10 Minutes With Houston Miller

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Houston Miller
Lead Barista Trainer
Quills Coffee
Louisville, Kentucky

What other coffee jobs have you had? 

Surprisingly enough, this is my only coffee job I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t be happier.

What’s your favorite part about working in coffee?

It’s always evolving and always a challenge. There’s practically never a boring day on the job, and always something to improve on. And the community could not be better. The huge family that is the coffee industry is wonderful.

Houston wants to explore the coffee world, but he can't imagine he'd love any city more than Louisville.

Houston wants to explore the coffee world, but he can’t imagine he’d love any city more than Louisville.

Where do you ideally see yourself in 10 years?

Ha! Do any of us know? Few cities top Louisville in my mind, but who knows. I’m interested in finding out.

Who and what inspires you?

There are some great people just in this city that inspire me. Kenny Smith at Sunergos is a wonderful example of customer service and coffee excellence.

Quills Coffee—where Houston works—is one of several top quality coffeehouses in Louisville. This city in the middle of the country is growing rapid-fire as a leading metropolis for specialty coffee. Note that Prima Coffee is in Louisville, as well.

Quills Coffee—where Houston works—is one of several top quality coffeehouses in Louisville. This city in the middle of the country is growing rapid-fire as a leading metropolis for specialty coffee. Note that Prima Coffee is in Louisville, as well.

What are you drinking right now?

Every now and then, I can’t resist ordering something from Kuma Coffee. The Panama natural they carry is good in this harsh winter Louisville is stuck in right now. Other than that, I’m frequently enjoying a high-grown Kenyan from Embu that I was going to use in the Regional Brewers Cup. I just can’t get enough.

Something that’s not coffee: a friend of mine just handed me a tequila/lime/rosemary cocktail. Whoa.

Quills is the first coffee place Houston has worked! Obviously it suits him. He's now the esteemed company's lead barista trainer.

Quills is the first coffee place Houston has worked! Obviously it suits him. He’s now the esteemed company’s lead barista trainer.

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

We have some really great latte art throwdowns around here. Every year we get together in Bowling Green and have a Kentucky versus Tennessee throwdown. Those are so much fun. It doesn’t get much better.

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

Well, I’m a huge nerd. So anything from board/video/card games, to watching ESports (what Super Bowl?).

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.