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Hamburg insider tip: A portrait of the Classic Caffee roastery

by Anastasia Hartleib
Hamburger Geheimtipp: Die Rösterei Classic Caffee im Portrait

As an international trading hub, Hamburg has always been the gateway to the world. From exotic fruits and spices to coffee, the city on the Elbe is home to aromatic specialties from the furthest corners of the planet that are just waiting to be refined, processed and consumed. So it's no wonder that there are so many coffee roasting houses in and around Hamburg.

One roastery clearly stands out - Classic Caffee. Founded in 2003, the small roastery has been supplying top-quality coffee for almost 20 years. The quaint store on Lokstedter Steindamm is a real insider tip in Hamburg coffee circles, bringing together brown gold from all corners of the world.

Die Classic Caffee Röster sind in der ganzen Welt unterwegs um mit ihren Kaffeefarmern in Kontakt zu kommen. So wie hier in Brasilien.
The Classic Caffee roasters travel all over the world to get in touch with their coffee farmers. Like here in Brazil.

However, roasting does not take place directly in Hamburg, but about 50 kilometers north of the Elbe metropolis, in Bad Bramstedt. This is where Karsten and Tobias Nowak indulge their passion for roasting. How did they get into it? "I've enjoyed drinking a lot of coffee since I was young, but while I was studying in Hamburg, I discovered a small roastery and immediately asked for a job. From then on, it was clear: I would finish my studies and start my own coffee roasting business," says Karsten Nowak.

Coffee from social or sustainable projects

No sooner said than done. The Nowaks source their green coffee partly from their import partners CTS Rohkaffee Stehl and IAC, but also directly from farms and local institutions. It is important to the Classic Caffee roasters that the coffee farms are involved in social and/or sustainability projects. For example in Brazil: "We maintain direct contact with the university in Venda Nova. It specializes in coffee cultivation and processing and looks after around 70 large and predominantly small farms. Among other things, the advice relates to sustainable cultivation, reusing water, improving quality and finding new ways to move away from monoculture. Our employee Tam Nguyen was also a guest at the university for 2 weeks in September 2021 to take a look at the conditions on site." (see cover picture)

Nicht nur in Brasilien, auch in Vietnam waren die Classic Caffee-Betreiber schon vor Ort.
The Classic Caffee operators have not only been on site in Brazil, but also in Vietnam.

In general, Karsten Nowak is keen to maintain close contact with the farmers. Unfortunately, not every farm can be visited, but direct contact is possible. But, as Nowak emphasizes: "First of all, the quality has to be right! No matter how good a project is, if the coffee can't be sold, there's no point in working together. That much honesty is a must. Then we look at the working and living conditions of the farmers and only then does the price play a role."

Buy coffee specialties from Classic Caffee:

The quality is checked by the coffee roasters themselves

The fact that the roasters deliberately accept higher prices is of course also reflected in the end product. However, Nowak is certain that those who value high quality assurance, especially when working and living conditions in the country where the coffee is grown are also taken into account, are happy to pay more for their coffee.

And what do they value in the roasting process? "We want to experience the coffee as closely as possible, which is why we usually collect the green coffee from the port ourselves, so we can keep a closer eye on the quality. We only do long roasts so that the coffee naturally breaks down its unwanted tannic acid. The coffee is roasted slowly and gently so that it develops its full aroma and is very easy to digest."

Das Weltreise-Paket von Classic Caffee bietet die perfekte Gelegenheit, sich durch die Kaffeeregionen der Welt zu probieren
The Classic Caffee world tour package offers the perfect opportunity to taste your way through the coffee regions of the world

You can find out what cocret tastes like in the roastery's world tour package, for example. Five coffee varieties from the three coffee continents of Asia, Africa and South America. What characterizes them? "The love and passion for coffee - from the plant to the cup. Coffee connects people worldwide." The roaster best describes how it tastes:


Coffee 1: Ethiopia - Mocha Sidamo

Buy coffee from Eth iopia individually here

"From the motherland of coffee, this mocha is a must. It convinces as a pleasantly spicy and also strong coffee."


Coffee 2: Brazil - Sao Silvestre

BuyBrazilian coffee directly here

"Brazil is not only the largest producer of green coffee, but is also increasingly improving its quality. I was already a guest at the plantation in 2007, my colleague Tam Nguyen only last year. Sao Silvestre is also supervised by the university in Venda Nova."


Coffee 3: India - Monsooned Malabar

Buy coffee from India directly here

"We have selected Monsooned Malabar from India. Drying the green coffee in the monsoon winds gives the green coffee its special color and unique taste of dark chocolate with light tobacco notes."


Coffee 4: Papua New Guinea - Sigri

You can buy the coffee world tour set here

"Sigri is a coffee from an island very close to the Australian continent. The coffee is mostly grown on small farms. The growing areas are located in the mountains between an ideal 1300-1800 meters above sea level, which means mostly laborious manual work."


Coffee 5: Panama - Boquete Casa Ruiz

You can buy the coffee world tour set here

"The set is rounded off by the very mild, full-bodied coffee from Panama, which has a fine, balanced acidity. The average cultivation altitude is around 1500 meters and is also run by many smaller farmers. Due to the volcanic soil, absolute top quality is harvested."

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About the autor:

Anastasia Hartleib

Anastasia Hartleib

Katalog & Marketing Managerin

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Für mich geht nichts über das Entdecken kleiner Manufakturen. Ob das der Micro Craft Brauer aus Bayern oder die sächsische Brennerei ist, die es bereits seit Jahrzehnten gibt - hauptsache klein, regional verwurzelt und mit Sinn für's Handwerk!

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