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Demystifying the coffee supply chain

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Written by algrano
on August 14, 2020

Langøra, a Norwegian roastery and an ambassador of Algrano, is a strong proponent of transparency and quality in coffee. Prior to the TRØNDELAG KAFFEFESTIVAL festival we spoke to Kristian Helgesen, the owner of Langøra, and Allan Botrel, BDR from SanCoffee (a coop from Brazil they’ve built a partnership with via Algrano), about the businesses’ core values and what is the impact of this direct relationship on both sides. 

Kris, why are you into coffee?

Coffee for me - is about people, relationships, and good conversation. ‘Everyone’ likes coffee, or at least has a preference or an opinion about it.  Here in Norway we drink a lot of coffee, but  I wasn’t ‘into' coffee in that sense when we started Langøra in 2015. For me the story about our roastery is a lot about coincidence, and also about wanting a change of location and work. Our path has really been created as we go, and it has been a really great story so far.

 

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I used to work as a photojournalist for Norway’s largest newspaper for seven years when I was based in Oslo. Before that I lived for four years in the UK where I studied Documentary Photography. After years of travelling around the world with a camera and having two kids I returned with the family to my home town of Stjørdal. 

 

Which values are at the core of your business?

At Langøra our main focus is to present a wide range of extraordinary coffees to our customers. We always try to evolve, discovering new things going on in the market, making new connections, trying to keep an eye on what is happening out there.

 

Langøra is playful. Since the beginning we have been working with a talented illustrator, Sam Brewster - who has designed everything from coffee labels, merchandise, to a huge mural on the wall in our roastery. Our visual profile is important. 

 

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Our location has also shaped us. We are based on Hjelseng Farm which has roots back to the 1500s, but is now a dynamic place with a high-end restaurant, a brewery and coffee roastery. 
 
The first two years we were located in a little red ’stabbur’, a traditional tiny storage building. It was charming and we got a lot of attention. But it was very impractical. Cold in the winter and too hot during summer. We didn’t even have running water to make ourselves a cup of coffee in the morning! :-)

 

But 3 years ago our new roastery was built, on the same farm, where we have all facilities to be able to grow into the future. 

 

What is important for you when looking for a grower or any supplier/partner?

When we are looking for new partners, whether it is growers or suppliers - quality, transparency and the story are important factors. The last year and a half we have been purchasing coffees through Algrano, we have discovered some incredible coffees from great growers we definitely want to work with in the future.  Hopefully the world will get back to normal soon, and ease up its travel restrictions so we might be able to visit some of these growers one day.

 

Tell us about SanCoffee. 

We were introduced to SanCoffee by the team at Algrano when we were discussing the latest harvest from Brazil. Algrano put us in touch, and we received some impressive samples before deciding to buy coffee from two producers this last season.

SanCoffee has been really helpful to put us in contact with the growers, providing us with information and photographs we could use when communicating to our customers.

We are planning to do a video call with San Coffee in the near future to discuss the upcoming lots for this season, and we are looking forward to developing the relationship further!

 

Allan, tell us why is the direct relation with Langora important to SanCoffee?

 

To come back home and tell your family ‘Wow! My coffee was sold in Norway. Look!’ is a dream for every grower, especially when the roaster shares all the information about the lot and the people who produced it. We get really proud when our work is valued not only through a good price but through having our name and the name of our farm on a package of roasted coffee.
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When Langøra Coffee Roasters in Stjørdal, Norway, bought coffee from Mônica Borges de Souza, one of the members of SanCoffee, that is how we felt. Kristian was very specific about his choice of coffee and made sure to have all the information that would help add value and give identity to the product. And Mônica is not only a great producer but a very interesting person. She is a psychologist and founder of the ICafe NGO, which seeks to value the cultural heritage of our region.

 

We are grateful for the care and passion Langøra showed towards our coffee and our values as a cooperative, crafting a great roast and presenting it beautifully. We also know that a relationship is something that you build over time and that we have to think ahead. For us, it’s not about the sale but about the relationship. We are happy to cultivate this new partnership with Kristian and hope to have them as part of our big family!



Kris, why is sourcing directly important for you? Why do you source via Algrano?

As a small roastery with a limited travel budget, we are very happy with the business model Algrano offers. It’s an excellent way to connect roasters with growers/producers in a better way. As we grow and evolve, our connections, collaborations and friendships might lead to other things in the future. 

 

 

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Are you interested in trying Brazilian coffees? Discover the coffees from SanCoffee and other producers from Peru on offer now 🔥. 

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Are you a roaster considering buying a coffee directly from a grower? Sign up to Algrano (it's free) and start meeting growers and browsing their amazing coffees

 

 

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