About Bonanza Coffee Roasters

When Berlin-based Bonanza opened their shop in 2006 they were often asked by customers if the coffees they served carried a ‘fair trade label’.

Initially, they felt uninspired when they researched into fair trade coffees when they found that coffee wasn’t produced in a way that matched their values.

Bonanza’s core focus is quality and fairness to farmers. Paying farmers correctly for their efforts results in an impressive product and a reason for Bonanza to continue existing.

But most important to Bonanza is that you can taste the difference in your cup, and that we can all imagine that this is the better reason to pay for what you’re drinking.

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We grabbed a quick interview with Scott Tedder.

So, who are you and what do you do at Bonanza?
My name is Scott Tedder and I am the Green Bean Buyer and one of the roasters at Bonanza

Tell us a little about your own coffee story, where did it all start?
I’m originally from Leeds in England, and after losing motivation in what I studied at University, I ended up taking a job in Speciality Coffee Shop. 7 years later, 2 countries and numerous roles in the industry, I am now here at Bonanza.

What’s Bonanza’s core philosophy? 
I think it’s really been changing the last couple of years. Especially in Berlin, people in the coffee world are really pushing the boundaries of what can be done by a coffee shop or roastery. So it’s super interesting to see what directions people go into progress. We are really concentrating on having a wide range of coffees at the moment, and continuously finding better ways of communicating this to our customers.

What’s been your most memorable coffee experience, or that life changing coffee?
I recently just returned from Costa Rica, which was actually the prize for winning the Barista League here in Berlin with my housemate Joel who currently works at Five Elephant. For a free to enter a competition that focuses on having fun, this was an incredible prize! We were there as part of Nordic Approaches new program called ‘Origin Approach’, which brings together coffee shop owners, buyers, roasters and baristas with various members of the production chain, from farmers and producers, to scientists and agronomists, so it was an incredible opportunity to really share each other’s values and begin to understand each person’s interpretation of the coffee industry.

What’s your go-to recipe for the Dorali Osorio that best highlights it?
The Dorali has really been a standout coffee for us this year. We rarely look at Columbia as an Origin, as for us, they can often have some real earthy qualities but also quite a strong green, fibrous quality, especially for the roast style that we are looking for in our coffees. But every so often we taste a coffee that doesn’t have any of this and has incredible complexity and sweetness and really transparent flavours. The Bruselito late last year, and now the Dorali are great examples of this. We usually drink them as filter in the roastery to really push the complexity, so anything like a v60 really works for us!

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Bonanza's bright and breezy roastery in Berlin
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The stunning cafe space in Bonanza roastery

What’s been your biggest personal learning in 2018?
Not to sound too cliche, but I guess I am constantly learning. Costa Rica really opened my eyes to the needs and requirements for coffee producers, something that I think some people can often take for granted, or at least don’t bring into decision making as much, and It’s super hard to do that, I’m still not sure what the best way is to make it beneficial for every aspect of the coffee production line. So hopefully this year we can look more at how to move forward with this.

What can we look forward to next from Bonanza in the near future?
As mentioned above I guess! Haha. We are really working on making sure we have a really varied and accessible range of coffees. We are looking more at getting some very special coffees in to share with our customers. But also looking at how we can buy coffee more fairly for coffee producers who aren’t only producing the super high-end geisha microlots. Effectively we are looking at the constant issue with sustainability in the industry, trying to find some tasty coffees, and constantly looking at the best way to share these coffees, and the reasons behind the coffees, with our customers.