ISSUE 1  |  A New Start

Scandi Coffee Secrets from a Family of Caffeine Fiends

January 05, 2015 4:00 PM

BY Izabella Simmons

Like most Swedes, my parents take their coffee drinking seriously: They prefer it black, hot, strong, and served twice daily. 

My husband, a java aficionado (who learned about coffee while living in Costa Rica), likes to use the manual Chemex, while my parents expect the ease of a coffee machine (with an on/off button and a heating element).

We currently live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and my parents visit from Sweden frequently. And as we gather around the breakfast table, it never fails: An irritating comment from my mother or father typically follows the first morning sip–the coffee isn’t hot enough, they say as they repeatedly ask why we can’t invest in a simple coffeemaker. Soon they line up in front of the microwave to heat their cups. They always come with their own Swedish coffee; for this year’s holiday visit, they took things a step further and brought their own Swedish lidded coffee mugs, claiming that ours don’t hold the heat long enough. 

Prior to their arrival, I told Brandon it was time to avoid the heated debate and invest in a coffeemaker. 

But could we find the holy grail? To please all parties, our purchase had to blend into our newly remodeled kitchen (much as we’d like one, we don’t have a built-in coffee station), barely take up any counter space, and, most importantly, make great tasting hot coffee all day long.

After endless hours of research–we take our domestic purchases seriously; see Why I Love My Miele Vacuumwe finally decided to buy a Wilfa Presisjon Coffeemaker.


Above: The Wilfa Presisjon Coffeemaker is the creation of award-winning Norwegian barista Tim Wendelboe, who runs his own micro-roastery and espresso bar, Tim Wendelboe, in Oslo. 

The Wilfa Presisjon (Precision) takes its name from its performance: It reaches an optimal boiling temperature quickly and remains there. (A chart diagram of its temperature line resembles a hockey stick in comparison to the a bell shape of most coffeemakers.)

The coffee filter basket can stand on its own, thanks to a wide mouth that allows for ease of inserting filters and pouring coffee. The filter basket is pleated to allow air between the basket and the filter, which eliminates bubbling. See Brian W. Jones’s site, Dear Coffee, I Love You, to read a detailed review of the Wilfa. 


Above: The best of both worlds: The Wilfa coffeemaker accommodates the Chemex (now my husband and parents can enjoy great-tasting coffee). Photograph by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista.


Above: Brought all the way from Sweden in my parents’ luggage: Höganäs Coffee Cups. The stoneware design comes with a wooden lid that retain the heat of the coffee (and double as a saucer). They mugs are available in five colors; $16 each from Scandinavian Design Center. N.B.: Höganäs makes a smaller version of the design for tea.


Above: Pouring myself a freshly made cup brewed by our Wilfa (as you can see, I stick with my own mugs; this one is from Royal Copenhagen). In the US, the Wilfa Precision Coffeemaker comes in two models, aluminum and black, and starts at $249.95 from Williams-Sonoma. Photograph by Izabella Simmons for Remodelista.

To learn more, see a Vimeo video of Tim Wendelboe demonstrating his Wilfa Presisjon

And for more coffee intel, go to:

And if you’re heading to world coffee capital Melbourne, see Petit Passport’s Top Five Coffeehouses.