Before I share anything from my adventures on the Åland Islands, there’s something you need to know first: Ålandic people have a nose for business, for good food & drink and especially for combining the two in a delicious way. They pride themselves in locally produced food and after having tasted it myself, I know why! It’s good. It’s really good! There aren’t a huge number of people living on Åland, so basically everybody knows everyone. The local food community is very supportive of eachother and that is wonderful to witness.
My friend Sanna Sarling is one of those entrepeneurs. Born and raised on the Åland Islands, she moved away to Sweden for a number of years to study. Moving back to Åland a couple of years ago has probably been the best decision she made. I’ve known Sanna for over 10 years and visited her a few times in Sweden and lastly on Åland in the Summer of 2019. There isn’t a better connection than between Sanna and Åland. I’m happy to see my friend happy.
A number of years ago, Sanna started her own business: Sarlings Kafferosteri. Having discovered that nobody on the islands ever thought about starting a coffee roastery, she decided to dive in herself!
What I love about her approach is that she researches a lot. She gets down to the nitty gritty to perfect her craftmanship, she is a walking coffee encyclopedia and basically has a PhD in coffee.
I feel a bit barbaric when I say that I don’t drink coffee. I just don’t like it (though I do like coffee ice cream, sometimes). But I can definitely appreciate it when someone works hard in mastering the art of coffee roasting. I had no idea there was so much to it! From the type of beans to the duration of roasting the beans to the machine you use, to probably a whole lot else. And although I’m a complete noob when it comes to coffee, I can definitely tell that the coffee she sells is of a very high standard. Not only because I tasted it myself (not much credibility there, haha), but more importantly because of the reactions of her coffee loving customers.
Her coffee is sold in many different places all over Åland: from boutique shops to the biggest supermarket on the islands! And no small feat: when the president of Finland visited Åland last year, HER coffee was served. Boom!
I love how everyone strives for the highest quality (a lot of my adventures on Åland were about some kind of food, haha) and I love how supportive everyone is of everyone in the community.
So after life has turned back to normal a bit..go and visit Åland, enjoy the food and most of all: enjoy and buy my friend’s coffee! 🙂 In the mean time: check out Sarlings Kafferosteri’s Instagram, where the photos below were taken from (with permission).