The Fortune Bar is one of the fine venues at WTC Schiphol where you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee. It’s also likely that you’ll come across barista Dana Petlan on your visit. Coffee is her great passion. Spot Schiphol joins her for a (virtual) cuppa.
What inspired your passion for coffee?
“It started when I was small. My father loved drinking a cup of coffee with his children. My sister didn’t like coffee and only drank tea. I was soon getting a drop of coffee in my milk to get me used to the taste. I’m now a complete coffee addict.”
When did you realise you would ultimately become a barista?
“Five years ago, I prepared my first-ever coffee at a caterer. When they installed one of the first espresso bars there, no one knew how to deal with it. I’d suddenly found my calling. I then started working at Vermaat Groep, where barista Michael de Vries taught me all the tricks of the trade. I attended workshops and training courses, won the Vermaat Groep Talent Game Award and became a qualified trainer. I recently completed my Master Barista Programme, a one-year course at the International Coffee and Tea Academy in The Hague. I’ve now started training my colleagues.”
What do you learn on a Master Barista Programme?
“You learn all about tasting, telling the difference between coffees, how to roast coffee and how to brew slow coffee. In other words, everything you could imagine. It’s made me a real connoisseur. I start my day with coffee and drink it if I feel a bit down. Coffee makes or breaks my day.”
What’s the secret of good coffee?
“Love! Coffee always tastes best when it’s made with love and attention. Of course, lots of other things affect the flavour: the type of bean, oxygen, air humidity, water temperature, type of milk, etc. The most common mistakes people make: the coffee is too bitter or too weak. As a barista, my aim is to get the best from the beans and that’s all about the right proportions. It’s a game between me and the machine.”
What’s your mission now?
“I’m determined to get the very best out of the people that I train, in order to improve the quality of coffee everywhere. Coronavirus has given me an unexpected advantage. I suddenly have more time to get out and about: I aim to visit as many Vermaat locations as possible in order to share my knowledge and passion for coffee. I’ve already been to 15.”
Coffee à la Dana: this is how to make a (festive) latte macchiato at home
- Make an espresso in a preheated glass or jug.
- Foam the (oat, soy or coconut) milk in a froth.
- Then slightly tilt the frother.
- Pour the milk to the edge of the glass.
- Pour the espresso into the middle.
- Make it festive by adding a layer of (hazelnut) syrup at the bottom of a wine or champagne glass before pouring in the milk and then the coffee and top it off with whipped cream and cocoa. Happy Christmas!
Do you miss Dana (and her coffee) because of working from home? Leave her a nice message in the comments!