Marco Beverage Systems
What other coffee jobs have you had?
I’ve never really had any other proper job “in coffee.”
What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?
About 4 or 5 years ago, I was attending a Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) Brewmaster course, and I was asked a similar question. I responded that I didn’t work in coffee and went on to explain what I did—at the time I was a researcher in a university. Anyway, one of the other participants later made some comments online, (I think not intending that anyone would read it) that interpreted my saying this as a dismissal of coffee as a profession, and putting myself on a pedestal of sorts. The truth, however, at the time was that I was fascinated by coffee, and was very interested in working in coffee.
All that said, I don’t consider myself as working “in coffee,” moreso I work in a support industry.
What’s great about my job is leading a team of very talented people in identifying a problem, conceiving a solution, and bringing that to reality (the third part is the hard part). Coffee just happens to be an interesting space to be creative about.
Why? First off, coffee (the product) is great—it has enough depth to get geeky and obsessive about, but is simple enough that you can just enjoy it for what it is. Plus, it’s addictive—even though this may not be how we want to market our product, it should not be underestimated. It plays a large part in ensuring ongoing demand and keeping us all in jobs.
Lastly, the people at the bleeding specialty end, tend to be disproportionately friendly, passionate, and enthusiastic. They are a good crowd to have in your mind’s eye when thinking about how to make something better.
Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?
Ideally? Well on the professional side, continuing to solve problems. Hopefully increasingly bigger, more interesting problems. My two sons should be in their teenage years which no doubt will keep my wife and I on our toes.
Who and what inspires you?
People who do more and say less. I sometimes get annoyed by the specialty-coffee dialogue, which places a high value on ideas, a bit like the TED talk model. Superficially, these are great, grand ideas, but after you have watched enough TED talks, whose ideas have come to nought, you begin to realize there is no substance. The same occurs in the coffee dialogue; I have in the past been guilty of this. Now I make an effort not to engage in this practice, because ultimately you are leveraging your credibility.
What are you drinking right now?
Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?
The WBC after party on Bogota, hands down.
What do you do when you’re not doing coffee?
I’m being climbed upon by my 3- and 5-year-old sons, or studying for my Masters.