Norway’s Talor&Jørgen have barely celebrated their first birthday, yet have already made our wishes come true with striking package design and social media savvy.
Ray: I’m Ray.
Kandace: I’m Kandace.
Ray: Welcome to Unpacking Coffee. This week …
Kandace: Talor&Jørgen …
Ray: Of Oslo, Norway.
Kandace: So, fun fact …
Ray: Talor&Jørgen. Fun Fact
Kandace: Started in 2016.
Ray: Okay, last year.
Kandace:: That’s last year. That’s just last year! So, how did we find out about this phenomenal roastery from Oslo so quickly?
Ray: As I recall, we saw their packaging at SCA this last year.
Meet Talor and Jørgen
Talor: So, hi guys! I’m Talor, Talor Browne. I am one half of Talor&Jørgen. We are a tiny little roastery, just two people operating out of Oslo, Norway. I’m Australian, he’s Norwegian. I’ve been living here for about five years now.
Jørgen: I’ve been living here for about 30.
Talor: More than 30. He’s 30
Jørgen: My name is Jørgen, Jørgen Hansrud.
Talor: So we launched our roastery in December of 2016, we’re based just online right now but we’re in the process of opening our first shop in central Oslo.
Kandace: She’s Australian, he’s Norwegian.
Kandace:: They both came out of coffee. So, they both have lots of experience in coffee.
Jørgen: I started the university, in 2007 … 2008 I think, and I applied for a part-time job as a barista, worked there for a while. That was at Steam Kaffebar, and I stayed at Steam Kaffebar throughout my studies and then for a lot of years after that. I went from doing part-time barista work to training baristas to helping them opening coffee bars and building bars and training all their staff.
Kandace: Talor has traveled around a bit, her last gig, no big deal, just Head Roaster for Tim Wendelboe.
Talor: So in high school I would take a couple of days in the afternoons and do, like a placement at a café, and then when I finished high school I went and started working at a roastery in my home town. Then, I moved to Melbourne and I started working at St Ali. I was headhunted to Paris to work for a company called Coutume, and whilst I was working for Coutume I was asked by Tim Wendelboe to work for him, and that is when my life changed very drastically for the better. I worked for Tim for three years and then we launched into starting this project. Yeah, it’s amazing how time flies I can’t believe I’ve been living here for this long now actually.
Kandace: But, just at that time, when I think they both ready to [stop working in coffee] they met.
Talor: Cause I was really burnt out from my job, and I was trying to find, like a … new way to work, a new avenue, a new concept, a new something. Oslo’s coffee industry for being quite famous is quite small.
Jørgen: So, by the time we had the meeting with the guys from Steam about the budgets and starting the roastery with them, we kind of already had the feeling that we wanna do it ourselves.
Talor: We were like, “We think we can do this better, if we just do it you and I.” We were like, “If money’s the only thing we can work the money out.”
Talor: Because we realized that
our ethos, our ethics, our morals, and all of those really important things are exactly in the same place.
Jørgen: I came back to work after a lot longer period on sick leave and I told my boss—the week when I got back I told him—I need something new I don’t know what it is, I’m going to be looking for it.
A Friendly Face to Coffee
Kandace: You know we also … we actually got to see a little bit about their interactions with their customers, because as they were recording their interview for us …
Talor: Hey guys.
Mystery Woman: I’m looking for your coffee shop.
Talor: Oh! We don’t actually have a coffee shop.
Mystery Woman: Oh!
Talor: I’m Talor, nice to meet you.
Mystery Woman: Nice to meet you too.
Mystery Woman: Nice to meet you.
Talor: Yeah we … this is actually just our offices.
Mystery Woman: Oh?
Talor: Yeah, we’re … at the moment we don’t have a shop. We’re opening a shop in November though … in downtown Oslo. Are you guys visiting?
Mystery Woman: Oh yeah, oh yeah.
Kandace: So you can go online …
Colors & Flavors
Ray: I mean look at this packaging, it’s so adorable. You should order it just for the packaging.
Kandace: Okay, so they have an interesting way of naming their coffees …
Talor: Okay, so I’ve been working in coffee for a really long time, and one of the things that I’ve noticed the most is when you have somebody who’s not necessarily very confident when coming into a café, they feel really uncomfortable saying the names of producers, the names of farms, because they’re in a foreign language that often these people don’t speak. I would find them using the color of the label to describe it, or the country of origin because that was the thing that made them feel comfortable.
We want to connect with people who don’t necessarily see themselves as specialty coffee consumers. Things that people can do is that they really like the taste descriptors. “Oh, I like that coffee that tasted like apple.” So I was like, okay, that’s the number one thing, the taste of the coffee, because that was a word that they could understand and replicate…and also the color of the label.
The SCA taster’s wheel came out, and I was like, “Oh my God, this is beautiful. These colors are amazing. We have to use these colors in these wheels somehow in our packaging.”
Also, we realized that we can have the producer, the producer’s name, the country of origin, the varietal, processing, all of those things it can be on the package. But, front and center, we realized the most powerful thing is to have two distinct tasting notes and then the color that is reflected from those tasting notes as the label color.
We want people to be able to continue to find the coffees even if the one that we had before that they liked isn’t in stock. We can also use the same tasting notes and also really similar colors on the labeling so that people can come to our website and really easily chose a coffee that they enjoyed before without the stress of having to really buy into the concept of specialty coffee and understanding things that really are not really necessary as a consumer of coffee.
Kandace: How do you get the word out when you don’t have a retail location, Ray? I think this duo is fantastic about this, they’ve … they make videos, they have a YouTube channel and … a lot of their videos have nothing to do with coffee. It’s like, why I love this city or … that’s the only one I know, but it really gives you a sense of who they are and when you start seeing their personalities and who you are, you start believing …
Ray: Are the videos in Norwegian, or are they in English?
Kandace: They’re in English.
Jørgen: Today is the 19th of December, and it’s going to be a very interesting day, because last night when we got into the roastery … some misunderstandings, somewhere along the line …
Kandace: But you start believing in them, you start realizing, like I think … I would like to try the coffee that these two are making.
Talor: I’m ready for some good news. I’m ready for there to stop being bad news.
Jørgen: It’s really one of those situations where you just have to make the best of it, because we can’t really do anything else. To be honest, it’s really freaking us both out.
Jørgen: One of the main goals is that if someone in high school sees … a real, something from the real world about starting a business and how things really are, we could … maybe inspire them, like 2%, to understand that the world isn’t just about their grades in high school, and if we can do that through, not just talking about what we’re doing inside a meeting, but sharing it … I think that that’s amazing.
Ray: Talor&Jørgen of Oslo, Norway.