– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
Hi I’m Laurent, 23 years old, born in Kortrijk (Belgium) & single! I started working 3 years ago at the company of my father, CDS automaten. CDS is Exclusive importer of Victoria Arduino & Nuova Simonelli for Belgium. When I started working at my dad I made an online shop for homebaristas: www.homebarista.be and that’s my responsibility in the company. Now 3 years later I’m more and more integrated into to specialty world and I now I stand in as first contact for Victoria Arduino Belgium.

– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
My first contact with coffee was during my basic barista course at the roastery from Viva Sara in Vichte.
I am very grateful to Peter from Viva Sara because since his course I’m really passionated about coffee.
After that I followed a slow coffee basic course in the new Viva Sara Kaffee in Kortrijk. Next step was a coffee adventure abroad.
I went for one week to BBS solutions in Velaux (France), near Marseille for my SCAE formation barista & latte art.
Ludovick Loizon who’s owner of the company & also 2 times barista champion in France also gave me some new insights in coffee and told me I should register as volunteer for the world barista championships in Rimini.
I was really enthusiastic and signed in. I went to rimini and my eyes opened from that moment I knew coffee was my future. I’ve met some very cool & interesting people over there and I still have contact with them.
After that year I went to Seattle as a volunteer for the SCAA and again I met new people from all over the world who are involved in the coffee industry, it’s really such an interesting world!!!

I participated 4 times at the Belgium cupping championships, first time was in 2013 then I was 4th,
2014 I was 3rd & last year I was again 4th. And this year I ended up at the 5th place.

– What is the story behind CDS/Home Barista?
CDS started 15 years ago with vending machines, 10 years ago with importing Nuova Simonelli & Victoria Arduino. Home Barista started 3 years ago when I started working at my fathers company. The story behind Home Barista is simple, we wanted to convice people at home to buy a good machine to make fresh coffee with good materials.

– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
the big difference with other importers is our technical team. We have 12 technicians who are everyday on the road to our clients for installations, maintenances, reparations,… We are a very flexible company and don’t focus on hardselling. We share passion and knowledge and I think that’s the most important key in the specialty coffee business. Selling is easy but afterwards clients need service and that’s our core-business. With the home barista shop we also provide our clients the right gear.

– What was your first coffee experience?
My first coffee experience was when I was 14 years old. We went to Italy on holiday and my father was drinking espresso after diner.
I asked him what’s that for coffee? It looks so mall? He told me that’s espresso Laurent. That’s typical for Italy here.
I tasted the espresso first without sugar and I was thinking wtf how gross! But then my father told me to add some sugar and after that I was thinking like yea ok not so bad at all this little coffee!

– What was your best coffee experience?
My best coffee experience was in Rimini on the beach where the world Aeropress championships where hold.
Jeff from Caffenation was 2nd that championship and I was really amazed & inspired from his handling with the Aeropress.
After he did his round in the final I had the chance to take a sip from his recipe and I was really impressed about the taste. Also, the atmosphere on the beach made my coffee experience complete. That was really a very very amazing day that I will cherish & never forget.

– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
In the morning I prepare my coffee with the Moccamaster & grind my beans with a Baratza Virtuoso.
During weekends I take out my Aeropress to test some new coffees. But sometimes if I don’t have a lot of time I take a coffee from our Jura machine…

– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
BLACK

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
In the beginning of the week heavy, because then I mostly need it lol. (like 9 cups a day)
In the end of the week it’s less, (like 4 cups a day)

– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I worked in several bars during the weekend when I was still a student. I studied sound, assembling & video for one year.
During my studies I didn’t drink a lot of coffee, it was mostly beer, a lot of beer…

– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
Yes, I played soccer from my 6 years until my 22. I also skated for 4 years during my teenager years.
My 2nd hobby nowadays is music, for 2 years until now I organise party’s with friends called E-LAB.
The first year we had a lot of success, our last edition was in Culture Club in Ghent with 3 big artist from the Label Avotre.
3 months ago I bought my first professional dj gear and one month ago I had my first gig in a nice local club called Sondag.

– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
I really recommend Seattle, I was there last year as a volunteer and it’s a coffee harbour like we have Antwerp in Belgium.
A beautiful city with very kind people and a lot of interesting coffee shops.

– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
Perfectdailygrind.com , Why? In rimini I met Henry Wilson. When I met him perfectdailygrind didn’t existed yet.
He was planning to make that site and if you look at the it now… you can see my friend Henry did an amazing job.

– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
Follow a basic course at a local roaster or ask a friend who’s working in the coffee industry to make your coffee moment more interesting. If you do that your love for coffee will grow. When coffee crosses your path you will know that there’s no end to that story.

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.