Helsinki is the kind of city that is great for living. No wonder Finland regularly comes out on top in the ‘World’s happiest countries lists’. It’s safe, clean, surrounded by nature and the quality of life is very high. That’s also partially what attracted Cosmin and Cristina Tatosian to the city. Over coffee in Amsterdam a few years ago, Cosmin said that conditions for running a coffee business were much better there than in his native Romania and right now they were perfectly happy raising their daughter Aino there while running one of the city’s most popular coffee shops.
Up until recently, Cosmin and I had only known each other from Instagram and through a handful of business dealings. Then, in July of this year, my mum and I headed to Finland to check out the Helsinkin Biennaali, an annual art fest that takes place on various locations around the city but primarily on the island of Vallisaari. Sadly, the artworks on display didn’t convince but the island itself was beautiful.
On the way back from our daytrip, we swung by Rams Roasters, Cosmin and Cristina’s cosy coffee shop that is specialised in showcasing leading roasters from around Europe and for baking delicious pastries. Apparently, the cinnamon buns are famous all over town and sell out like hot cakes on a weekend. My mum and I took a seat at one of the few tables inside and ordered a flat white each as well as the blueberry tart that Cosmin serves with a warm oatmilk cream. Berries grow abundantly all over Scandinavia and there was no way we were not going to have some while in town.
The café is bright and airy despite its small size. There is a terrace outside that was installed during covid when restaurants and cafés were given parking spots as temporary terraces. Like in many other cities, some of these have been made permantent. Cosmin is largely in charge of the coffee side of the business while Cristina bakes the various goodies on offer thorughout the day. Sweet Ainu was also present when we visited, helping her busy parents where she could.
When I was last in town in 2021, the city had a few more specialty coffee bars but it seems that some of them like We Got This didn’t make it through the pandemic. I found it surprising that in a place like Helsinki there would be so few really good specialty coffee bars given how Finland regularly tops the list of highest per capita consumption of coffee in the world. Sure, specialty coffee and commodity are largely miles apart in terms of price and flavour but still…
Though they are currently not roasting their own coffee any more despite what the name might otherwise suggest, they got their inspiration for Rams Roasters when they witnessed two rams fighting each other back in Romania. They were fascinated by the animals’ perseverance and fighting spirit, something that they used as a guiding principle for their own business.
While we sat there enjoying our coffees and our blueberry tart, we witnessed a continous flow of customers enter the shop, most of whom were following their noses to the freshly baked cinnamon buns that Cristina had just pulled out of the oven. I’m not going to lie, the smell was exquisite! The roasters that Cosmin currently sources his coffees from are as diverse as the baked goods on display. They include the likes of The Barn, KAWA and Friedhats as well as some local champions like Frukt.
It was great for me to finally see Cosmin and Cristina in action on their home turf and to enjoy their warm hospitality along with some tasty coffee and a delicious cake. Highly recommended!