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Unpacking Coffee with Kandace and Ray: Reykjavík Roasters

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All photos courtesy of Unpacking Coffee/Needmore Designs.

This week, Kandace and Ray return from Iceland, where in between chasing waterfalls, dodging geysers and staring awestruck at strange and desolate landscapes, they managed to check in with Reykjavík Roasters.

Formerly known as Kaffismiðja Íslands, Reykjavík Roasters was created by former Nordic Barista Cup foes turned allies, Þuríður “Dussy” Sverrisdóttir of Iceland and Torfi Þór Torfason of Denmark.

Settling on Reykjavíc both in name and location, the company now has three cafes of its own. While “K-Ray” were in the process of interviewing “Dussy-Torf,” the company was in the process of upgrading from a 3-kilo machine to a 15-kilo machine, creating more daylight for growth.

While much of the conversation focused on RR’s new information-simplified and omni-compostable packaging, the accomplished baristas and roasters behind RR also talked about finding their place in the coffee-saturated Icelandic coffee market.

Reykjavík Roasters

The simplified Reykjavík Roasters packaging in omni-compostable bags.

“There are international companies that have a stake here in Iceland and they are just importing everything,” Torfi said. “When you do that, you are maybe getting fresh coffee three months already from roast and it is never really going to taste as good as something that has been thoroughly sourced and worked on. We have this scientific approach on how we are going to achieve consistency as well. It’s a struggle to fight against those big companies so we decided not to.”

Dussy noted a similar company mindset regarding RR’s retail operations, saying, “We don’t have any formula for our looks or our bar or anything — only the coffee has a good formula, a red thread.”

Without further ado, here’s the show:

Unpacking Coffee is a show discovering new coffee roasters one episode at a time led by Kandace and Ray of the Portland-based studio Needmore Designs, which specializes in coffee, wine and lifestyle brands.

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