July 9, 2015

Slurp brings artisan roasteries to Finns’ doorsteps

In Finland people enjoy lightly roasted coffee. According to Slurp’s founders this is worlds apart from Europe’s coffee culture. Pictured (left to right): Rafael and Manuel Linnankoski and Tero Rehula.
In Finland people enjoy lightly roasted coffee. According to Slurp’s founders this is worlds apart from Europe’s coffee culture. Pictured (left to right): Rafael and Manuel Linnankoski and Tero Rehula.
Mirja Vainio

In recent years, many small companies roasting coffee beans with expertise and dedication have popped up in Finland. Local company Slurp wishes to spread the word on these micro-roasteries – also outside Finland’s borders.

“When you first taste the perfectly extracted, freshly roasted coffee from an artisan roastery, you become momentarily confused. Is this really coffee? Then you realise that you’ve been fooled your entire life,” laughs Tero Rehula, one of Slurp’s trio of founders.

The two other founding members of the company, brothers Manuel and Rafael Linnankoski, nod in agreement. Their personal passion for aromatic coffee led the men to establish the company in the summer of 2014. It enables consumers to effortlessly order fresh artisan coffee straight to their doorsteps. Slurp, which has been delivering orders for over four months, has been welcomed with open arms by both customers and roasteries.

On Slurp’s website, customers can select whether they want their coffee as a dark, light or espresso roast. Then the desired amount of coffee arrives in their mailboxes every two weeks. Slurp delivers coffees from twelve different Finnish micro-roasteries, ground according to the customer’s preferences, ranging from beans to filter coffee. Each time something different arrives in the mail and within a year the customer can sample a total of 26 different types of coffee. Slurp’s owners, with their discriminating taste buds, personally select the coffees that they send their customers.

“The green coffee beans arrive from overseas, of course, but the roasteries have a huge impact on the end flavour,” says Manuel. “Coffee hand-roasted in Finland is an interesting product that is a joy to be able to provide. We just received some coffee from Punainen Kirahvi for sampling. The small roastery from Jyväskylä makes the coffee using a roaster that holds around one kilogram.”

Coffee culture in Finland and Europe – worlds apart

They say that Finns always pack three things with them when they head overseas: salty liquorice, rye bread and coffee. Finns’ fascination with coffee seems to be a mystery, even to the Nordic people themselves. Slurp’s Rafael Linnankoski has his own interesting theory on the subject:

The Finnish company Slurp sends its customers coffees from 12 micro-roasteries every two weeks. Its advantage is delivery straight to the customer’s doorstep. A delivery fresh from Turun kahvipaahtimo.

The Finnish company Slurp sends its customers coffees from 12 micro-roasteries every two weeks. Its advantage is delivery straight to the customer’s doorstep. A delivery fresh from Turun kahvipaahtimo.

Mirja Vainio

“Maybe coffee seemed like a luxury product after the war. It has grown to be part of our culture on a conceptual level and is somehow perfect for this climate. It’s dark for most of the year, after all. A cup of coffee in the morning really helps to wake you up when you’re waiting for the sun to rise in four hours’ time!”

The volume of Finnish coffee consumption is also proven by statistics: according to the Finnish Coffee and Roasters Association, 63 million kilograms of raw coffee were delivered to Finland in 2013. According to the International Coffee Organization (ICO), Finns drink 12 kilograms of raw coffee per person each year. This amount is staggering, taking into consideration that Italians, a well-known nation of coffee drinkers, consume only 5.7 kilograms in the same amount of time. Of all the coffee consumed in Finland, lightly roasted coffee makes up around 86 per cent. It has maintained its popularity over the years and Finns prepare it, almost without exception, using a coffeemaker.

Despite being set in their ways, the coffee culture of Finns has been changing for some time now: quality-conscious Finnish consumers are now increasingly looking for aromatic coffee and a darker roast. Specialised coffeemakers have also begun showing up in Finnish homes.

Riding the coffee culture wave

Lightly roasted Finnish coffee brewed in clean water is exotic, and therefore something that Slurp’s owners believe will prove to be a huge hit on global markets.

“Not many, either abroad or even here in Finland, are aware of how many micro-roasteries making high-quality coffee, even by international standards, this country has,” says Manuel. “Micro-roasteries’ coffee is very different from, for example, Italian coffee that is traditionally very darkly roasted. It is roasted to a degree where the coffee’s properties are highlighted as much as possible.”

Slurp is planning to begin deliveries abroad within the space of a few months. They may launch things from Germany as marketing in German is not a problem for the bilingual Linnankoski brothers. The Slurp trio intends to be Finland’s first company supplying micro-roasteries’ coffees on a global level, and taking over Europe is a good place from which to start their global domination. The men feel that they are riding the crest of the new coffee culture wave, which is in the process of finding its bearings.

“Actually, our goal is to surf ahead of the wave,” says Rafael, with a grin. “The wave is what carries us forward.”

Text: Mirja Vainio

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