– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
I’m a coffee roaster since 2009 at Caffènation. Living and working in Antwerpen. Lover of cold and hot beverages.
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I started bussing tables at Caffènation in 2008, tried my hand at the machine, was never really good at that. Caffènation was doing a lot of coffee, also reselling to other bars. We were seeing an opportunity here and our roaster had reached his maximum potential. I finally convinced Rob, my boss to buy and invest in a roaster, a few months later we were in San Francisco learning about roasting.
Early on I went around the world and primarily to Scandinavia to learn and be annoying around roasters.
We were really quick to adopt Aeropress, mostly for home use, seeing Tim Wendelboe use it. I won the world Aeropress championships 2 times was 2 times 3rd, and won 3 times in Belgium.
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
We are punk.
It used to be that we were considered « light roast » we still are but the industry is following suit more and more. I guess now we stand out because of the variety. Being so close to so much green coffee from all over the earth we can rotate between coffees really fast. Our stock is tops 2 months. Every week you can pop into the shop and have the newest crop, we try to be as fresh and variable as possible.
– What was your first coffee experience?
Terrible: a pod in a Krups machine with water that was standing there for months. I think I got sick.
– What was your best coffee experience?
Cupping fresh crop in Kenya. Not a lot of people can experience this.
– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
Kalita 185 for 2 or more people. A dirty Aeropress when I’m alone.
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
A reasonable 5 cups a day is good.
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I worked 2-3 years in my fathers’/family company. They produced cigars for 5 generations. I went trough all stages, blending raw tobaccos with a rake, rolling cigars, doing stock management, looking into accountancy to really selling the stuff on the road in France.
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
Food and in particular wine at this point. Architecture and cities in general.
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
For coffee, Poland is amazing to discover. Amazing talent that cut their teeth all over to world to come back and mash up their skills in the major cities.
Japan or Tokyo is good because all coffee styles ever thought of are still practiced almost next to each other. You can drink the coffee of 20’s Vienna, 30’s Kyoto, 60’s Rome, Oslo 2015 also 2020 Tokyo if you search.
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
Barista hustle, jimseven, coffeegeek forum, socratic coffee and follow the right people on twitter.
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
Everybody loves tea, approach coffee like a fruit and/or like a tea: immediately you’ll set their mind to enjoy coffee in the right way, light, fruity, balanced and clean.