Skip to content

Kaapo Paavolainen

Towards more responsible and enjoyable coffee moments – Kaapo Paavolainen redefining the industry’s quality standards

The story of ONE DAY Coffee began with a problem – almost all specialty coffee shops and specialty coffee roasters operate with a “good enough” attitude, offering products that reach a certain quality ceiling. A strong culture of coffee consumption has led to a situation where people drink before thinking. Good enough is not enough, says industry professional Kaapo Paavolainen.

As an internationally awarded barista, Kaapo Paavolainen knows for sure that the most reliable way to offer high-quality and truly responsible coffee requires a return to the original sources of coffee bean production and thorough familiarization with the production chain.

Paavolainen’s path has taken him all over the world, and numerous visits to coffee farms have given perspective to work – farming methods must be changed to be more sustainable and an entrepreneur from Helsinki can also contribute to the development. When you get to know the origin of coffee beans in depth, you can both offer consumers the best possible end product and participate in building a more ethical and ecological tomorrow.

The beginning of the story

Paavolainen has been working with coffee since 2011. Along the way, there are international achievements, learning the hard way, problem solving, and moments full of happiness in doing what he is passionate about.

The birth of ONE DAY Coffee takes place in 2019, when the idea of tastier and more ethical coffee, which could be sold to consumers at the same price, became insurmountable.

“Westerners’ coffee consumption is well developed, and Finns, for example, drink closer to 12 kilos of it per year. Culture is strongly visible in our everyday life, because coffee is enjoyed throughout the day, both at home and in public places. Consumers have slowly started to become aware of the importance of the responsibility perspective and they have started to pay even more attention to the taste – due to the covid and increased brewing of home coffees.”

Maximizing pleasure is something that Paavolainen invests even more. These days, experientiality also rears its head, which is good for a cafe entrepreneur to be aware of. According to Paavolainen, there is no reason to settle for good enough, and quality standards can be redefined from within. One cup at a time.

Cafe on the most central corners of the city

The brick-and-mortar shop of ONE DAY Coffee, which opens onto Fredrikinkatu, floods with light through a large corner window. The peaceful environment provides a framework for relaxation and according to Paavolainen, the person who enters the space should feel that time slows down in the middle of everyday rushes, offering an opportunity to seize the moment.

In this café environment, specialty coffee is created with both skill and emotion. The staff has a total of more than 90 years of expertise. The path of the berry of the evergreen tropical tree to the capable hands of ONE DAY Coffee’s staff has been long and thoughtful, but even more rewarding. Paavolainen also mentions that there is a small bonus on the list: a carefully curated selection of spirits; wine from small producers and champagne under the French sun.

Paavolainen still does his work with humble gratitude, even if sparks of passion flare up from time to time. According to him, it is unnecessary to cause a bigger fuss about ONE DAY Coffee’s values, and Paavolainen primarily hopes that the customer experience speaks for itself. When a cup of coffee is made, it is made technically correct and only from the best and most responsible raw materials. It is especially rewarding for a barista when a surprised expression appears on the face of someone who has sipped coffee: “How on earth can coffee taste this good?”.

The universality of tasting

Paavolainen insists that identifying even the smallest flavor nuances of coffee is possible for absolutely everyone, and not only top professionals in the field. Tasting is universal, but at the same time very subjective.

“The sense of taste is one of the finest things in existence. It enables continuous pleasures and surprises. Every time I drink or eat something, it feels like the first time. What kind of milieu surrounds you, what does the food or drink look like, how does it smell and how does the entirety feel. I am definitely a ponderer and an enjoyer. And there’s nothing wrong with hedonism, because happiness resides precisely in these small everyday moments – while sipping coffee.”

Paavolainen also mentions that if you happen to make good coffee once, you will never find it again. This is a guideline for everything a top barista does, because there is always an opportunity to taste differently, learn something new and develop yourself.

Who is Kaapo Paavolainen?

The founder of ONE DAY Coffee, an internationally renowned coffee tracker and future retailer, whose carefully curated and conceptualized special coffee shop will open in Kamppi in the summer of 2022.