Oslo’s latest coffee shop makes me really happy! Erlik Kaffe (= Kaffe) is a newly opened café in Akersgata 32 by the foundation Erlik Oslo. If you live in Oslo, you know that people from the street, whether they are homeless, struggling with drug addictions or otherwise disadvantaged, can sell a magazine called =Oslo to support themselves. The magazine has been around since 2005 and was inspired by similar magazines abroad like The Big Issue in England. If you ever meet one of their fine salesmen- or women on the street, you can be sure that 50% of the income benefit them directly (and the remaining 50% cover various production costs). In this modern world that we live in, you can even pay with your phone. No need for cash, so no excuses! The foundation’s new project is a whole new level of awesomeness, though. = Kaffe employs only people from the street as baristas, in an effort to get them back to a regular job and a normal life.
Opened June 28th 2017
A New Start & Damn Good Coffee
The goal with the = Kaffe project is to give people a new start, with daily routines and a chance to succeed in the work life (which some of them have never attended), but also to make damn good coffee! In cooperation with Solberg & Hansen, the coffee shop has been able to train the staff sufficiently to make filter coffee and any type of espresso-based coffee like americano, macchiato, and latte. They even sell their own selection of roasted coffee beans. Another coffee shop chain, Norð, supply the baked goods. I entered the = Kaffe store and ordered a macchiato and a chocolate cookie. It was an early morning, and only the assistant store manager, Elisa Iro, was at work – a professional barista from Peloton in Oslo. Shortly after, Gro Anita Sakstad entered. She’s an employee at = Kaffe and seemed wonderfully pleased with her new job. The story she told me next amazed me.
“We went to Africa to meet the coffee farmers and to see how they make coffee beans.” – Gro Anita Sakstad
Gro Anita’s Story
I had finished my cup and wanted to buy some coffee beans to bring home as well. Browsing the selection, I was torn between a South American and an Indian roast. To be honest, I didn’t want either, since I prefer African coffee. Reluctantly, I had decided on the Indian roast, when I suddenly noticed the third option from Rwanda – specifically from Buf Remera. “I have been there!” Gro Anita suddenly exclaimed from behind the counter, “We went to Africa to meet the coffee farmers and to see how they make coffee beans.” I was truly impressed. Visiting a coffee farm is something I have been wanting to do myself, for a long time. “Everything changed about coffee for me after that visit,” Gro Anita continued, “Now I understand the process from start to finish.” I believe her and can only imagine how wonderful it must have been. I have no idea about Gro Anita’s background story, and from whence she came, but I’m so glad about where she’s headed now.
Will you make your next coffee shop visit to = Kaffe? Please leave a comment below and let me know.