10 Minutes with Mike McKim

Employee Shoot - Mike

Mike McKim
@mikemckim
Founder & CEO
Cuvee Coffee
Austin, Texas

What other coffee jobs have you had?

Regional Sales Manager at Espresso Specialists, Inc., Seattle, Washington

Mike travels the world sourcing coffee for his company, Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Texas.

Mike travels the world sourcing coffee for his company, Cuvee Coffee in Austin, Texas.

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

When you make or sell a product that has an impact on someone’s life, that is magic. People share their experiences about coffee and over coffee, and there is nothing more rewarding than being able to provide someone the product or the vehicle to create an experience. Of course, there is also the unlimited supply of great coffee in the office…that’s pretty sweet, too.

Having earned his chops at Espressoi Specialists, Inc. (the now-defunct original U.S. distributor of La Marzocco), Mike understands the role of the barista from an intimate perspective.

Having earned his chops at Espresso Specialists, Inc. (the now-defunct original U.S. distributor of La Marzocco), Mike understands the role of the barista from an intimate perspective.

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself everywhere. I enjoy traveling the world, I love networking, I want to write a book, I have been working on a TV show concept for 3 years…The question should probably be where don’t I see myself in 10 years.

Who and what inspires you?

For me, inspiration comes from so many different places.  It can be a person I meet or a book I read.  There is no one person or place where I draw inspiration.  I can say that my team tends to inspire me pretty regularly.  Working with them, listening to them and watching them do their thing can be amazing.  They are the future of specialty coffee.

Mike enjoys beer and spirits almost as much (or as much?) as coffee, which is why Cuvee actively seeks collaboration projects with local brewers.

Mike enjoys beer and spirits almost as much (or as much?) as coffee, which is why Cuvee actively seeks collaboration projects with local brewers.

What are you drinking right now? 

As I write this I am drinking a beer. An English IPA from Austin Beerworks to be exact.

Crazy coffee experience you’d like to share?

Oh man, after 15 years there are so many crazy (aka stupid) experiences. At this point in my career, I like to let other people tell those stories. There is nothing more fun than meeting a young coffee professional for the first time and have them ask, “so what is prison like in El Salvador?”

Mike McKim: Easily one of the most colorful, hilarious characters in the specialty-coffee industry.

Mike McKim: Easily one of the most colorful, hilarious characters in the specialty-coffee industry.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.