– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
Florian Hessel, co-founder of Stooker Roasting Co. and the Stooker Coffee Academy in Amsterdam
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
Like most: started out at a low quality café during my student years, did research, grew, moved to a better café with better coffee, grew some more, met the right people and started making plans for our own business
– When did Stooker Roasting Company open and what is the story behind?
Stooker Roasting Co. is up and running since late 2014. My business partner Onno van Zanten and I have the goal to bring Specialty Coffee to the average coffee drinker, show them how beautiful this product can be. Surprise them with flavors they wouldn’t expect from a cup of coffee. We supply a number of high quality cafés, restaurants and hotels to achieve that goal. A little later on we launched our SCAE certified Stooker Coffee Academy to make sure every barista working with our coffees has the right skill set to help us achieve our goal. This academy is also open for registrations for the enthusiastic home barista of course!
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
I’d have to say our focus on training in our academy. Roasting the highest quality beans to perfection, advising on the best machines available and promoting the story behind the cup is cool and all, but if the cup isn’t brewed well, it’s all for nothing. The barista is the last link in the chain, we’re dependent of them and take them and their qualities very seriously.
– What was your first coffee experience?
First: my moms french press + dark roast
– What was your best coffee experience?
My introduction to Specialty Coffee came from a pop-up Stumptown café here in Amsterdam, couldn’t believe how many different flavors i was tasting the first time I tried their Hairbender blend!
– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
Every morning or my girlfriend will leave me. Kalita Wave 185 + Orphan Espresso LIDO1
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Black, filter brewed or espresso… preferably alongside a good croissant
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
I drink 1 cup a day. The rest of my day is filled with sips of coffee during our trainings, cuppings, tastings for café owners etc.
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
I’ve got a Master of Science in Organizational Psychology and was planning to consult on corporate social responsibility. That never happened… coffee got in the way 😉
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
With a 18 month old company and a 5 month old daughter there’s not a lot room left for hobbies. But I do enjoy running, a good whisky, vintage watches and photography
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
I try to make it to Belgium every year and I love to visit ‘Noordzee’ in Brussels: proper fish and a flute of champagne, outside, during an autumn sun. Can’t wait to go back.
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
Baristahustle.com is definitely the space I direct people to with a more serious interest in working as a barista. Matt Perger is doing an awesome job making difficult coffee matter more practical.
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
Read the book ‘God in a Cup’, drink a lot of different coffees at different cafés and ask questions.