As this blog may be seen as my coffee diary then this story belongs here.
It's a story about Joost Leopold and his newly opened coffee school in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Its three and a half years ago i was introduced to Joost. It were the days i had all plans ready to launch an online webshop. This specialty.be would, once launched be copied into sc.nl and this was the domain of Henk from ESW The Hague
Henk talked about Joost as he was the new messias. He just worked 4 or 5 years at the golden coffee box were he learned a lot about the coffee bean. And that deep knowledge was what esw was missing those days.
His name was a bit confusing, with 2 first names, and his style that first day was a bit different from what i was used to in the third wave specialty scene, but the warmth he spread was very welcome.
Joost would be the guy in between me and Henk.
A man aint no man without a plan, and making plans has always been a specialty by henk and me. If we would have realised all plans we ever made we would have had either a bankrupt company or a big multinational. Specialtycoffee.nl is now up and running for a year in a different setting and mine is (still) in the making, but a strong friendship was born that day.
And since that day we meet regularly at championships, fairs and in bars were we chit chat like old aunts and feed one another the latest and best news.
The moves from joost at barista championships were very succesful and that was one of the reasons i asked him in the past to train some of my people. Maybe we didn't win gold medals, but the boost in confidence and knowledge i found back in my baristas after every visit was proof of his qualities on championship training.
And when my 5 caffenation baristas travelled to Utrecht last year for a staff training by Joost they came back fully charged and laughing.
The secret behind his succes seems to be his EQ. When most of trainers start and end with show casing their knowlegde and talk enlessly about their experiences, Joost preferes to start from the barista or would be barista in front of him. His 'soft' approach and higher emotional sences give him always a step ahaid on the others. And this coupled to a deep going knowlegde on most aspects of coffee make him my favourite barista trainer.
Good luck joost with this coffee school of you and hopefully we meet soon for some more endless coffee talking.
More info about this school : click the site.
(on the photo Joost with Bert drinking Stumptown coffee in Amsterdam 2 years ago)