Coffee Guru - A Cup of Coffee with Anne Lunell
Anne Lunell is one of the few women who have succeeded in the Swedish coffee championships. Since 2007, she has been running her Koppi roastery with her fiancée Charles Nystrand.
Anne Lunell and Charles Nystrand, both known from Koppi Coffee Bar and Koppi Roasters, decided to close down their café last year to concentrate fully on roasting. They now want to grow the company in order to have a healthy, sustainable business also in the future. About 90 % of Koppi’s coffee is exported. Their coffee style is light, sweet and fruity.
“Our ambition when roasting is to maximize the sweetness and acidity of the coffee, but minimize the bitterness. The name Koppi comes from the Indonesian word for coffee, Kopi. We added a “p” since we liked it better visually,” Lunell says.
She gets inspired every day by her team and customers, but most of all by the people that produce their coffees.
“It’s their hard work and constant drive to become better that is my biggest inspiration. They make me want to learn more, push harder. I spend four to five weeks every year at the different origins, and I do believe we must pay more for our coffee if we want to drink it in future.”
Anne Lunell encourages baristas to get out of their comfort zones
Lunell’s training for barista competitions started when she closely followed how Nystrand prepared himself for the Swedish Barista Championships in 2004 and 2005. In his second year, he won the competition.
“I worked in the same coffee shop as Charles. I also decided to participate in the Swedish Barista Championships in 2006 and won it. It’s quite rare to win in your first year,” Anne Lunell says.
Lunell represented Sweden at the World Barista Championship.
“Twelve years ago, there weren’t many people involved in the specialty coffee segment. That’s why we quickly became friends with the other competitors from around the world. Many of them are still very active and influential on the specialty coffee scene,” Lunell says.
Most importantly, Lunell and Nystrand got to know the founder of the Norwegian coffee roastery and coffee shop Kaffa, Robert W. Thoresen, who was also the winner of the World Barista Championships in 2000. Soon after meeting Thoresen, Nystrand and Lunell started working at Java in Oslo and learned enough about coffee to start their own business a year later.
After her strong start, Lunell did not compete in coffee competitions for 10 years. In 2016, she returned with a win at the Brewers Cup in Sweden.
“I don’t really like competing, but it forces you to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself,” Lunell says.
A little help and a lot of practice makes a Barista Champion
In June 2018, Agnieszka Rojewska from Poland became the first woman to win the World Barista Championship. Why did it only happen now?
“There are more men than women competing in coffee competitions. Perhaps men are more competitive than women by nature, or perhaps some boys are brought up to be more competitive. I’ve noticed that men are often better at asking for help from other people when they need it,” Lunell says.
Lunell herself asked for help from many friends in the industry when she was preparing to compete in the Brewers cup in 2016.
“Everyone offered to share their time and knowledge with me without hesitation, for which I’m eternally grateful. But, at the end of the day, it all comes down to practicing on your own. It is you as a competitor that has to put in the hours, the effort and energy it takes to become better. No one else can do it for you,” Lunell says.
• Place of birth: Lund, Sweden
• Town where you live: a small fishing village called Skäret, near Helsingborg
• Favourite coffee off-duty: I enjoy what’s in season. I do have a weak spot for Ethiopian and Colombian coffees though. I prefer having my coffee black, usually made with a V60 dripper.