Project Description

Dajo Aertssen
Coffee Makers

Please tell us a little about yourself: 

I’m a former physical education teacher, who changed careers for good a couple of years ago, to fully focus on coffee. I work at Coffee Makers in Lille, where I mainly work as barista, but also help out with green coffee buying, roasting, and training. I recently had the opportunity to spend 9 months in Brazil with the aim of learning as much as possible about specialty coffee production. I was lucky to meet Deneval Vieira and his amazing family, with whom I spent a lot of time at their farm, Sítio Cordilheiras do Caparao. Together we set up a sample roaster and started cupping and evaluating their lots, which helped me develop my cupping skills tremendously. I find it an exciting challenge to try to transfer this knowledge to our customers; to try to educate them without being snobby. I try to stay humble, open-minded, and eager to continue learning.

How did you get started in coffee?:

In 2012, after having finished my studies, I moved to Melbourne for a year with the goal of getting my first work experience as a physical education teacher. While I was validating my diplomas I accepted a dishwashing job in a local café. That’s where I discovered the Melbournian coffee religion, and pulled my first shots when the head barista was on a break.

Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:

French Cup Tasters 2018 – 1st place
French Cup Tasters 2019 – 1st place
World Cup Tasters 2018 Brazil – 18th place

What are you excited to do in Berlin?:

Check out urban art, coffee shops, and wine bars :)

What is your favourite coffee to cup?:

Anything from Sítio Cordilheiras (Caparao, Brazil).

What are your interests outside of coffee?:

Food, natural wine, and nature.

Where do you see yourself in five years?:

Hopefully running my own coffee roastery in Lille!

Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the WCTC?:

First of all my girlfriend, Coralie, for her eternal support and understanding. Secondly, the many people that helped me prepare for this championship. In particular, Thomas Hierthes, Mateusz Gracz, and my other colleagues at Coffee Makers. Also the many awesome people in the coffee scene for sending me coffee and/or helping me train: Niels te Vaanhold & Jasmijn, Morgane Daeschner, Lomi, Coutume, Stéphane Cataldi, Maison Jobin, L’Artisanes, Piha, Cook Kaffe, Tamper Espresso Bar, Wally’s Coffee, Belleville, Evelyn Rosa & UCC, and all the others I’ve forgotten… Finally, the people at SCA France, Brita and Moccamaster, for their human and financial support. Merci!

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