If you’ve ever come across a lemming in Swedish Lapland, you probably thought of them as quite aggressive beings. Now we’ve gotten the inside scoop – they’ve just been frustrated and misunderstood. Markus Lemke lets us in on their secret message and the mission that him and his colleges have been assigned: to bless the world with dark roasted “kokkaffe”.
Let’s start by just explaining the term “kokkaffe”. It’s the traditional way of preparing coffee in Sweden – boiling it in a coffeepot, preferably over open fire. It’s a tradition barely being kept alive by keen outdoor enthusiasts and the odd café.
In a world where single-shot-skim-milk-macchiato kind of coffee is taking over, the boiled coffee that takes its time to cook is falling into oblivion. But revolution is coming with Lemmelkaffe – the worlds first dark roasted coffee. It takes time to cook – and it’s supposed to take time. Time to enjoy your company and great conversations.
I sit down with Markus Lemke to hear the story about how it all started.
– So, I’ve heard a rumour that you’ve been chosen to make Lemmelkaffe available to the world?
– That’s true. Me and my college Rolf Nylinder was out fly-fishing last summer in a river close to Gällivare where we live. Suddenly some lemmings approached me. They where really aggressive and making a lot of noise. For the first time, I tried to hear what they where saying – and I yelled to Rolf “It sounds like the lemmings are screaming coffee”.
All of a sudden their attitude changed – and we realised that they wanted us to follow them. It was like they’ve been misunderstood for so long, and suddenly their voices were heard and they could start executing their mission.
– So where did they take you?
– They took us to a place where they roast coffee beans – it was all quite surreal. They served up really great coffee and told us the story about how many years ago the first lemming stampede, lämmeltåg, made its way to Africa where the lemmings found coffee beans. They drifted back to northern Sweden with the Gulf Stream – each lemming carrying a coffee bean. Ever since then the lemmings have brought coffee beans here and roast them to perfection.