Coffee Quality Manager
What other coffee jobs have you had?
I began working with coffee in 2003 at Blue Moon Coffee Co., a small Alterra Coffee (the former name of Colectivo Coffee) account in Neenah, Wisconsin. My girlfriend, now wife(!), Amy convinced the owner, now close friend, Logan, to hire me even though I had no prior experience as a barista. The Blue Moon is where I had the realization that coffee could be more than sort-of-hot-kind-of-brown water, and Colectivo showed me that coffee can be an experience.
What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?
There are thousands of people who play an integral role in the wide-range coffee offers. Each and every one of those roles is filled by someone with a different set of beliefs, and that’s pretty wild to me. Coffee gives us all an opportunity to meet and learn from someone who, potentially, would have been absent from one’s life completely. At Colectivo, I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with so many people that possess such great minds and hearts. The same is applied for everyone I work with in coffee, from importers and exporters to producers. There are very talented and diverse people everywhere in coffee.
Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?
Still waiting to get Dad Genie off the ground.
Who and what inspires you?
My wife, my family, and my friends inspire me. Those I keep close are naturally positive, and individually, they remind me what’s most important in life. They allow me to keep pushing toward excellence, while making me laugh.
What are you drinking right now?
I’m really enjoying Colombia Finca Lomaverde from the Echavarría family. Floral, sweet, tropical, brown sugar, layered, well-structured. It’s a very special coffee.
Crazy/memorable coffee experience you’d like to share?
In 2010, while attending SCAA in Anaheim, I found myself lost in the basement kitchen of a Sheraton, or some equivalent, a dangerous side effect of Tote Fest.
What do you do when you’re not doing coffee?
You’ll find me running really, really long distances on the trails—either solo, with my wife, with fellow-members of the Lapham Peak Trail Runners, or anyone really. You’d be surprised how many coffee people are into the world of endurance sports, whether they are running or biking or both. I’m also an all-season cyclist. I begin each day with an 8-mile ride to Colectivo. The ride offers a perfect transition from early-morning solitude to a workplace that has a very social environment, and the ride home offers an opportunity for reflection on the work day. Commuting by bike slows life down a bit, which helps me be a bit more introspective. Running and biking are both zen-like experiences.
I also create weird little illustrations, mostly for fun. I had the opportunity to create the BGA rosetta-logo, as well as the 2012 U.S. AeroPress Championship poster.