The pre rounds are just behind us and we have seen some amazing runs. Even more amazing is that we have so many new comers in the finals this year. So who are our finalists? We can read about where they work, what coffee they used and what their signature drink was, but what are their thoughts on coffee and coffee quality in general?
What do they love to drink? Do they brew coffee at home? Where do they still want to go? Read it down below.
works at: Teacher at Hotel Management School Venlo and freelancer with his own mobile espresso bar 'Coffee Minded'
coffee used: Natural Nicaragua for the espresso and a natural Nicaragua and Costa Rica Caturra White Honey blend for the cappuccino
roasted by: Bjorn Aarts of Dutch Barista Coffee
signature drink: Nicaragua espresso served in a glass frozen to -80 Degrees Celsius dipped in blue berry juice
What is the worst coffee you have ever had?
I can't remember. I banned it from my memory...
Is caffeine caffeine, or do you skip coffee when you know it will probably be bad?
Of course I do not order coffee if I know it will be horrid! A good glass of wine of beer is no punishment.
If you can only choose one variable, whether it be origin, water, fresh grind, roast or something else, which one would you choose?
Do you believe this is the most important variable when brewing coffee?
I would choose the variable that the coffee beans need to be freshly roasted. However without the right water, a good grinder, correct extraction time and correct ratio a beautiful and fresh roasted coffee does not amount to much. Everything has to be just right to get a good espresso.
If people ask you what they should buy for making coffee at home, what advice do you give them?
It really depends on what they would want to spend and the quality of coffee they are used to drinking. A Jura is a good option if you are looking for an automatic coffee machine that uses whole coffee beans. Or a Moccamaster for filter coffee. If you can spend a little more or you want to make espresso at home there are different 1-group machines out there that are really great.
So the question is, what are they looking for?
How do you brew coffee at home?
Usually I brew filter coffee with a chemex or a Mocchamaster. But in summer I love making my own cold brew.
It's so cool and mind blowing to discover good coffee that I can never get enough of it. Not only do I brew coffee to inspire myself, but I love inspiring the young people that I work with at the Hotel Management School to love coffee too.
If you walk into a coffee bar that you have not been to before and you want to assess the level of quality, what do you look for?
I look at what espresso machine they use. Are there multiple grinders? And, if they have a dosing chamber, is this chamber empty, ensuring freshly ground coffee? But eventually it all comes down to the skill of the barista.
What would you order?
Usually I order a cappuccino. When a cappuccino is being made you can really see if a barista is paying attention to what they are doing. Do they use fresh whole milk? How does the coffee taste? And do they serve the cappuccino in a classical style or do they pour latte art?
What is your favourite brew method?
On my job I love to drink a beautiful freshly made double espresso.
When travelling what do you bring to fill your coffee needs?
If I am just travelling for a few days I don't bring anything. If I leave for a longer period of time I usually bring my chemex, fresh beans and a kettle.
Where coffee related to you still want to go to?
I want to go to the World Barista Championships as a competitor!
So, finally two questions about the DBC 2015 finals. Why do you think you placed? What contributed to your success?
I worked clean and structured. Plus I was technically strong. I do still have to work on my storyline though.
What are you looking forward to the most now you placed for the finals?
Placing for the finals has given me so much energy that I am really looking forward to training and getting even more and better flavours out of my coffee.
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Photo by Pim Rinkes
Want to see more photos by Pim? Check the SCAE Nederland Facebook album.