting him in person! He warmly welcome us to his house and showed us the nice arrays of drying tables that he built to dry his coffee.

He is a young father that is open to learn new techniques to improve the quality of his coffee. Building such a drying plant is not something very common between Peruvian producers because, as a small farmer, this requires considerable investment that many producers cannot afford or just do not feel like doing. So I certainly believe Javier Saucedo is a very professional farmer who we will be very proud to work with. His farm is located at 1800 masl and cultivates the caturra variety. His coffee taste amazing with clear notes of caramel and strawberry!

We visited also the Rimachin family in the same area. He cultivates Yellow Caturra and Typica. Her wife and Mia stayed in the house while the rest of us went to inspect the coffee plantations. His son dream to become an Agricultural engineer and with his education he will certainly support the family business.
Back in Jaen, the following morning  we met some producers whose coffee was chosen as one of the winners of the Cup of Excellence in previous years. Although we agreed to meet at a Café nearby the main square, we decided to go to the artisan market and eat some typical street food. As a natural born foodie, I so much enjoy these kind of cozy experiences!

After breakfast Juan managed to convince us to visit his farm located in Huabal and stay the night in his house. We then rented a car and drove up more than 1000 meters, arriving to his town after 2.5 hours.

Juan’s farm is located in a sort of wide “Quebrada” (ravine) with picturesques little towns on the other side of the river. We are at 1800 masl and the weather is quite pleasant. Juan told us that this region is always green during the year and has a sort of hybrid geography between the highlands and the jungles. Here people cultivate coffee but also other vegetables which are atypical from the jungles, like potato, carrot, broad beans, you name it!

It was also clearly seen how passionate Juan is about his cultivars, how enthusiastic he wanted to show us his farm and how proudly shows his beautiful coffee trees.

After spending some good time playing football and talking about life, he proposed us to become the Godparents of his two youngest children. We accepted gladly and, following a traditional from that region, we ended up cutting the hairs of our godsons!

Certainly I would have enjoyed to stay more days with Juan but needed to depart the next day back to Lima, being there with our family and getting ready for our trip back to Finland.
Now that I am writing this blog and thinking about the current coffee crisis that we are experimenting at this moment (coffee prices are currently bordering the 1 dollar per kilo), I am feeling proud to myself and to our company Cafetoria of the fact that we are not taking advantage of this crisis as we are fully commitment to  ethical trade and long term cooperation with small producers. We are going to stay in our commitment to value the cost of their efforts on cultivating high quality coffees. As long as they put effort on cultivating high quality coffees our prices will not go down but rather up. We are valuing their work by paying more than 6 times the current international prices and believing in a quality coffee and a high quality cooperation.
From this great trip to Cajamarca, our experience in Huabal was for us the most exciting one. We did not only agree to buy Juan’s fabulous coffee this year but we also created a strong family relationship with him and his family. Together with the beautiful geography of Huabal, we believe this place will become something very special for us and who knows, we may end up living here for large periods! The Baptism of his children and the party will be on June, so one more reason to come back to Peru this year!

Juanca /
Cafetoria

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We wish you a Merry Christmas! Have a look to our closing time

Since our new internet shop was open in September, we have received orders from USA, Germany, Norway and from Finland of course. So, thank you all Europe for your interest in our products!
We want to thank you for your companion this first months and hope to continue our coffee partnership next year! Be ready for new coffees from Rwanda (natural process), Peru (Cup of Excellence) and other awesome coffees to come.
This year we will donate some percentage of our income to a non-profit marine conservation organization as we are very concern about how sea life is being affected by plastic and other contaminants. There are many organization out there and we still haven’t decided where to donate. If you know some trusty organisations please send us an email!
Closing times

  • Helsinki Café & Shop: We are open as normally till 22.12. Open again on 07.01 !
  • Lohja: Open everyday till 22.12. Our Saturday’s Café is open again on 19.01 (a long break due to Mia & Ivan’s trip to Peruvian jungles!)
  • Internet shop: Our internet shop is never closed! Orders before 22.12 are shipped this week. Orders before 28.12 will be shipped on 28.12. After made on 28.12 or later will be shipped when we are open again, on 07.01

Last discount for Christmas: use coupon code Xmas_2018 till 21.12 and get 10% OFF from our beautiful coffees!