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Willem Boot

Willem Boot

 Willem’s fundamental mission:
to improve the quality of every aspect of coffee.

Willem Boot was born in the Netherlands in 1960 and grew up in Baarn, a small town close to Amsterdam. From a very early age, Willem was intrigued and captured by coffee in every sense and all facets. He roasted his first batch of coffee at the age of 14 and after obtaining a master’s degree in business economics at the University of Amsterdam he co-owned/founded "The Golden Coffee Box", his family’s successful specialty coffee business, founded in 1974 by Boot’s father.

“I spent endless hours roasting samples with The Golden Coffee Box. Later on I learned the craft of roasting in a nearby roastery, which featured a vintage 12-kilogram German roaster.”


In 1989, he moved to San Francisco, where he was hired as a coffee roasting machine salesman and a trainer for coffee entrepreneurs. In 1998 he founded Boot Coffee with the objective to advise roasting companies and green coffee producers on quality improvement strategies and to train coffee industry professionals in his Mill Valley (CA) based Coffee Studio.

This resulted in an extensive and diverse list of collaborations over the past 15 years. Willem advised and worked with more than 500 companies in the USA and the rest of the world.

“I became fascinated with the origins of specialty coffee, about varieties and processing styles and about the culture of coffee growers and their unique challenges.”


As a consultant, Willem has been advising coffee quality programs in countries like Colombia, Panama and Honduras. As a marketing strategist, he designed extensive programs for coffee industries in Ethiopia and El Salvador. He has been a lead trainer for the "Q" program and a head judge at many international coffee events.

 A few years later he started to study Spanish, a language spoken in most of the Latin American countries and continued to learn about coffee from the green bean to the cup. He also refined his cupping skills. He opened a coffee laboratory where he researched roasting profiles and analyzed flavors through blind cupping protocols.

Every year Willem donates serious time to non-profit causes; he is a board member of the Common River foundation which established a community development program in Ethiopia including an elementary school for more than 120 orphans in the town of Aleta Wondo, Sidama.


“In 10 years, I had been able to turn the tables: from tasting Geisha as a cupper to becoming an award-winning Geisha producer myself.”


In 2006, a long time dream was realized. He planted the first Geisha tree at his forest coffee farm "La Mula" in Panama. In 2009, a second farm "Finca Sophia" was established at an elevation of 6,000 feet and up. In 2014 “La Mula” won first place at the prestigious "Best of Panama" coffee competition. The last year (2020), “Finca Sophia”, won the “Best of Panama” competition with an unusual high average score of 95 points.


“It also achieved an astounding world record prize at the auction: US$1,300 per pound (0.45 kilograms).”


Willem has worked around the world at the highest level which has resulted in in-depth knowledge of the coffee industry making him a world-renowned resource for his unique expertise.