Søren Stiller Markussen
GreatCoffee, Søren Stiller Markussen
Please tell us a little about yourself:
In 2012 I founded the coffee bar and roastery, Great Coffee–referring to the consistent high quality of coffee that I wanted to serve inside. From the moment you enter the bar, you enter the process of coffee making. The intense smell of coffee, the industrial look, and the highly organised way of working make you realise that this is not an ordinary coffee bar. It’s a laboratory where I experiment with coffee and emphasize terroir by using different brew methods to enhance the flavours. The whole concept is a reflexion of my vision as Master Roaster – the visualisation of craftsmanship. It starts at the roaster, which is a part of the shop. Roasting happens during the opening hours. Here the motto ‘what you see is what you get’ applies. There is a range of choice between coffee origins and brewing methods. So, the consumer gets to understand that one variety differs from another and that coffee can be tasted in many different ways. The next remarkable thing is the organisation of the bar. Myself and my staff work on a lowered, open bar to make the process visual. Depending on what the costumer likes, a coffee gets chosen and brewed à la minute: the roasting, grinding and brewing happens within their sight. There is expertise on a high level in every segment of the process.
How did you get started in coffee?:
It has always been my vision to stand out. No matter what I do. In 2003, I resigned from my job as a HR Consultant, because I wanted to go back working with my hands – being practical and combining this with my many years as a Pastrychef and Confectionist. I have learned over the years how important it is to build within a structure, and to organise your work to achieve your assignments. It’s the fundamental vision of moving an organisation, and it also the foundation of real craftsmanship. We all know it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes failures to master your craft. Your first World Barista Championship is so overwhelming you don’t comprehend the fact that you got there. The second time, it gets real and it sticks with you all your life. You have to ask yourself from time to time “what works and what doesn’t work”. During my competetions I got so much qualified feedback I learned to adapt and carry out what was needed. There is no point in trying to make something that is not there. It’s all about discovering the coffees’ DNA – and improving yourself. There is an important level of consciousness needed – you need to learn from your mistakes, recognize your weaknesses and improve them. This became an important milestone in my understanding of making coffee.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
2018 Danish Brewer Champion
2015 Danish Barista Champion
2014 Danish Barista Champion
2011 Danish Latte Art Champion
2010 Danish Barista Champion
2010 World Barista Championship, London – 5th Place
2008 Danish Barista Champion
2008 World Barista Championship, Copenhagen – 6th Place
2008 Gold winner of European Coffee Team Challenge
2008 Winner of World Best Coffee Nation,
2007 World Latte Art Championship, Antwerp – 2nd Place
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
I am really looking forward to visit the country. Its my first time in Brazil and I have always managed to postpone visiting Brazil, as many other producing countries have seemed more obvious.
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:
Becoming the second in the world at the World Latte Art Championship, in Antwerp.
What is your favorite coffee brewing method and why?:
V-60 and siphon. V-60, because it highlights the acidity and still leaves a nice bodied taste in the coffee. Siphon, because of the balanced taste and mildness the coffee has.
What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:
Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
I have practiced ju-jitsu for 35 years. Besides this, swimming, running and TRX.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
I cannot say. :-)
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
Alejo Castro, Vulcan Alzul for producing this wonderful coffee and the cooperation we have.