How did you get into the coffee industry and become a barista?
I started making coffee with a small manual lever machine at home, and after a while I knew I wanted to learn about coffee for real. So I started out working at a small Amsterdam based coffee-chain called the Coffee Company. A year later, I knew I wanted to do this for a living... the rest is history.
What is the most unusual ingredient you’ve used in a coffee drink? Why did you choose it?
We combined espresso with fritz kola once by accident. The result blew us away as it smelled and tasted exactly like rosemary. But we never really figured out if it was the combination or just the cola that made it taste like that.
What are you thinking about right before you go on stage at a competition?
"Don't mess it up".
What is your best coffee experience?
The first time I actually visited a coffee farm. We visited Graciano Cruz at his Los Lajones farm in Panama. The great smell on the farm alone was enough. You don't really know coffee before you've smelled that, I think.
What is your favorite brew method at home and why?
Still the Aeropress. Never let's me down.
What is one piece of knowledge you would share with a non-barista coffee drinker?
I guess that coffee can taste many different ways. That it's not just a drink that wakes you up and tastes the same no matter where you drink it. People appreciate coffee so much more after you tell them that.
Outside of coffee, what do you do for fun?
I go climbing as much as I can, go running, or race my bike. I like to build stuff, watch movies, eat pizza's and drink beer. The list used to be bigger, but coffee takes up quite a lot of my time at the moment.