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Summary

Starting my coffee career in 1999, I have spent the last 17 years on a never ending quest for knowledge and understanding. While I have learned much about the entire chain of coffee production, my experience thus far has been heavily concentrated on the preparation & consumption of coffee, as well as the systems and standards necessary for creating an efficient, quality focused roasting operation.  

Work experience

Aug 2013Present

Project Coordinator/Coffee Mentor

Licata Coffee Consultants

After Pete Licata's WBC win, there came requests for appearances, consultations, trainings and endorsements. In order to organize this aspect of Pete's new found fame he created Licata Coffee Consultants and asked me to join in the adventure. For my part the work is varied, ranging from administrative duties to training and consultation. Through this company we have had a lot of opportunities to be part of the greater world view of Specialty Coffee, often finding ourselves in places like Australia, China, Japan and southeast Asia. 

  • Project Coordinator- administrative organization, communication and negotiations, invoicing & financial tracking
  • Consultant- barista training, content development, quality control, start up & managerial advising
  • Competitive Coaching- planning & strategy, presentation development, technical overhauls, score sheet reviews, workflow troubleshooting, signature beverage development

Company Website: www.licatacoffeeconsultants.com

Jan 2015Present

Co-Owner/Lead Taster

Roast Ratings

Again, after working together for his win at the World Barista Championship, Pete and I had many opportunities before us- from there it was ours to decide where to take things. Roast Ratings came out of our collective passions- tasty coffee, education &  serving the everyday coffee loving people. Creating our own rating system, we evaluate coffee through traditional professional means, but with a more common twist- scoring every coffee as a regular drip brew using home equipment. And, of course, we employ our writing talents to create content that is designed to meet coffee drinkers right where there at, helping them maneuver the wide array of options available in our modern coffee world. 

Duties include- Tasting and evaluating coffees for ratings, developing reviews, writing content for website, financial tracking, administrative organization, communications, social media marketing, creative content. 

Company Website: www.roastratings.com

Jun 2013December 2015

Coffee Guide

About The Coffee

About The Coffee came into my coffee life at an opportune time. I was looking for a break from the hectic life of retail cafe management, but not yet ready to give up talking with people about coffee. It was perfectly suited for my career needs at the time. 

As a Coffee Guide I put all of my collective knowledge to use to help consumers find home coffee brewing equipment that fit their tastes and needs. In my time with Marty and Tooti Roe, I also created a monthly newsletter, wrote product reviews and coordinated demonstrations. I still help with events and classes, training all new staff members on every piece of crazy coffee equipment you could ever dream up. 

Company Website: www.aboutthecoffee.com

Aug 2013Mar 2014

Bookseller

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

For a short stint during a transitional time in my life, I decided to indulge another interest of mine- the love of the written word. While Barnes & Noble initially trains all staff to cashier, I quickly got shifted to the information desk where I would answer phones, arrange weekly marketing displays, help with technical issues on Nook devices and, most importantly, do whatever it took to get the book in the customers' hands.  I include this because at Barnes and Noble, customer service is king! I learned a great deal from their intricate model. 

Company Website: www.bn.com

Jul 2000Jun 2013

Cafe Manager/Customer Service/Trainer/Espresso QC

PT's Coffee Roasting Co.

In many ways, I am who I am in coffee because of my time at PT's Coffee Roasting Co. Their leadership style creates an environment ripe for self-starters to pursue deep levels of knowledge and experience in the coffee world. Early adopters for much of innovations in coffee, employees have constant access to the cutting edge of coffee technology and advances in preparation techniques and sourcing challenges. A veritable rainbow of coffee flavor, they often have multitudes of microlot coffee available to taste and play with through every imaginable means. This attitude of experimentation, combined with liberal access to their considerable resources, gave me an endless view on what a career in coffee could possibly entail and, most importantly, invited me to keep perfecting my own craft. 

In my 13 years with PT's a had a number of roles as I grew in skill and knowledge. There were times when I focused on one role, but often I was managing positions simultaneously. Many of these skills and duties developed during the course of my career at PT's are listed in the Skills section above. The highlights include

  • Retail Cafe and Staff Management
  • Espresso Development, Blending, Maintenance, & Quality Control
  • Cafe and Barista training, development of program
  • Competitive Barista Training and Coaching
  • Wholesale Customer Service, developing effective order tracking systems for peak efficiency

More details can be provided or discussed upon further interest. 

Company Website: www.ptscoffee.com

Certifications & Accomplishments

Jan 2005Present

Competitive Barista Coach/Advisor

Regional, National and World Levels

With a disciplined approach, many of my competitors have found great success in the competitive barista field.I am known to push them beyond their initial ideas into presenting beyond their wildest expectations. What I most enjoy about serving people in this role is helping facilitate their growth, both professional and personal. Some side effects of being coached by myself include- confidence in public speaking ability, greater precision in the art of self expression, mastery of technical ability and learning how to effectively 'sweat the small stuff' so that you can actually focus on nailing the big stuff. I have coached or advised more than 25 people, over half of which have been finalists in their competitions.

