The dark heart of the office

Often considered the lifeblood of the company, but just as often criticized. Our love-hate relationship with coffee at work may have a psychological explanation.

Nordic people are among the biggest coffee drinkers in the world. Finland tops the list, with 10 kg of coffee beans per person, per year. It’s no wonder that coffee cups pile up on our desks during the course of a day…

But despite our dependence on it, the office coffee machine is a constant source of complaints. But according to psychologist Oskar Henrikson, it’s not really about the coffee itself. Rather, the complaints start when we’re trying to connect with our coworkers and earn their approval. The coffee machine is a meeting place, and can easily fall victim to a variety of strong opinions: The coffee is too strong, too bitter, or too weak; the machine is too slow or too hard to operate. 

What’s the solution?

The local coffee roaster, Kaffa Roastery in Finland, may have it. The company thinks we ought to brew our coffee together, even at work.
“We in Finland drink the most coffee in the world, but it’s often pretty lousy quality,” says Svante Hampf, founder of Kaffa Roastery.
“We want to change that. With better coffee, the office break room can be a place where new ideas are created, and a natural meeting place that contributes to spontaneous encounters between people.”

At Kaffa Roastery, the production and harvesting of the coffee is a top priority. The company has what it calls a “hand-shake program,” in which the company regularly meets with all the producers that it buys coffee beans from. This guarantees that all coffee is sustainable—that the growers treat their employees and the environment well.

And Kaffa Roastery isn’t alone in that—an increasing number of local coffee roasters are cropping up on the market today. Modern coffee lovers are demanding ethical, responsible production, and transparency and openness towards consumers are crucial for success.

The coffee expert’s three best tips for brewing really good coffee at the office

  1. Buy a coffee mill and grind your own beans. There are also espresso and filter machines that grind your coffee automatically, one cup at a time.

  2. Clean the coffee machine regularly. This will improve not only the flavor, but also the lifespan of the machine.

  3. Your emotional state also affects your coffee experience! So it’s important how you decorate your coffee corner. Why not brew a single estate coffee, in which all the beans come from the same grower, and hang up a picture of the plantation that produces it?