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My 10 year anniversary

On Monday the 1st of September I celebrated 10 years in the coffee industry.

I remember I applied for a job at Stockfleth’s Lille Grensen in late August 1998 and that I had a job interview with Mr. Arvid Skovli 2 days before the 1st of september that same month. Arvid told me that they needed people immediately since they had nobody working full time in the small coffee shop. Since we were only 2 people applying for 2 vacant jobs, we both got the job.

I actually did not drink coffee at that time (I had tried it, but did not like the coffee from the supermarket very much) and I had never heard about coffee shops either. However, I have to say that the coffee I drank at that job interview (a cup of Monsooned Malabar) really tasted delicious compared to what I had tasted before.

I got the job, and after a 3 hour espresso class with Mr. Willy Hansen on september 1st, at Solberg & Hansen, I started working in the coffee shop in Lille Grensen.

One thing lead to another and I soon started managing that store. After a couple of years, I met with Alexander Jensen who started working at Kaffefuglen in Oslo. He learnt some tricks from me and after a year or two, we opened more Stockfleth’s branches together. Managing a lot of stores was not my right element, so I decided in 2005 to quit Stockfleth’s in order to follow my own dream…

In the meantime I had already competed in some barista competitions with quite good results. And I have to say that these competitions have been some of the biggest influences in what I have learnt and how I approach coffee today.

Looking back, there are several things that have changed. Here are 4 of the most amusing:
1. I don’t drink double mocha with hazelnut syrup anymore.
2. The espresso I serve is not 60 ml anymore, but less than 30ml. (maybe it will be
0ml in 10 years??) But it still costs 20 kr.
3. We don’t sell coffee called Colombia anymore, but coffees from specific farms from Colombia.
4. I don’t work for a boss anymore!

There are also a couple of things that never change:
1. Coffee is more fragile than ever, and the shelf life for roasted and green coffee is not very long.
2. Most people still need to buy a grinder.
3. Running a coffee shop is still hard work and features endless days and long hours behind the bar and computer.
4. Taste is what matters!

While sitting and eating a delicious cake (shaped like a coffee bean) that my wonderful girlfriend sent me, I can’t help to think that everything I have accomplished is because I have had a great team of people around me during the last 10 years. (Including when I was freelance for 2 years)

There are numerous people that I would like to thank and that have influenced me in positive ways during the past 10 years in the coffee industry. I am not going to list them all here, because I think they probably know who I am talking about.

Last but not least, I would like to thank the TW crew: Ola, Tim V, Ingrid, Hanne and Chris. Thank you for being so patient and making TW into a wonderful playground for coffee.

I really hope to have fun in the coffee business for at least another 10 years.

Tim W

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