”A good cup of coffee is an achievement”
People in Lund are used to visiting Love Coffee on Klostergatan, but since spring 2020 there has also been a Love Coffee location with outdoor seating at Clemenstorget. This new location serves both specialty coffee and natural wine. “We are passionate about quality drinks – both for coffee and wine,” says owner Daniel Remheden.
While Love Coffee at Clemenstorget is new, Love Coffee itself is already an institution among Lund’s coffee lovers. In 2009, Love Coffee opened its own coffee roastery in Gunnesbo in northwestern Lund.
“I had worked with coffee for ten years already and I saw a lack of high quality coffee even in nice restaurants,” says Remheden. “We love coffee and that is why my colleagues and I started a roastery to show what we discovered.”
The roastery is Love Coffee’s core business, but in the beginning it was not easy to reach out.
“We realized that we needed our own shop window. In December 2013, we got the chance to sell our coffee on Klostergatan in a pop-up shop and in August 2014 we got a contract for the location and could establish a coffee bar with all the focus on the coffee. It was then that things started to take off.”
Love Coffee currently imports coffee beans from farmers in Brazil, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica among others. The focus is on specialty coffee, which means the raw coffee beans themselves are of extremely high quality.
“Specialty coffee is quality coffee. It accounts for about the top 10 percent of total coffee production,” explains Remheden. “Our business model is different and more transparent. I have direct contact with farmers and know that they grow sustainably. I have visited them, asked them about everything, and examined the soil. We feel secure working with these suppliers.”
The Love Coffee roastery roasts 30,000 kilos of coffee per year, which is a modest amount for a roastery according to Remheden.
“We don’t want to get too big and will probably never roast more than 50,000 kilos per year. We want to continue working with small producers. For us it’s about sustainability and quality, rather than quantity. Roasting is a complex process and the roasting industry is a closed industry in many ways. We had to try and taste our way forward, that is how we learned. Now we have our own style, which usually means the roasting should be there but not dominate the taste. Each coffee is roasted separately and has its own taste profile.”
Even coffee brewing is carefully thought through. Axel Carlsson is responsible for coffee recipes for both coffee bars. Coffee and water are carefully measured and every morning the recipes are fine-tuned to ensure quality. Coffees are hand-brewed and customers can have their coffee prepared how they want.
Over time the sales of Love Coffee’s coffee beans have increased and now there are customers from all over Sweden. The Klostergatan cafe has built up a good reputation and has a stable customer base consisting of regulars as well as a steady flow of new students. As soon as the business was up and running, Remheden began considering opening an additional location. For nearly twenty years he has dreamed of a special place on the east side of Clemenstorget.
“I am drawn to the old and beautiful buildings and have always thought this is a cool place – and with the tram plans it became even more interesting.”
Remheden worked for about a year to come to an agreement with the Clemenstorget property owners and has now completely renovated the premises. Now it is a coffee and wine bar, and the wine served is natural wine meaning it is produced without additives, often from small vineyards. The Clemenstorget coffee bar opened December 2019 and wine has been served there since May 2020.
“This is a fantastic place and when the square reopened in June, things began to move. Our passion is natural drinks and creating a meeting place where strangers slip into each other’s spheres.”
What characterizes a good coffee?
“Good coffee is a matter of taste. Partly it’s about being free from serious defects, but it’s also about having clear taste characteristics that show off the coffee’s origin and growing location. Coffee is complex because it has to be both roasted and brewed. Roasting requires managing the raw material’s potential and good brewing needs to fulfill the promise of that raw material. A good cup of coffee is an achievement because there are so many people involved in the process. This is what is difficult, but also fun, and quality is not something you can ever take for granted.”
What kind of coffee do you like most?
“I like lighter coffees with lots of fruitiness and floral tones. But sometimes I want to have something powerful - what you want at a particular time can differ, just like with wine. We also have new varieties on the way with tastes I haven’t experienced previously, so that’s exciting.”
Future plans include a restaurant next door to the Clemenstorget bar, which will serve pizza slices with high-quality ingredients.
“I would love to see even more places to choose from so that the place itself becomes a destination. Of course, when the tram is inaugurated things will change, but I already see that there is a good flow through Clemenstorget. By next summer it will already be a magical place,” concludes Remheden.
Text: Caroline Wendt
Translation: Finlay MacGregor
Photo: Caroline Wendt