Yesterday was an exciting day. Fazer held a press conference at the newly remodeled Munkkivuori Fazer Cafe in Helsinki. This was in some ways my baby as well, since I was part of the team that worked to develop the new concept. We had been looking for new sophisticated flavors and trends while keeping in mind the unique history and tradition of Karl Fazer. Many of the classics are still on the menu. And if I may say so myself, I think we have succeeded.
Fazer is one of the leading, if not the leading business in the bakery, chocolate and sweets production in Finland. It is certainly a household name here. Fazer was founded by Karl Fazer who opened a café in 1891 in Helsinki on Kluuvikatu. I may be a bit biased, but I really think the interior designer on our team was very successful bringing together influences of art deco with the light colors, textures and shapes that are characteristic of Nordic design.
One of the new menu items are the drinks made with red espresso. Red espresso is rooibus tea that is made using the tradional espresso method. I had the red cafe latte. Red espresso is completely caffeine free. When sprinkled with cinnamon and sweetened with honey it has nuances that remind one of chai tea. Here is a link to a youtube video about red espresso.
One strong current trend is local slow food with a global influence. And maybe one of the most important trends is experiencing a pause in the hectic pace of life. I think the V60 pour over coffee has an eliment of just that. It cannot be done too fast since the beans are ground fresh on the spot and as the water warms and is poured over, there is an opportunity to exchange a few thoughts with the barista. Being a barista is as much a social job as it is producing espresso drinks. That is also one of the goals of the new concept, offering personalized at-table service to customers. Maybe this will show the way for other enterprises as well. Customer service in Finland is rather reserved, often letting the customer to serve themselves.
Two cafés have been opened with this concept, one in Tampere and one in Munkkivuori, Helsinki. There are plans for two more openings before the end of the year and in the future this concept will be brought to Sweden and Russia. Best of luck to the concept!