– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
Hi, My name is Dorien Selleslagh. I’m 30 years old, and live in Brussels together with my boyfriend Geert and Finn, Geert’s son. Since 2010 I work as a barista at OR Coffee. My other passion is tea. That’s why Geert and I started
our own company, MIST, with which we import specialty tea.
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I started working in the coffee business 8 years ago. When I finished my studies in Ghent, I first
wanted to try something else. Back in 2010 coffee wasn’t a big thing in Belgium. There were few roasters and coffee bars, but
almost nobody knew what specialty coffee was. Me neither. When I applied at OR Coffee bar Ghent, I didn’t know exactly what they were doing. When I met Katrien (Pauwels, the owner – see other interview) the first time, she really inspired me. She spoke so full of passion about coffee, that I knew OR was a place where I could learn many things. In 2012 I became the responsible at OR Coffee Brussels. 3 years later I was asked to become the manager of this place. Last year I stopped managing OR, to focus on our Tea Business MIST. I still work in OR until the end of this year (2018), and I’m still enjoying every cup I make.
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
What I enjoy the most is searching for the method (Kalita, Aeropress, Chemex,… ) that brings the best out of each filter coffee, and serving this to the clients.
– What was your first coffee experience?
My first real coffee experience was at OR Coffee in 2010. Before that time I wasn’t really a coffee drinker.
– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
– What was your best coffee experience?
My best coffee experience must have been about 6 years ago, when a colleague of mine made me a natural Yirgacheffe (I think Wote) on espresso. I was blown away by the fruitiness of these Ethiopian beans.
– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
Yes, at home we use the V60 or the Chemex.
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Black, always Black.
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
Addict, but only quality addict 😀
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I’ve always been in coffee and tea industry.
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
My biggest passion is tea. It’s a passion that I developed through the years. And for this I’m very thankful to OR Coffee.
In 2012 OR decided to offer specialty tea, next to the specialty Coffee. OR gave me the chance to follow tea courses in Paris, Den Haag and Amsterdam. It was in that period my passion got triggered. That’s why in 2016 my boyfriend and I planned a tea trip to Taiwan. We really fell in love with the country, the people and of course the tea. Back on the plane home we decided to start importing Taiwanese tea. In 2017 we went back to Taiwan and met the same farmers and new farmers, and we started to import bigger amounts. Today MIST delivers tea to restaurants, conceptstores, coffee bars.. and yes, you can drink MIST Tea at Or Coffee.
– Any plans in the future regarding MIST TEA? What is the story behind?
MIST is still growing every day. We have a nice selection of Taiwanese tea. Every tea is bought 100 % Directly. We know every farmer, and know the story behind the tea. The future plan for MIST is to keep this way of working in mind, with other countries, like Japan, China, Korea. And maybe one day, have our own teashop/teabar.
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee , tea or anything else)?
For tea I like Formosa in Amsterdam, Terre De chine in Paris, and in Taiwan almost everyone can prepare you a nice cup of tea 😉 For coffee I Like the Barn In Berlin, Belga and Co in Brussels, and to combine with breakfast, Hollybelly in Paris or District Coffee in Berlin.
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
OK COFFEE TIPS 😉
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee or tea?
Go to a city like Brussels, Berlin, London, … and make a list of specialty coffeebars in that city. Ask suggestions in every bar, and try as many different filter coffee’s and espresso’s as possible. Take notes of what you taste and what you like most.