Laura De Boeck
Please tell us a little about yourself:
I don’t like to espresso myself.
How did you get started in coffee?:
I started working as a Barista at OR Coffee Roaster in 2015. I didn’t know anything about coffee, I used to work at IKEA. But once I started, I fell in love hard. I also discovered I had really good tasking skills and started to experiment, train and improve myself. Thanks to Tom & Katrien from OR Coffee Roasters I got the opportunity to travel to Rwanda, train for competitions & even got my Q-graders diploma. I now work at their new company Cup-A-Lot, a green coffee sourcer, and I am learning about a whole new world of coffee. I just love my job & I think my story in coffee has just begun.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
2015 Belgian Cup Tasters – 2nd Place
2016 Belgian Cup Tasters 2016 – 4th Place
2017 Belgian Cup Tasters – 2nd Place
2016 Belgian Brewers Cup – 1st Place
2017 Belgian Brewers Cup – 2nd Place
2018 Belgian Brewers Cup – 1st Place
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
I am excited to eat & drink!!!
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:
I’ve had so many, but the one that really made me humble & gave me so much more respect for coffee was my trip to origin to Rwanda. The way the people over there take care of coffee, made me as a barista humble & even more respectful towards the product & the people.
What is your favorite coffee brewing method and why?:
I can’t choose. I love coffee in all sizes, shapes, forms… any time of the day, any mood, the people, the weather… calls for a different brewing technique & that’s what makes it sooooo fun!!!!
What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:
We are now working a lot with Congo and it’s such a beautiful country with such amazing coffees. It’s also very exciting because it’s a ‘rough diamond’ & you just know that the people & the coffees have so so so much potential and that makes it a real honour to work so closely with them.
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
Everything that has someting to do with flavour, really. I LOVE to cook, I love wine, and beers, but even cigars or chocolate can interest me. I think it’s so fascinating to learn how it’s made & what flavours come from where, the taste differences, the combinations…I just love it!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
5 years ago I was still working at IKEA not knowing a thing about coffee… so who knows what I will be doing in 5 years from now… But it’s safe to say that I lost my heart to coffee & I think it will be like that forever.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
My coach, Katrien Pauwels for sure. She helped me become the person I am today. And I am not even talking about just coffee. She is such an inspiration for me, I look up to her knowledge, skills & also the way she stands in life. Thank you Katrien, for being my coach not just now but for the last 5 years. I hope to learn even more from you in the future.
Also Toon, my husband, thank you for supporting me all the way in everything I do.