Is Tim Wendelboe the Rene Redzepi of Coffee?


Rene Redzepi is on his way to becoming a household name — at least within households whose tenants worship food and follow its global evolution. Well, meet the man some consider Redzepi’s equivalent in the coffee world: Tim Wendelboe. Wendelboe was behind Noma’s revamped coffee program, setting a new benchmark for coffee service — one that will hopefully shame Michelin-starred restaurants into tossing their Nespresso programs that serve up overpriced, bad coffee along with insults to the chef’s elevated cuisine and his or her high-paying customers (more on this in a future column).

And unless you were satisfied with New York coffee a decade ago — which is to say if you have at least a mild interest in the coffee world — you should elect to hear about what’s happening internationally in this industry from Wendelboe himself. This pre-eminent coffee professional will be visiting New York City from Oslo in April, and for $15, you can see him lecture, field a Q&A session, and lead a cupping at Budin (114 Greenpoint Avenue) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22.

The 2004 World Barista Champion and the 2005 World Tasting champion (the championship of cupping; one must have a fine-tuned nose and palate), Wendelboe subsequently established a roastery, café, and training center to cement his reputation in Norway and then globally. He’s at the forefront of pricing transparency, biodynamics at coffee farms, light roasting in lieu of bean charring, quality coffee in restaurants, and just about any other topic that concerns this product.

Wendelboe’s roasts are sold intermittently in New York (they cost more than any beans you’ll find in any grocery store) but are a mainstay at Budin, the newly opened café and retail shop in Greenpoint; given that shop’s Scandinavian theme and his influence on their coffee, it’s an apt — and spacious — setting for his debut in New York.