The highest achievements of recent years include:

  • Pete Licata,
    • World Barista Champion, 2013
    • World Barista Championship Runner Up, 2011
    • US Barsta Champion 2011, 2013
    • Regional top 3 placement at every regional entered
  • Craig Simon of Australia
    • Australian Barista Champion 2018
    • 4th place 2014 World Barista Championship
    • Australian Barista Champion 2014
  • T. Benjamin Fishcer of USA
    • US Barista Championship Runner Up, 2018
    • 4th Place US Qualifiers, NOLA 2018
  • Cole McBride of USA
    • US Barista Champion, 2018
    • US Western Regional Champion 2016
    • 2nd place in United States Barista Championship 2015
  • Jeremy Zhang of China
    • 8th Place, 2017 World Barista Championship 
  • Jade Jennings of Australia
    • 3rd Place, 2017 Australian Barista Championship 
    • 2nd place, 2016 Australian Barista Championship
  • Hidenori Izaki of Japan
    • World Barista Champion, 2014
Jan 2015Present

Licensed Q Grader

Coffee Quality Institute

In order to better understand the common professional coffee lexicon, I went through a week of training and testing in the Q Grader system. As one of the more challenging studies I've taken on in my adult life, I can honestly say after 20 exams that it is no simple feat to get this certification. What I gained from the experience is better calibration and tasting diplomacy skills, and a refined sense of neutrality while tasting, gaining a greater grasp of how Specialty Coffee is becoming more standardized around the globe. The experience lent itself well to overcaffienated bonding with a lot of great people too. 

From The Coffee Quality Institute:

"The Q Coffee System identifies quality coffees and brings them to market through a credible and verifiable system. A common standard for both Q Arabica, (Specialty Grade) and Q Robusta (Fine Robusta Grade) coffee has resulted in a universally shared language and standard top scoring lots. The Q engages the industry at the producer level to identify lots for specialty, at the export/import level by certifying individuals to grade coffees, and at the buyer level to offer a consumer-facing product with the Q mark. In other words, I am" licensed to taste."

May 2006Aug 2010

United States Barista Championship Head Judge 

Specialty Coffee Association of America

For nearly as long as I have been in coffee I have found ways of staying involved with the SCAA's barista competition events. I entered this realm in 2002 as a competitor and, after a few years of testing my skills, I became focused on learning all side of judging. Shortly after,  I was invited to join the then US Barista Championship Head Judge Committee in 2006. I served in this capacity for 4 seasons from 2006-2010. 

Head Judges were in charge of:

  • putting on regional and national judge's training seminars
  • vetting all judges as competent to judge
  • giving "big picture" feedback to competitors that request it
  • administrative duties at all US competitive events
  • guiding the interpretation of scoring criteria  
  • mediating all judging panels during competition calibrations. 
  • advocating for the competitors to arrive at fair scoring during calibration
20092010

World Barista Championship Certified Technical Judge

World Coffee Events

Nearing the end of my years of judging I had the opportunity to attend one of the first WBC Judges Certification Workshop. During the workshop we were asked which certification we were most interested in- Sensory or Technical- which determined our "track" of study and testing. Having always had a love for the details of technique I followed my natural curiosity, coming out of the experience with the skills to be a world level technical judge. I used this certification only once, during the 2009 World Barista Championship, held in Atlanta, GA USA

Professional Writing Portfolio

Some examples of my published work-

Other Interests and Skills

While I have devoted a lot of my life to the bean, I have taken some time to develop other interests. Some of these include:

  • 12 years of viola taken seriously, followed by 15 of classical music appreciation
  • Artist from birth. Primary mediums include colored pencil and fine lined pens/nibs. 
  • Creative writing. I have always wanted to write a book. In my mind I am always working on it. 
  • Study of mythology, folklore and fairy tales. There is great wisdom tucked away in stories that stand the test of time. 

Creative Writing Portfolio

Ever since I can remember, I've been obsessed with the written word. Perhaps this is the result of my insatiable sense of curiosity, as it has allowed me to find answers on my own beyond "Because"- my dad's response when I finally exhausted his knowledge or his attention for the moment. From the age of 6 I've had some sort of journal going. The medium has changed over the years as technology has progressed, from paper to the screen. Starting with a Xanga in 2003, I've had a blog of one sort or another around- a playground of my thoughts and theories as I've learned more about life on planet earth. As I've aged I have taken a more topical approach to organizing my ramblings. My more recent sites include-

Death Becomes Us

www.fromdeathtolife.weebly.com

This  blog has my most current writing, with a topic of facing death and all that comes with it. In my experience so far I have already lost many folks that have meant a great deal to me and were some of my greatest supporters in life. As my relationship with death has increased (as it is wont to do), over time I have come to different ways of looking at it. Through grieving for them and my own mortality, figuring out how to keep moving myself, despite the weight of these losses and live my life to the fullest. In this writing, I desire to honor those that gave so much of themselves to me so that I could do just that. 

 

Always Follow The White Rabbit

www.alwaysfollowthewhiterabbit.weebly.com

Full Disclaimer- I began this particular blog when I was entering what I would later come to see was an existential crisis. In other words, I was about to become a bit of a hot mess. It doesn't make it any less important to me- instead I find that those times when we are prone to more mistakes often yield the greatest long term growth. At the time I was over ten years in at my first "career" job, questioning everything that had led to where I found myself. This blog is about me recognizing that I AM an artist, always have been and always will be. I learned this is who I am and that this part of me needs outlets and attention for life to go smoothly overall. You will also find some samples of my older artwork in the "Gallery" section.