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.
Martell’s relationship with coffee is both academic and professional. Completing a MSc in Sustainable Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, his work has concentrated on coffee production and value chains in East Africa with research taking him to Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. And it is in Northern Tanzania where he continues to map out ways of implementing more sustainable farming practices on smallholder coffee farms. This is all in hopes of one day improving quality, harvest yields and farm-gate prices along the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.
In 2014, he had the opportunity to interview and cup coffees with Melanie at CCS’ Oslo Headquarters. He immediately connected with her academic work and CCS’ organic approach to sourcing specialty green coffee. As his grad work progressed, Martell reached out again to CCS for academic support. In the summer of 2016, he was given the opportunity to work side by side the team as a green coffee sales intern. With the completion of a successful internship, he has been brought on as our newly appointed account manager for Europe and emerging markets throughout West Asia.
North America Team
David has been working in coffee since 2000. Upon completing his masters degree in classical music, David decided to more fully dedicate himself to his work in specialty coffee. What was initially a means to support his passion for music became the passion itself. When David moved from behind the coffee bar into the roastery, he saw clear connections between the theory, precision and aesthetics both musicians and roasters employ to compose great music and craft excellent coffee.
In the years since finishing his graduate work, David has been helping a number of roasteries get off the ground: Blue Bottle Coffee in Brooklyn, New York; Parlor Coffee, also in Brooklyn; and Passenger Coffee near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. David joined the Collaborative Coffee Source in the Spring of 2015 to lead its North-American operations and is based in the United States.
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 the North American sales representative. He is based in Boston.
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 1 March 2017