My name is Kees Kraakman. I have been working in the coffee world since 1999. At that time Jamaica Blue Mountain was the exclusive available coffee: prepared in small jars and mystically wrapped. I still remember the moment I had my first Jamaica espresso ever. Waw. It was my first step into the vast world of Specialty Coffee.
During the last 16 years, I learnt roasting, preparing and tasting coffee. I visited
coffee farms in their beautiful surroundings, I started popup coffee places and learnt how to become an entrepreneur. I trained others on starting their own roastery and gave intensive workshops in coffee roasting and tasting. So I have done a lot, but I am not even halfway.
Nowadays, the coffee scene looks at a new legend: the recently rediscovered variety from the old forests in west Ethiopia. It is called ‘Gesha’ and it tastes out of this world. What does the coming 15 years have in store for us? I look forward to it and would be happy to share my experience with you in one of my workshops.
Below, a brief overview of my experiences during the last few years:
Boot Coffee Consulting ('11 - Present)
For Boot Coffee, I organize and offer trainings in roasting and tasting. I help Willem in his projects in coffee producing countries and offer my consultancy on location. For more information you can check the offered workshops on the website and/or send an email to email@example.com or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stadsbranderij Noord ('12 - Present)
Started in the summer of 2012 as a pop up roastery/coffee place in the Open Coöp. In the autumn of 2012, the coffee place closed, but the roastery continued. I sell fresh roasted coffee via the cafeteria of the Open Coop. On a regular basis, we organize special events in the evenings. During these evenings, we experiment, we play and we learn everything about coffee. Sometimes it is just a ping pong competition.
Pussy Galore ('13 - Present)
The cafeteria of the Open Coöp. A place to eat and drink coffee. Together with Love at First Bite and partizan publik, two members of the Open Coop, we run the cooperative cafeteria and divide the tasks among us. Each does what he is good at. Pussy Galore is also a good place to train interns, away from the madness of the Specialty Coffee scene.
At Hopper, I started as a trainer for the employers but not long after it appeared that I could get along really good with the owner Karel Rietveld. So I started working there every saturday as a barista. I learnt how to work fast under pressure while keeping my calm and preparing coffee. The owner Karel set a standard that was always aiming higher. It was an inspiring and instructive work environment.
It was my own espresso bar in the center of the Amsterdam. Together with my friends Sander and Onno van Zanten, we formed the SOK trio (me with the K). During a whole summer we experimented and learnt how to run and own an espresso bar.
The first Specialty Coffee bar in Amsterdam. Here, I worked during my first years after the Golden Coffee Box and learnt to improve my barista skills. Learning mainly how to work efficiently and clean under pressure is a skill I acquired here in practice. I also helped the owner Rick Woertman to set his way into the first phases of self roasting.
The Golden Coffee Box ('99-'09)
Here was the basis of my love for coffee. From the family Boot, I learnt the craft of coffee roasting. Over a period of 10 years, I performed different tasks. I started as a shop employer and ended up as a quality manager. I also had my first travels to coffee countries like Ethiopia and Panama. With all respect and pleasure I look back at this first phase of my coffee career.