– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
In 2000 my father passed out and my mother asked me if I could go to our ranches in Chiapas and check if I could take care of them or sell them. I considered making them work a challenge, knowing that I didn’t know anything about coffee, I didn’t even drink coffee… The ranches are called Santa Cruz and Las Nubes.


- When did Finca Chelin start and what is the story behind?
The ranch, called Tierra Colorada, was an abandonned since 1998. I bought it in 2013 and gave it the name Finca Chelín.

– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I’m someone who likes to do things differently, based on investigation and innovation. For that reason I’m the most innovative farmer in Mexico.

– What was your first coffee experience? 
In 2004 I won the first place in an international Certified Organic coffees contest, and the award was an invitation to participate in the SCAA in Atlanta, USA, representing Mexican coffee; I thus had the opportunity to follow conferences, tasting and toasting classes, which changed my idea of what coffee was, particularly in terms of specialty coffee.

– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee? 
In the year 2004, at the SCAA

– What was your best coffee experience? 
Winning the first place in 2004 with only 3 years of experience in coffee and knowing very few of biochemical and fermentation processes, winning the first place in national awards several years, and the second place in the Cup of Excellence in 2012.

– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use? 
Yes. I like espressos and I also brew on a V-60.

– How do you like your coffee (drink)? 
Black, with nothing else in it. If the coffee tastes bad, I don’t drink it.

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)? 
I drink approximately 12 cups per day, 150 grams.

– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job? 
I studied to be a commercial pilot, and licenced in accountings and finances. I started learning about coffee at the age of 32, when my father passed out.

– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee? 
Sure. I love reading and listening to music.

– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)? 
Guatemala and Ethiopia.

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

I don’t have a special reference on the web. There are thousands of articles related to coffee on the Internet and in Facebook, but for any special topic or new issue I Google it and it usually leads you to various new articles.

– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee? 
Reading is important as an introduction; the information opens you doors into knowledge, there you will find informations about what a good coffee is for someone in Mali, and what are specialty coffees. Then practicing, learning to taste coffees in order to be able to distinguish their positive and negative attributes. When you learn how to drink and taste a excellent cup of coffee, you’ll notice that it produces delight in your palate and brings happiness to your person.

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.