lacabra

 

To many coffee is still a bitter, burned and brown liquid that gets us going in the morning, and keeps us buzzing throughout the day, when we almost automatically chock yet another cup of joe to make that deadline. We often don’t bother to actually take a minute to form an opinion about the taste of the dark fluid, and in all honesty its really more about effect than the finer details of the pallet of the popular stimulant. At Kaospilot we used to be very guilty of this sin. It was not unusual to see a guy pour half a liter of turbid brew into a flower pot – or whatever other container was at hand – take a mouthful, express utter disgust loudly to any by-passer – and then continue drinking… This daily horror-scenario is luckily all in the past now.

 
Thanks to our partnership with the local coffee-connoisseurs from La Cabra (http://www.lacabra.dk/) we finally got our act together and started showing more respect to everybody’s favorite luxury good. They designed a set-up with a highly specialized coffee-brewer, a grinder and even a precision scale to measure the beans correctly – beans that is sourced directly from the farms, freshly roasted and in season. Our coffee experience was taken to a whole new level. To such an extend that there is now heated arguments going on among the feinschmeckers (and we do have a few in the house) about the correct extraction-time, grinding-specification and water-to-coffee-ratio that all needs to add up to make the perfect cup for the team-members. New times indeed.
But who are these “knights of the tastebuds” that came to our rescue?
 
La Cabra is placed in the middle of one of Aarhus’ more charming streets, Graven.
Once you enter the light and welcoming space you become immediately aware that someone is paying a lot of attention to detail at  this establishment. From the stylish nordic decor – a mix of selected vintage furniture and custom made pieces – to the freshly-baked goods on display, and the leather aprons worn by a staff of young and handsome baristas  nothing feels random or unintended. Even the music streaming out of quality hi-fi speakers is a fine choice of classic tracks played on a record-player that works as a sort of centerpiece in the room. This is clearly a place where the art of coffee-drinking is taken truly serious, and the fuel that drives it is an obvious love for the drink and the craft that goes into making it.
 
Behind the roastery and cafe is Esben Piper and his step-dad, that runs the place together with a group of highly skilled baristas. They share a very distinct philosophy on taste and really want to dig deep into the untapped possibilities of experiencing coffee. Esben explains: “We want to talk about what you taste in the cup, and we really like freshly harvested and freshly brewed coffee. We want to do it in a way that doesn’t hide the completely natural  characteristics that there is in a quality coffee. We achieve that by roasting it very lightly and in that way emphasize the embedded qualities”.
 
There is a movement going on that aims to take this “taken-for-granted” drink out of the shadow and place in the spotlight it deserves: ”Together with some of our colleagues both from Aarhus but also Copenhagen we try to put good quality coffee on the agenda. We try to cultivate the audience, and we want to tell a story that has been told before but not in a truly honest and trustworthy way. There is still a long way to go when it comes to serving quality coffee all over the country in general, but we think its very exciting that so many participate in this movement – at least a good handful – and so much has happened within the last two years. We are in a time now where things move fast and we witness a rapid development in the speciality coffee scene.”

 

It can however sometimes be an uphill battle to change deeply rooted habits and years of taste-preferrences. The style Esben prefers – sometimes referred to as “New Nordic” is a lot fruitier and more acidic that what most people are used to. He is quite aware of this:”Its important to talk about the coffee because its so radically different. We also experienced that at Kaospilot that it wasn’t the preferred style of coffee for everybody, and somebody even got a little confused about what they were tasting. But if you understand the philosophy behind we can have a good conversation about this and that mostly lead to people having a better experience.”

 

Finding a fitting language for taste can prove difficult, but in one area its quite established, Esben summarize: ”Even though its a cliche to compare coffee to wine there is a truth in that comparison, and all the complex variations you can find in the pallet. We also like to talk about terroir, climate and sort when it comes to  coffee. That is still very new in our market, and there is still so many possibilities to learn about and go deeper in to this field.”

 

We at Kaospilot are extremely proud to partner with people with this much heart and dedication. La Cabra is a true labour of love, and it is inspiring to see them grow and develop their elegant business without compromising. Next time you swing by Kaospilot give our hot brew some extra attention, and by all means remember to visit the cafe. But beware: there is a great chance you will never be able to accept burned, run-of-the-mill coffee again…