– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
I am a musician and small business owner in Portland, Oregon. I work with my wife, Heather, making perfume for our company OLO Fragrance and I play amplified bass clarinet in a duo called Golden Retriever with my buddy Matt Carlson.

– Have you ever been in contact with the coffee industry?
Oh yeah! After working for nearly a decade with a tea importer that worked closely with coffee shops and cafes, I then went to work for Stumptown Coffee for a number of years. I was a barista, cafe manager, general manager and then trainer. I was fortunate enough to be in a position that allowed me to interact closely with the roasting team and green buyers at Stumptown as well as equipment manufacturers and coffee nerds from around the world. I learned so much and my love for the substance has never diminished! Portland has a pretty amazing coffee community, so I became close with many folks from all ends of the scene and developed some of my closest relationships through the coffee world.

– Do you like/drink coffee? Why?
I love making and drinking coffee. It is a never ending learning process that gets more intriguing the further down the wormhole you go. It is one of the most complex and satisfying things I get to taste and smell in my life. I love caffeine as a drug, credit it with aiding more than a few of my accomplishments in life, and as far as drugs go, its primary vehicles (coffee and tea) are comparatively gentle and tasty.

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
Addicted but controlled. While working in coffee, my consumption frequently veered towards the unhealthy even when all of my consumption was related to research, QC, and dialing in. Now, I tend to limit myself to 40g of coffee beans per day in whatever form that may take (espresso, brewed, etc.).

– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
I do. I love paper filter coffee the best. I tend to use V60, Kalita, and Melitta the most (in that order). I do also love an occasional moka pot or non-paper filter method (press pot, Walkure, etc.). My standard ratio is 20g coffee to 300g water.

– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Black. At cafes I tend to order an espresso with a small drip “coffee back” (like a whiskey with a beer back). I also love a good cappuccino. I will also admit to occasionally imbibing in a darker roast brewed coffee loaded with cream and sugar (taste like melted coffee ice cream!) or an iced coffee beverage if the weather is unbearably hot.

– What was your first coffee experience?
As a small child, sneaking styrofoam cups of “church-roast” coffee brewed in a giant aluminum percolator, loaded with sugar and artificial powdered creamer, and bouncing of the walls for a couple of hours with my brothers and friends.

– What was your best coffee experience?
That is hard to say – there have been so many! In addition to all the incredible cafe and industry experiences, I was lucky enough to visit and stay on a number of coffee farms in Costa Rica a few years ago. I loved making that final connection to the roots of the beverage and meeting farmers who produced my favorite coffees from that region. Picking coffee cherry for even a short time gave me a deeper appreciation for the amount of work that goes into every cup.

– What place in the world would you recommend for coffee?
Too many to list! I will say the shops I frequent most in Portland right now are Heart and Good Coffee, but Stumptown, Barista, Albina Press, and Either/Or are also favorites and I hit them up whenever I am close by.

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.