- We roast good coffee because we want to share the message of good coffee. And we also want to drink good coffee ourselves, Good Life Coffee's Lauri Piipinen sums up the essentials.
Good Life Coffee started as a coffee bar in Kallio in 2012, when founder Lauri Pipinen wanted to bring a coffee shop to Helsinki where coffee itself would be the main focus. The starting point was, of course, a passion for coffee. Lauri wanted to show that coffee can have other dimensions than what we were used to in Finland. Good Life Coffee quickly became a place of pilgrimage for all good coffee lovers. After a couple of years, Good Life Coffee (GLC) also opened a roastery bearing its own name when it realized that Finland needed a roastery of international standard. The roastery continues in the same path as the coffee shop started, offering an alternative to bulk. The Kallio coffee bar is now history, it closed at the end of 2019 and today Good Life Coffee only operates as a roastery.
What is your company's philosophy and why have you focused on high-quality, ethically grown coffee?
- Avoid Bad Life is our company's attitude and motto. It encompasses the feeling of well-being that comes with a tasty cup of coffee, and making the good life possible for everyone who works with coffee. We also strive to avoid the bad life ourselves and to do the very thing we enjoy doing.
We want our coffee to taste good, and this can only be guaranteed by sourcing the highest quality coffees in our range, because you can't magically make good coffee from poor quality coffee. We don't add anything to our coffees, they are 100% coffee. So our main task is to try to keep the quality that the farmers have produced on their farms. We can't improve it, we can only keep it or make it worse," says Lauri.
GLC's coffee comes from small farmers and farms that focus on growing high-quality coffee. Quality, tasty coffee also pays better compensation to the producer. Indeed, coffee is usually grown by people who are proud of their product and are professionals in their field. Respecting and caring for nature is also a matter of course for them, as they know that healthy soil produces the best harvest.
What was your first product and how did it get started?
- When we started in 2014, the first coffee we roasted was the Kenyan Kamwangi. It's still one of the most memorable coffees we've ever had, as well as one of the best. It reminded me of the blackcurrant juice my grandmother used to make. You could forget it in the coffee cup and drink it hours later, even cold. Kenyan coffees often have a distinct berry flavour. This particular coffee sold out quickly, but new Kenyan coffees come out every year, so we recommend you give it a try. Kenyan coffees are rarely organic due to the production style. The coffees come from cooperatives with thousands of smallholders in the area, and getting all of them to go organic is almost impossible. But they rarely use any of the ingredients that are banned for organic," says Lauri.
What is your most popular product and what do you think is the reason for its popularity?
- Our coffees always change with the seasons, so none of our products are permanent. We also do not "brand" our coffees, but sell them as individuals. When one coffee runs out, it runs out and is replaced by another coffee. So it's hard to say which would be the most popular. In general, Ethiopian coffees sell well. The fresh crop Ethiopian always arrives at the beginning of summer. They tend to be really balanced and sweet, with a great fruitiness, you can even find a little bit of floweriness. And note! Yes, our coffee always tastes like coffee, but you can always find some of the above mentioned flavours :) Lauri reminds me with a twinkle in his eye.