– Can you please introduce yourself in a few words.
Hi, I’m Sophie, 42 years old (in a few weeks), founder of Koffieboonen and coffee addict in every way. Working in the coffee industry for 6 years and working with coffee for 15 years now.
– What’s your story in the coffee industry?
I used to have a lunchbar for almost 14 years and in the last 7 years coffee became more and more important. I competed in the barista competition in 2013, got into the finals but unfortunately could not continue because of a hernia at that time. I’ve been event manager for SCA Belgium for 2 years and have judged national and a few international competitions. Currently I work as a Freelance barista and consultant. Roasting is my biggest passion and teaching about coffee makes me very happy too. Being able to give people tips and tricks about improving their skills is very satisfying.
– What’s your specialty and what makes you different?
My specialty is teaching. I think I found a way to explain the art of coffee making in an easy and understandable way. I am also very technical, and always working on machines and grinders to fix them if needed.
– What was your first coffee experience?
I can’t really remember. I worked in the horeca since I was 19 and I do remember that in those days we needed sugar in our coffee because it was not drinkable otherwise 🙂 That has changed a lot now. (i drink tea now if the coffee is not ok :-))
– How/when have you discovered about specialty coffee?
I think about 7 years ago when I wanted those improvements in my bar and was looking for new things. We started serving filter coffee at that time. Most of the coffees then came from Or Coffee.
– What was your best coffee experience?`
I do remember the best espresso I ever drank in all those years. That was in Antwerp by Normo. It was a Kenya single origin and it was so different at that time (I think 7 or 8 years ago) that it made me think about my own coffee in my lunchbar and the day after I ordered an extra grinder to start working on improvement.
– Do you prepare coffee at home ? If yes, what method do you use?
Yes, I mostly drink coffee only at home. I am a filter drinker. V60 most of the time.
– How do you like your coffee? Black, sugar and milk, iced, vietnamese style,…?
Only black and preferably filter (and most of the time African origines like Kenya or Burundi)
– How would you qualify yourself as coffee drinker (occasional, heavy, addict…)?
I do not drink so much coffee because I prefer a very good cup instead of a lot. Mostly in the morning.
– Have you always been into the coffee industry? If not, what was your previous job?
As I always worked in the horeca, coffee was always present although not always like it is nowadays.
– Do you have another passion or a hobby besides coffee?
I think my three cats and my garden take up a lot of my time. Restoring old furniture (wood) is also a hobby.
– What other place would you recommend, anywhere in the world (coffee or not)?
I lived in South Africa for a while and there was a coffee bar called Origin Coffee, that was a very nice place. And closer to home there is Rost, in Middelburg. They are friends of mine and also into coffee and healthy food, very nice place!
– What is/are your favorite website(s) to get information about coffee?
I think www.sweetmarias.com is a good website and the book of Katrien Pauwels from OR Coffee Roasters, Puur Koffie, is also very interesting. And of course the books of Scott Rao.
– What would you say to people who don’t know much about coffee?
If you want to know more, start tasting, testing and exploring. Before you know it, you’re an addict like me 🙂