10 Minutes With Lindsay Lee

by Sarajane Case

Lindsay Lee

Customer Support and Wholesale Trainer

Counter Culture Coffee

Asheville, North Carolina
(header photo by Sarajane Case)

What other coffee jobs have you had? 

These are vast and varied.

When I spent time in India at an ashram off the coast of Kerala, I fixed up an old espresso machine they had there and started serving up beverages to folks. It was amazing to see so many people taste (something like) espresso for the first time with no preconceived notion. It was raw and beautiful.

The moment where coffee went from something I did until _______, to a career that I wanted to invest in, was when I started working for Batdorf & Bronson in Olympia, Washington. At this point, I started to believe that I had a place in this industry and something to contribute.

Lindsay judges at barista competitions! In fact, she's headed to L.A. soon to judge at the Big Western. Say hi if you see her!

Lindsay judges at barista competitions! In fact, she’s headed to L.A. soon to judge at the Big Western. Say hi if you see her!

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

My intention in life is accessibility and approachability. The coffee industry provides me an amazing venue to explore these ideas. I love facilitating a moment for non coffee folks to fall in love with the simplicity and the complexity of coffee. I enjoy learning about and repeating how far reaching this cute little seed is in our world.

Plus, the people on this tip are electric and brilliant.
 Plus, COFFEE. YUM.

Lindsay at Dollywood with Matt Souza, Erin McCarthy, and Scott Satterwhite and so many others. We went there during The Variety Show tour with Moises and Marysabel, the producers of Finca El Puente.

Lindsay at Dollywood with Matt Souza, Erin McCarthy, and Scott Satterwhite and so many others. We went there during The Variety Show tour with Moises and Marysabel, the producers of Finca El Puente.

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself having the best day ever.
 Honestly, though, I have no clue. I can feel that I am on the cusp of figuring that out. I will be doing whatever I do with passion and sass. And I will be loving the people in my life with every ounce of my being.

That sounds about right.

Lindsay's pooch, Larry Bird.

Lindsay’s pooch, Larry Bird. Photo by Sarajane Case.

Who and what inspires you?

I am inspired by Heather Ringwood (of Whitewood Cider, Espresso Parts), Brett Smith (of Counter Culture Coffee), and Pete Carroll (coach of the Seattle Seahawks).
 I am inspired by honesty, laughter, willingness, and humility.

What are you drinking right now? 

I can not stop consuming Nueva Llusta from Counter Culture. Every single person that I’ve tasted this coffee with falls in love with it and feels like they could drink it every day.

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

It was my birthday, January 9, 2012. After waking up late I decided to go to Olympia Coffee Roasting for a pour over.  They had just rolled out a new Gesha variety they had gotten in. I sat down outside on an unusually sunny day to work on a crossword and bask in the glory of my birthday. Soon after, I was presented with a wooden tray, on which was a glass carafe with coffee in it, a warmed mug, a glass of sparkling water, and a delicious sweet biscuit.

It was the most special I had ever felt drinking a cup of coffee.

Lindsay loves everything about coffee, from the people to the, yeah, COFFEE.

Lindsay loves everything about coffee, from the people to the, yeah, COFFEE. Photo by Sarajane Case.

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

I’m most likely watching the Seattle Seahawks during the football season and rewatching last season in the off season.
 I’m most likely hiking around the mountains of Asheville with my dog, Larry Bird. 
I’m most likely drinking a fine bourbon with some tasty treats.
 I’m most likely laughing really hard at all of my most amazing and talented friends.

 

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.