We were both shocked & proud when we watched Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen's World Brewers Cup presentation on the stage. Not only did he use our scales, but he also utilized our app for the judges to watch his every move. This is bold for a competitor: judges are already watching every move, but having the exact data being documented in front of you leaves no room for error.
Odd-Steiner is a barista and co-owner of Supreme Roastworks in Oslo, Norway. We interviewed him via email to gather his thoughts on his recent win.
The interview has been edited for clarity.
What routines do you have in place to help you be calm before a competition?
I really don’t have any routines just before entering the stage. It all starts months ahead with preparations down to the tiniest detail and rehearsal over and over again. Everything is 100%: choice of coffee, choice of water, roasting, brewing, choice of equipment, my presentation etc. All this makes me feel calm and confident. And I keep this calm with me all the way through competition. So it’s all about preparations!
When everything is in place, it gives me a peace of mind which again makes me feel confident and calm in my presentation.
Which elements of a competition routine help you in your daily work as a coffee professional?
I think all the aspects help my daily work as a barista. When I brew V60 for my customers, they are my “judges.” I am very conscious of the coffee experience I give to the customer. I try to perfect each brew and to give each customer the very best.
For me this is one of the best preparations ahead of the competition. Brewing and serving with a smile!
How did your relationship with Ninety Plus begin?
Supreme Roastworks trademark has always been natural processed coffee. Fruity, sweet and elegant. I think Joseph Brodsky at 90+ really liked our approach to their coffee. I think our roasting philosophy suits the 90+ coffee perfectly.
We met several years ago when Joseph visited Europe and Oslo. I think we were among the few coffeeshops who totally embraced Joseph, 90+ and their natural processed coffee. The samples we tasted blew us away. Since then, I’ve been completely lost in their natural processed coffees. Nothing even come close. My all-time favorite is the Ethiopian Nekisse, which is also the raw material for Semeon Abay Maker Series.
There are too many in the coffee world that still have delusions when it comes to naturally processed coffee. I am pleased to be able to contribute to disproving old prejudices by winning the WBrC with a natural processed coffee just from 90+.
How did the scales & app prepare you before & during the competition?
The acaia scales and app are extremely accurate. And I really needed that to meet my perfectionism when brewing “high end”-coffee!
The scales are a long awaited upgrade of the design of brew scales. acaia has tastefully designed a really beautiful scale!
During training and competition, I really need equipment that is reliable. And the scales never failed once, during my non-stop rehearsals.
The bluetooth connection with the iPhones giving the judges opportunity to monitor my brewing was a hit…
Aside from coffee, what are your other passions / interests?
I love cooking, experimenting with food and flavors. Other interests and passions are outdoor and water activities making the adrenaline flow: surfing, wavesailing, climbing, mountainbiking, diving etc.
Thank you for taking the time to interview. Congrats again!
Photos from the @supremeroastworks Instagram page.