– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
My Grandparents emigrated from Belgium to Argentina when they were around 13 years old. I was born in Argentina as the older brother of 4 boys. Came back with my family to Belgium when I was 13 years old in search for a better future. Well… We found it!
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
After finishing college my girlfriend and I decided to take a short trip to New Zealand. That trip went on for a year and a half. There we both worked as baristas and fell in love with the profession, never knowing that we’d get so involved in it! Once back in Belgium I had the opportunity to become a barista at Viva Sara Kortrijk and now I own my own coffee bar in the same city.
– When did deDingen open and what is the story behind?
Brecht Soenen started deDingen 8 years ago as a bar where EVERYTHING was for sale. Now we’re a specialty coffee bar with brunch/lunch, bar and (soon) also brewery. deDingen is one of those places that you fall in love with or you never come back again! ????
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I love the romance behind every cup of coffee. It doesn’t need to be perfect as long as the customer enjoys the experience.
– What was your first coffee experience?
I loved my Senseo during college! But my first experience was very similar to everyone else I guess. Having a sip from mom’s coffee and not understanding why they drink that kind of poison! But he! I got used to it now.
– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
New Zealand. So many coffee bars! But after a while you know where to go and before you know !BAM! The Senseo machine at home needs to go!
– What was your best coffee experience?
Little Mermaid coffee bar in Queensland Australia. That was the first time a coffee became a memory.
– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
I used to practice a lot at home trying to get my V60 perfect and making latte art with Bialetti and frothed milk. Now it’s only a V60 from time to time. Most of the time we spend in the shop anyway.
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Flat White in the morning, survive through the day thanks to filter coffee and every once in a while an espresso. But if you pour me a Cold Brew, well that’s a friendship that’d last a life time!
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
Starting to realize that I’m a coffeeholic.
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I’ve worked as many jobs as I could! Always hopping from one work to another… I just like to learn! But now I’ve been in the coffee industry for at least 3 years and there are still many to come (hopefully)!
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
Celia’s Pie Shop in Auckland, New Zealand. That’s where it all started for me. Did a 3 days course and thought I could handle anything! Haha!
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
BH. Think they’re doing a great job. Very clear and accessible. Perfect Daily Grind is also one of those websites that I visit a lot.
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
Lungo deca with whipped cream? Really?