– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
I am Marianne, barista and manager of OR Coffee Etterbeek, originally from Antwerp but moved to Brussels 6 years ago after traveling and working in Australia for a year.

– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
In 2011, my husband Mathias and I moved to Australia (Melbourne) for a year and it was pretty clear to me that I wanted to work in hospitality and preferably in the coffee industry. I was lucky enough to get a job at Seven Seeds, one of the best specialty coffee bars in Melbourne. I didn’t get to work there as a barista though since they required at least 5 years experience, but I kept my eyes open and tasted everything I could get my hands on. When we came back, I applied for a job at OR Coffee straight away and 6 years later I’m still here. I started at OR Coffee in the center in 2012, then moved to Etterbeek when it opened in 2014 and since 2016 Mathias and I have been running the café in Etterbeek independently. At the end of the year, my career at OR Coffee will come to an end, but it’s not over yet! We will open our own café in the near future so keep an eye out for www.studiofrankie.brussels! If something is going to happen, you’ll find it there 🙂

– What was your first coffee experience?
I think it must have been Nescafé which is probably why I stopped drinking coffee altogether.

– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
9 years ago, when I met Mathias. I didn’t drink coffee, didn’t like it at all. He taught me though that coffee doesn’t necessarily have to taste bad 🙂

– What was your best coffee experience?
Hard to pick only one to be honest, but I guess working at Seven Seeds because it totally opened my eyes to what’s out there. If it hadn’t been for Seven Seeds, I wouldn’t be where I am at now. After that, I would have to say visiting a coffee farm in Brazil with Tom and participating in the Belgian Barista Championship in 2014.

– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
Yes I do and it depends if I’m making coffee just for me or for a bunch of people. If it’s just for me, I usually go for Kalita or Aeropress but when I’m sharing with someone else I’ll brew a pot with the Moccamaster.

– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Black please! Hot, lukewarm, cold, …

– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
Unlike many other people, I don’t need coffee to wake up and don’t like it on an empty stomach so I don’t drink that much coffee actually. I drink it for the taste, not for the effect it has.

– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I have a bachelor in applied linguistics (English, Spanish and a bit of Polish), but never did anything in that field to be honest. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do for a living so I worked as an administrative assistant for a while. And then, I discovered the hospitality industry! I can’t even imagine sitting still at a desk behind a computer all day anymore!

– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
Food! Anything to do with food. And eating.

– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
Not the best place for coffee, but I had a fantastic food experience in Tel Aviv.

– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
Even though I don’t do a lot of coffee reading online, the two places I do go to from time to time are Sprudge and James Hoffmann (jimseven).

– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
Coffee is so much more than “just a regular coffee”. It’s like going into a wine bar and asking for a glass of red. You’ll get the same answer that we would give you: what kind of red? We’re here to help so ask us questions, try new things, be curious. Coffee is a lot more fun than you might think 🙂

Thomas
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Thomas

Thomas Wyngaard Founder at OK Coffee, proud barista at OR Coffee, producer of Extasia radio show on Campus, Brussels.