The Collaborative Coffee Source is a green coffee service provider that brings together quality-focused coffee producers and roasters looking for long-term and transparent relationships. Our strength is in providing consultation on everything from sourcing to roasting to coffee preparation for all the coffees we import. CCS’ work is guided by our principles of openness, knowledge, trustworthiness and adaptability in all we do.
Robert has been working in specialty coffee since 1998, beginning with the opening of Java coffee bar in Oslo. Since then he won the first World Barista Competition in 2000, opened one of the first roasteries in Europe to specialize in roasting microlot coffee (Mocca, which became KAFFA), has juried on several Cup of Excellence competitions and was head judge at Best of Panama in 2011, which he reprised in 2012. Robert’s goal for CCS is to be a green importer that facilitates a community of suppliers and roasters that provides roasters the opportunity to buy high-end specialty coffee from the most ambitious and innovative suppliers in each of the origins that CCS works.
Since co-founding CCS at the beginning of 2012, Robert established Landskap (previously Red Roasters of Coffee) in Brooklyn, New York. He is acting CEO of CCS.
Bjørnar is a self-taught coffee roaster who started his coffee career managing a well-known restaurant that served Mocca/KAFFA coffee. After leaving this position he worked an array of coffee jobs before being hired to run a newly opened roastery at a shopping centre. No one at this roastery knew anything about roasting coffee, so all the knowledge he used to roast came from reading and trial-and-error. A couple of years into this position and wanting to expand his coffee knowledge, Bjørnar met Robert and soon after became the head roaster at Kaffa. He has been at KAFFA since 2008.
Bjørnar co-founded the Collaborative Coffee Source at the beginning of 2012 and oversees the sales team. He continues to be based in his native Oslo.
Melanie began her career in specialty coffee as a barista in Edmonton, Alberta just before finishing her BA in psychology. Her initial interest in coffee was based on its economic and social impacts on coffee producers, but through working as a barista she came to deeply admire the craft of making and serving coffee. Wanting to get into the trading side of specialty coffee, she relocated to Oslo where she completed a masters degree at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo where she wrote a thesis comparing “direct trade” coffee traders’ and suppliers’ perceptions on the wellbeing of coffee producers in Burundi.
At the end of 2011 Melanie met Robert and Bjørnar and less than a month later they launched Collaborative Coffee Source and Melanie became CCS’ first employee, initially assisting in communications and sales. Upon finishing her masters in the spring of 2013, Melanie became an “everywoman” in CCS’ operations. These days, she is overseeing the marketing and development departments. Melanie is based at CCS’ Oslo HQ.
Alex started his coffee career as a barista at a bakery serving KAFFA. Having had the privilege of travelling extensively early in his life, which resulted in tasting many different cuisine and flavour profiles, coffee has proved to be a natural extension in Alex’s interest in flavour and specialty coffee has provided a means to explore and dig into this fascination.
In between this start in coffee and working as a barista at Mocca and Java, Alex completed a BSc in Economics in 2014 at the BI Norwegian Business School, represented Norway at the 2013
Brewers Cup Competition and 2015 World Barista Competition. Working and competing as a professional barista, along with being a business student, has given Alex very different but valuable perspectives and means of studying coffee. These experiences have led to his move from behind the coffee bar into the world of green coffee trading. Alex is based at Oslo HQ and is responsible for CCS sales in East Europe and Asia, as well as the sample lab’s management.
Travis began his coffee career while working at the family business: Office Coffee Service in Michigan, USA. After moving to Oslo, Norway in 2003, he started working with logistics and transportation, which he has continued to do over the past 13 years.
His love for specialty coffee really started after moving to Oslo. He lived near Java (an Oslo coffee bar and one of CCS’ sister-companies) and while tasting one of their coffees at a dinner party, his eyes were opened to a world that he had not previously known about.
Joining the CCS team, Travis has finally been able to combine his many years hobby with his current skill set. He will be responsible for the logistical planning and execution of our shipments, along with continuing to expand his knowledge and passion for specialty coffee.
Nicolas started working in the specialty coffee industry at the end of 2015 when he discovered the Parisian specialty coffee scene and through this interest, learned about specialty coffee’s approach to agroforestry, which was a topic he developed an interest in through his engineering studies.
After stints first working as an engineer and project manager in the luxury goods industry and then within the field of sustainable construction, he eventually co-founded the website Los Tostados in 2016 to support to an initiation trip to coffee origin. During this trip, he worked with cooperatives and producers in Peru to understand the living conditions of coffee producers, along with agronomic techniques used in the field and how each step in coffee processing affects the final quality.
More recently, he worked as a roaster and quality grader in Barcelona with Esperanza Cafe. In September 2017, Nicolas joined CCS to manage the European Sales and help in CCS’ quality control process.
Originally from Australia, Suzie has lived, worked and studied in Asia, Europe and South America.
After several years working in broadcasting, marketing and advertising, Suzie travelled to Italy to study a Masters in Food Culture and Communications at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, complementing her communications background with sensorial analysis training and an understanding of food systems and production.
Upon graduating Suzie pursued a newfound fascination for coffee and cacao, interning with coffee roasters and chocolate makers in Europe, before moving to Bogotá in 2011. There she continued exploring cacao and coffee as a lecturer in Gastronomy at the Universidad de La Sabana, a chocolatier, and an ardent promotor of Colombia’s burgeoning fine chocolate industry. Living in Colombia, Suzie has seen first-hand the benefits the specialty market brings to farmers and local companies in the supply chain.
North America Team
Tasha is fairly new to the intricacies of specialty coffee roasting. Initially a theatre major at New York University, she transferred to a school in Lancaster, PA to graduate with her BA in Government and Political Affairs. Her international law, government and community planning interests landed her a job resettling refugees in Lancaster, PA.
After leaving the social work field, she ventured into small business and began working with Passenger Coffee Roasters where she met, and worked alongside, David. The diner coffee she grew up around never piqued her interest, but after a seed to cup training with David she was intrigued by how intrinsically international law, government and community matters were connected to specialty coffee.
These days, while learning about the intricacies of specialty coffee including developing her coffee palate, Tasha is enjoying her work within the logistics division of CCS North America and is based in the United States.
Sal has been working in specialty coffee since 2003. Originally from upstate New York, he moved to Boston, MA for music school and started working at a cafe a short time after. Over the span of ten years, Sal worked at a few different shops in and around Boston as a barista, coffee director, and manager.
In 2011, he took a position with George Howell Coffee to develop a barista training and education program. During his six years with George Howell Coffee, he was involved in many aspects of the business, from quality control and green coffee purchasing to customer support and R&D. In 2017, Sal joined the CCS team as a North American sales representative. He is based in Boston.
Colleen has been working in specialty coffee since 2008, when she was hired at Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea at their flagship store in Chicago. Since then, she has worked in specialty coffee in Los Angeles, Portland and San Francisco, where she currently resides. Her career experience includes wholesale strategy, build out design, quality control, and green coffee trading. She received her BA in Critical Theory and Analysis with a concentration in Post Colonial Economics. Her work has been published and featured in Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Daily Coffee News, and Life & Thyme Magazine.
Over the course of ten years, we have travelled extensively in search of not only the best coffee in the world but also in order to meet and build long-term relationships with partners who are committed to quality and best practice. As a result of these travels, we have strong partnerships in Ethiopia, Kenya, Guatemala, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama and Brazil.
Updated 16 October 2017