– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
I am a third culture kid; born in Mexico, raised in Germany and educated in the UK. These days, Amsterdam is my home and I about to start learning Japanese. Why the hell not?

– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I first discovered specialty coffee, after many years of drinking very very bad coffee, while on a business trip to London, and stumbling upon a coffee roastery in Shoreditch. The barista there was so enthusiastic and happy to share his knowledge with me that I couldn’t resist the contagion. Since then, I’ve been working hard to find and share the finest café, coffee roasters and their coffees.

– When did your new coffee bar open and what is the story behind?
Last summer we were invited to join a mini-food pop up inside the gorgeous Schouwburg (theatre) and since our coffee subscription at the time focused exclusively on the best filter coffees from the finest roasters, we decided to make our coffee bar all about filter coffees.

Although we generally see this venture as a success, Sprudge even named us ‘the hottest new café in town’, the collaboration didn’t work out and we left in October 2015. But, by that time we already had our next location in sight and a few months later we opened our new café inside famed fashion store SPRMRKT.

SPRMRKT and The Coffeevine pursue the same goals in their respective industries, namely to work only with the best designers, artists and roasters out there. We believe we can offer our customers a unique experience and can really build on our concept to include new things. Now, we also offer espresso-based drinks, loose-leaf teas, hot chocolates and more.

– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
Our specialty was always filter coffee. Why? Because we believe that coffee is at its best in its purest form. Of course there is nothing wrong with a delicious flat white (my personal favourite), but when you brew a perfect cup of coffee, you want to be able to explore all those layered nuances, those flavour profiles and those delicate tasting notes that are hidden in each bean.

But that’s not everything of course. As a blogger, I always wrote short articles about the finest coffee bars that I had personally visited, thereby building a reputation as a ‘seal of approval’. It was very important for me to be seen as a partner and not a critic, because when I started I knew basically nothing about coffee.

Now, with our soon to be relaunched coffee subscription, our online marketplace for freshly roasted coffee and our café, we continue on our mission to pick, share and serve the world’s best coffees and other artisan products.

– What was your first coffee experience?
God, I think it was milky buckets of lattes at Starbucks when my dad took my sister and I on his golf-adventure holidays when we were little. I remember a very heavy cup and a lot of cinnamon sprinkles.

– What was your best coffee experience?
I have had so many it’s hard to pick the best. For me the best experiences are defined by amazing people, great settings and delicious coffees.

– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
Certainly. I have every brew method you can think of at home. Currently, I am playing around with the Kalita Wave, but I also have a syphon, the V60, Aeropress, French Press etc… It depends on who I am making coffee for, what coffee I am brewing and so on.

– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Black or with milk when it’s a flat white.

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
Somewhere between heavy and addict.

– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
No, I studied Marketing and worked in this field for approximately 8 years before launching my own business. I get to do a lot of cool things as an entrepreneur and I am learning more and more every day, but there are also moments that are very scary or when I wish I could turn back time to reverse a poor decision.

– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
Traveling, writing, cooking, music. I am currently doing a free course on Coursera entitled ‘Seeing through photography’. It’s super interesting!

– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
Uff. I have been to so many places, it’s hard to pick. This year I will be going to Iran and Japan. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that.
I recently wrote a big piece about my city of birth Mexico City for Caffeine Magazine that will be published in the next edition. Mexico City is absolutely incredible and so underrated! Also, my home town of Hamburg is really great and I’d love to visit Taiwan and the Philippines some time.

– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
I think Sprudge is doing an amazing job at creating really interesting coffee content. That is usually my go to for coffee news.

– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
In the last few years I have met a lot of people who don’t drink coffee at all, and when I get a chance to invite them to try one of our filter coffees and they agree, their reaction is often: ‘WOW! This is totally not what I expected.’
Personally, I think coffee still has a long way to go before a large majority of people understands the difference between bad coffee and specialty coffee but we’re all doing our part to get society to that next stage!

Thomas
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Thomas

Thomas Wyngaard Founder at OK Coffee, started in the coffee industry at OR Coffee Begium, now Director of Saison Coffee in New York City.