“Soren is one of the best baristas in the world, multi-champion in Denmark for Barista, Latte Art, Brewers Cup, and also a Finalist on the world stage. But my nomination is for his work with producers, pushing up the quality and supporting new research that leads to new processes and varieties and, in the end, great new coffees.”
Nominated by Alejo Castro
Lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
What is the quality you like best about coffee?
Being able to taste varieties that are so transparent when you brew them—you can identify it by the taste.
What was your first coffee job?
My first job in coffee started in 2003, working in a cafe where I remember they had a blend of 70% Arabica/30% Robusta—an Italian roast—from where I didn’t know.
What is your current role in coffee?
I own a roastery, coffee lab, and coffee bar called Stiller’s Coffee.
Did you experience a “god shot” or life-changing moment of coffee revelation early in your life?
My game changer was at my first Barista Championship in 2005. I ended up in last place, and observing the other competitors and the coffee community changed my approach. I started to take my career more seriously when I worked at Europa 1989 in Copenhagen.
What issue in coffee do you care about most?
For me… there has to be a connection between farm work, roasting coffee, and presenting the taste of the coffee as a barista. I don’t like to be called a barista because I work with coffee in all aspects as I continue to learn.
Do you often make coffee at home?
I always start my morning ritual by making a Hario v60 before work. On the weekends, I enjoy making a nice espresso shot on my Rocket R9. Currently, my favorite is from the farm I work with—Volcan Azul, Costa Rica.
What is your idea of coffee happiness?
I have been a competing barista for many years now. And being able to present something, like a coffee the farmer and I have developed together, makes me happy.
Who inspires you in the world of coffee?
Federico Bolanos, Sasa Setic, Ben Put, and Stefanos Domatiotis. They are passionate people and life changers. They are inspiring and have an approach to coffee that opens your horizon.
If you could drink coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
That would be Ben Stiller. He is my favorite actor, and I want to know if he is in my family. My grandmother’s cousin immigrated to the US when she was young. And want to ask him over a cup of coffee if we are related.
This feature is part of the Sprudge Twenty Interviews presented by Pacific Barista Series. Watch for more interviews in the coming days. For a complete list of 2023 Sprudge Twenty honorees, please visit sprudge.com/twenty.