Thor Tested, Odin Approved: Q&A with Oslo Coffee
Everyone has their list of favorite coffees, and Oslo Coffee has made our top five year after year. Oslo has been a part of Provisions since we opened our doors at 753 Fulton St in 2008, with good reason. They’ve been roasting even longer than that, ever since its founders moved to Williamsburg in 2003 to serve the best coffee they could. Oslo’s beans, still roasted in small batches, only come from ecologically and socially sustainable farmers, assuring a living wage for growers. Their house blend, Thor, is as legendary as the deity for which it’s named, and in honor of National Coffee Day, we’ve brought it back as our house drip coffee! We thought now was as good a time as any to ask Oslo just what makes their coffee so irresistible.
What is something you want to let people know about your beans, or about coffee in general, but don't get always get to?
I guess it’s that you can’t roast goodness into bad coffee beans. What you start with is what you end up with. The beans we roast are already exceptional when they’re delivered to us after making a long trek to us from small farms in coffee growing regions all around the world. And that gives us the incentive to deliver a roasted product that reflects all the care and efforts these farmers put in to growing those exceptional beans in the first place. If someone can wrap their heads around that then they're already enjoying their coffee more than a lot of folks. Editor's note: Straight from John Bettencourt, Head Roaster!
What's the best part of being a roaster?
Well, several things. As a roaster, we’re lucky to have a chance to be part of a relationship that starts with knowing the farmer & the farm, and extends all the way down the line through to the end user/ the coffee drinker. This feels special to us because we have the opportunity to see the work that goes into growing coffee, we get to know the people who grow and help produce it, and we also come full circle and know the people who drink the coffee in Brooklyn. So just being part of that chain is exciting and rewarding in many ways. In that process we are lucky to travel to coffee growing regions to meet farmers, visit their farms and beneficios, meet workers, learn the challenges and skill and flexibility needed to grow exceptional coffee on these mostly small family farms.
Another best thing, we’ve had a lot of fun with opportunities to collaborate with other local small-craft folks in the community. For example teaming up to do special projects with Keg and Lantern Brewing, Rockaway Brewing, and Sly Fox to brew beers with coffee. And lastly, it is our aim to roast coffee for other local small businesses, (like Greene Grape!). We do have a great community here and so many great small businesses to work with and source from. Supporting each other is where its at!
What's your favorite way to make and have coffee?
Our most widely used way of brewing coffee at our Roastery is by the Chemex method. why? It produces a very clean cup, and reveals the characteristics of the coffee. We also really love french press- the smell, the texture and body, the simplicity, no masked flavors by any filter.