10 Minutes With Dale Harris

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Dale Harris
Director of Wholesale
HasBean Coffee
United Kingdom

What other coffee jobs have you had?

Boring, boring—all in the UK. Coffee Trainer then Director of Coffee for United Coffee Company. I previously worked for a chain in a variety of roles. Before that, I worked in fashion retail training—I can fold jeans like you wouldn’t believe.

Dale can do loads of things: juggle, fold jeans, do his kid's math homework, and of course, make coffee!

Dale can do loads of things: juggle, fold jeans, do his kid’s math homework, and of course, make coffee!

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

Amazing people.

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

I’d love to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, with the people I’m working with right now, just doing it better, smarter, tidier. I am the luckiest person in coffee.

Dale loves his job as wholesale director of HasBean Coffee. How many people consider their boss their hero? Pretty awesome.

Dale loves his job as wholesale director of HasBean Coffee. How many people consider their boss their hero? Pretty awesome.

Who and what inspires you?

Who: Steve Leighton. It’s weird having your hero in the same office, but watching him pushing everything to be better all the time is really inspiring. I can’t believe anyone in coffee works harder, and somehow he continues to raise the bar on making coffee accessible without compromising on product quality or the values he’s set in our business of honesty, answering every e-mail, and really caring about our customers, our producers, and us lot

What: I’m really, really excited about quality-focused farming—not just coffee, but farming as a process of taking seeds or livestock and turning them into food and fuel in a smart, sustainable way, particularly farming where quality has been chosen as the measure of success. It’s easy to think that magic happens, perfect terroir or the right amount of sunshine making tastiness, but in my experience, amazing crops are created on purpose by smart and caring people pushing themselves to understand what’s really happening, how to harness nature, science, and labor to ‘make’ something remarkable.

What are you drinking right now? 

Morning Chemex.

Walking the walk.

Walking the walk.

Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?

Being remembered for poor pronunciation of ‘Nicaragua’ by Mike Strumpf is up there. I’ve begun improving my language skills now.

Pouring great latte art isn't a job requirement, but it doesn't hurt.

Pouring great latte art isn’t a job requirement, but it doesn’t hurt.

What are you doing when you’re not doing coffee?

Maths homework for my kids or playing with sourdough – fermentation is amazing!!!!

 

About the Author

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.