Award-winning Sommelier and Distiller Erik Liedholm is now a certified Coffee Sommelier, the first in the Pacific Northwest region well known for its rich coffee culture. Earlier this month, Liedholm received the Nespresso Coffee Sommelier™ certification through an invitation-only program open each year to a small group of professional wine sommeliers and accredited chefs from around the world.

The training, which consists of both empirical and theoretical instruction and is followed by an examination, is led by international coffee and culinary experts and held at the Nespresso factory in Avenches, Switzerland, and at Nespresso headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Upon completion of the program, Nespresso-accredited Coffee Sommeliers have a unique understanding of the botany of coffee, the quality and process of coffee creation, and knowledge about coffee’s aromatic palette to create perfect culinary pairings.

“Similar to wine, premium coffee has diverse flavor, texture and aromatic profile subtleties, and it surprised me that I could use deductive wine tasting methodology to make these discoveries,” commented Erik Liedholm. “It was also intriguing to evaluate these nuances to discern the best way to harmonize coffee with different food, spirits and even water — overall, an interesting parallel to the wine tasting experience.”

Liedholm, a Master Sommelier Candidate, won the national Somm Slam competition at the International Chef Congress in New York last fall and holds a certificate in distilling fromLondon’s Institute of Brewing & Distilling. In partnership with Chef John Howie, Liedholm will open Wildwood Spirits Co. in Bothell later this summer. Kur Gin and Stark Vatten Vodka, released by Wildwood Spirits Co. in August 2014, have been awarded by the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition and the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the two most recognized competitions in the spirits industry that comprise the Triple Crown of Wine & Spirits Competitions. For more information, visit

Written by Charles Koh

Founded EatSeattle, and has continued to use his expertise as editor-in-chief to guide the website’s growth over the last five years. Koh’s experience focuses on digital marketing and social media, and has been a part of several companies, some of which he created, specializing in both areas over the course of his career. Koh was previously with Google and Zagat where he helped expand and grow communities worldwide.

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