Roaster profile: Way Coffee Roasters
World Aeropress Championship winner Charlene de Buysere makes her Coffeevine debut with a gorgeous and sweet Brazilian natural coffee
Here at The Coffeevine, we’ve been lucky to have worked with some of the most respected, award-winning and innovative people in specialty coffee who have pushed boundaries and done incredible things for their local communities and the specialty coffee industry at large.
Of course, not everyone has the ambition to enter competitions and win awards, but sometimes, life doesn’t reveal the path it has for you until you’re already on it. This is what happened to Belgian coffee professional Charlene de Buysere who started working at a local coffee bar in Ghent more out of the need for a job than for passion for specialty coffee.
But before too long, Charlene had amassed a huge amount of skill and knowledge and went on to win the World Aeropress Championships in Portland in 2012, something she never dreamed of achieving. In fact, when you buy an Aeropress today, you will find a quote from Charlene on the packaging that reads: “If I were a robot, the Aeropress would be my arm.”
Now, if this isn’t a great claim to fame, what could possibly be? I’m super excited to welcome Charlene and the outstanding team she’s put together at her Ghent based coffee roasters and café called Way Coffee Roasters to our forthcoming September ’19 coffee box. This will be their first feature and for it, they will be roasting a truly delicious natural Brazilian coffee from Finca Nossa Senhora Aparacida for us.
Read my full-length interview with Charlene below and make sure you place your preorder for the forthcoming September ’19 coffee box in time, i.e. now!
– Interview with Charlene de Buysere –
The Coffeevine: What’ your position within Way Coffee Roasters?
Charlene de Buysere: I’m a co-owner and head roaster.
TCV: What does Way stand for in your own understanding? Is it referencing a new ‘way of doing things’ or something else?
CdB: Some lead, some follow, others guide the WAY. We would like to bridge the gap between the mainstream perception of coffee and the wonderful world of specialty coffee roasting.
TCV: After starting in coffee, you quickly started collecting various awards, including the World Aeropress Championship in 2014. What kept driving you forward?
CbB: I noticed that sharing my own knowledge actually gave me a lot more in return, which created a huge snowball effect for me. In my quest to eradicate the widespread ignorance about coffee, roasting it myself was the next logical step to gather more intel and get the message out there.
TCV: Belgium has had a pretty strong specialty coffee presence for a while. How does Way different itself from other players in the market?
CdB: Our first and most important focus is brewing great coffee at home. Your first coffee in the morning shouldn’t be less interesting than the one you buy on your commute to work. So we developed our own ‘flavor sign language’ to easily read a taste profile from just one glimpse at the pack of beans and easily select your own favourite preferences without having the full knowledge of a barista.
TCV: What can you tell us about the coffee that you’re going to be roasting for us?
CdB: This is a really nice coffee from Brazil, a natural yellow Catuaí to be exact. We love this coffee because it has depth and lots of sweetness but it is also very accessible. At Nossa Senhora Aparecida, the selectively hand-picked cherries are processed the same day of harvesting. The cherries for the natural lots move directly to the drying patio. There, Ivanil (the producer) guards over the drying process. He rakes the cherries regularly so they dry uniformly. This is essential to prevent overfermentation of the cherries. This meticulous approach results in a sweet coffee, ideally suited for our signature One WAY.