– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
My name is Jenna Gotthelf. I am one of the New York City regional educators for Counter Culture Coffee in New York City.

– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I started working in a specialty coffee shop in the summer of 2011 where I learned about the global coffee championship circuit and was instantly intrigued. From this shop, I went on to manage Northampton Coffee in Western Massachusetts where I competed in regional and national Barista Competitions. In the spring of 2015, I started working as a barista at Everyman Espresso in New York City where I continued to compete in both Barista and Brewers Cup competitions. In the summer of 2018 I became one of the Regional Educator for Counter Culture Coffee in New York City where I am currently employed.

– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I enjoy teaching and learning about coffee. I love opening the coffee door to help usher in new coffee professionals and generate excitement about the craft.

– What was your first coffee experience?
My first coffee notable coffee experience was from a kiosk in an outdoor strip mall in Orange County, California. I had an enjoyable espresso that sparked my interest in learning and understanding more.

– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
I started drinking specialty coffee around a time that I was doing a lot of freelance writing work in cafes. There was one cafe in particular that I would frequent. They served specialty coffee here; this is when I learned that there was more to making coffee then just adding water. It is what sparked my interest to become a barista.

– What was your best coffee experience?
I worked an event doing V60 pour over service at an art opening in Western Massachusetts. We were serving a variety of different coffees from different roasters. There was a Rwandan coffee from Tonx that was so sweet and balanced; It was one of the first times I noticed big sweetness in a coffee. It was neat getting to share that coffee with people outside of the subscription service.

– Do you prepare coffee at home ?
If yes, what method do you use? I do prepare coffee at home. Depending on how much coffee I’m brewing I’ll use a Kalita wave or an Aeropress.

– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, Vietnamese style,…?
I enjoy drinking coffee all sorts of ways! I love espresso all year long and iced coffee in the summer time. I generally drink my coffee black, but I believe that there is a time and place for milk and sugar.

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
I drink a lot of coffee. During the work week I’d say I drink an average of 6 espressos a day plus 8oz of filter coffee and on the weekends maybe 1-2 coffees a day.

– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I coached a ski team in the Catskills for 8 years and worked a variety of odd jobs from twisting pretzels to packaging and shipping antiques.

– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
I enjoy running and casual sports.

– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
Hmm…that’s a tough questions! I haven’t seen too much of the world. I love New England. I think there are a lot of places along the northeast coast that are great to visit. We’re coming up on the fall. Autumn is a great time to take a trip up north! Especially before it gets cold.

– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
The Counter Culture Coffee website has a lot of great resources, including an archive of videos from our Professional Development Workshop series. World Coffee Research has a lot of great information.

– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
I would say that if you are interested in learning more about coffee, don’t hesitate to ask questions! Don’t be shy about asking your barista or your local coffee professional questions about the coffee you are drinking. One of the most exciting things about coffee is that there is always more to learn!

Thomas
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Thomas

Thomas Wyngaard Founder at OK Coffee, started in the specialty coffee industry back in 2015. Lived in New York City for a year and a half. Now working at OR Coffee Roasters, Belgium.