– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
My name is Charlene De Buysere.
I studied at the Royal Academy of art to become an interior designer.
My passion for food and beverages led me to the world of coffee in 2010.
OR Coffee Roasters gave me the opportunity to learn the craft of a coffee brewer.

– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I am a « coffeesnob » I believe. I try to improve every single day.
It is almost like a little kid that wants to look for new experiences. Peter pan in the female version.
In 2010 I was able to work with one of Belgium finest baristas Simon Boone. He learned me everything at that time.
It was not easy because he was very strict but that turned me into the person I am today so in a way I am thankful
Competition started quit fast for me in 2011 I became Belgium Aeropress champion and Brewerscup champion.
So that gave me the chance to go to the world championships and that was a real eyeopener… even more snobs on this planet!!!
haha
In 2012 I went to Portland for the world Aeropress championships. wow this was amazing! I didn’t receive my practice coffee in advance. so I had to come up with something over there. I went to the boiler booth for water, went to a grinder booth to ask to grind my coffee and came up with my recipe 1 hour before the competition….

In 2014 I became Belgium Barista Champion and I did not expect such a thing to win this from the first time. This is such a stressful competition… Thanks to the Suke Quto a wonderful coffee!
Getting behind the screens of a world championship was even more crazy! Some of them build a suitcase for an espressomachine and all the gear they needed… I saw some stuff. At that moment you know there is still a long way to walk!

After that I felt I needed to turn into new challenges and get on my own, so I left OR. I also needed to take time for me to focus on health problems, I had a lowerback hernia, not an easy one to handle… but I managed to keep my head up and focused on getting better…

– When did Watt open and what is the story behind?
When I started to get better I wanted my own business a combination of consultancy and espressobar.
The people from Dift a communication bureau gave me a place on the site of Watt to do my thing…
I don’t have to pay rent so this gives me the chance to see what works…
I want this to be a place for experimenting new stuff…
exploring what I really want to do. Being on the same grounds as the people of Jiggers is also fantastic. It expanse how you think about flavor, senses and experiences….

– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I think my specialty is the Aeropress… I just love it. « If I were a robot, the Aeropress would be my arm »
But for me it doesn’t really matter as long the flavors are fantastic…
I believe what makes me different is that I have this place and I can do whatever I like… I love communication with the roasters.
I don’t serve sugar in the bar… people can come here with all there questions about specialty coffee.

– What was your first coffee experience?
When I was just a kid. Bread choco and coffee….

– What was your best coffee experience?
I believe I have had a few already… But everytime I get goosebums that is a fantastic ex
and my first tomato Kenya 😉

– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
I dont drink coffee at home. only when Ward asks me to taste his.

– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Black no sugar no milk no ice and no vietnamese style 😉

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
taster

– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
This was my first real job! after hours working in my parents restaurant during weekends and holidays…

– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
Food and drinks in general and I also like street fishing
That is predetor fishing with a lure. preferable in Norway 😉

– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
I love coffee collective. I havent been to that many places yet. I think there is lots to discover…

– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
Sprudge

– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
learn slow and your way! acknowledge, adapt and create.

Could you also let me know which category(-ies) is the best to define you between:
barista – educator – trainer – consultant – owner – someone who wants to learn!

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.