Barista Magazine

APR-MAR 2014

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 13 of 107

I TOOK A QUICK TRIP to Santa Cruz, Calif., to interview Chris Baca and Jared Truby for the cover feature in this issue (page 60), and as I anticipated, it was a total blast. Spending time really getting to know different coffee people around the world is hands down the best part of my job. I flew into San Jose International Airport, then grabbed a rental car to zip through the curvy roads for an hour west to Santa Cruz and the Pacific Ocean. Between the flight time and the drive, I was getting itchy with excitement to see these guys; I've known them for a long time. In fact, I met Chris nine years ago this month, when he got his first legit barista job in San Francisco, and when Ken and I launched Barista Magazine from the top floor of our rented duplex in Portland, Ore. Over the years, I've gotten to know both him and Jared better and better. I've watched them mature in barista competitions, witnessed Chris's excitement the first time he saw coffee growing when we traveled to Colombia together, shouted congratulations to Jared when he got married, and then again when he and his wife had their first child. Now they're expecting their second. As we strolled in the sun through Santa Cruz's adorable downtown, I asked the guys when it first occurred to them that they were going to make a life in coffee—that they weren't eventually going to move on to a "real" job. Given the level of respect they've earned with their bar skills, leadership prowess in the Barista Guild of America, and station with one of the most revered and fastest-growing specialty-coffee roasters in the country, Verve Coffee, I thought they might say, "Oh, when I won the Southwest Regional," or "Seeing the success of the Barista Camp I was instrumental in organizing." But no—they both said it was just last year, when Verve promoted them to positions that include major administrative responsibilities in addition to coffee expertise. Our wider culture has general and often traditional guidelines for what defines "success." Though at times it can be frustrating that in the coffee industry the meaning of professional accomplishment exists outside of set parameters, it's also indicative of what we love about our community: Specialty-coffee pioneers blaze trails, take risks, start their own businesses, buy weird new coffees that no one's ever heard of. They build stuff and invent stuff. That's so cool. You guys loved the article "Own Your Own: Baristas Turned Café Owners," that we featured in the February + March 2014 issue of Barista Magazine. I got loads of e-mails saying what an inspiration it was. I was equally inspired by Chris and Jared's story of accomplished, career baristas who attained mangerial positions. My heart swelled when they told me how happy they were at Verve, how they planned to stay there for the long haul. They have achieved the success they've always dreamed of. I think those of us fortunate enough to work in the specialty-coffee industry are so lucky for this; we are in charge of our own fates. I just got an e-mail this morning from Ben Schultz here in Portland, Ore., who wanted to share the news that he's opening his own espresso-machine service company, Steadfast Coffee Tech. He's so excited. That momentum will get him far, I know. I loved interviewing Samuel Sveen for a feature about his start-up, Uel Zing, on Barista Magazine's daily news blog ( Samuel rides a bike cart around Bloomington, Ind., peddling his awesome cold-brew concentrate and teaching the locals about coffee. Did it sound strange when he first told people about his idea? Sure. Has it been successful? We think so. Check it out at You know who else started out as a dreamer? Piero Bambi, that's who. The La Marzocco legend who designed the Linea, invented the double boiler, and did a bunch of other pretty astounding stuff in his career in Florence, Italy, just turned 80, and he's still out making espresso-machine history. See our feature about Piero on page 100. The point is, you have a future in coffee if you want it, so make it what you want it to be. This is Barista Magazine's ninth-anniversary issue (we can't believe it!), and back when we started, no one was writing about baristas; no one was giving them the respect we thought they deserved. People told us we were crazy and would likely fail. Not only did we keep publishing, but I like to think we contributed to the strength and awesomeness of the professional barista community today. So keep dreaming, dreamers. Given the industry you're in, your wild ideas just might work. Publisher Kenneth R. Olson Editor Sarah Allen Art Direction Demitri Fregosi Powers Copy Editor Erin Meister Photographer Terry Stotts Business Manager Cheryl Lueder Advertising Sales Sarah Allen 800.296.9108 Contributors Tracy Allen Marcus Boni Christopher Chandler Evan Collisson Brett Felchner Oskar Garberg Erin Meister Chuck Patton Ashley Rodriguez Greta Romelfanger Alexander Ruas Shanny Sena Editorial Advisory Board Christopher Nicely Abel Alameda, Menotti's Coffee Shop Joshua Boyt, Metronome Coffee Lemuel Butler, Counter Culture Coffee Trevor Corlett, Madcap Coffee Company Roukiat Delrue, World Coffee Events Sonja Grant, World Coffee Events Gerra Harrigan, InterAmerican Coffee Heath Henley, Dose Coffee & Tea Jannicke M. Johansen, 3FE Rita Kaminsky, Linea Caffe Troels Poulsen, Kontra Coffee Daniel Streetman, Irving Farm Coffee Colin Whitcomb, Madcap Coffee Company Barista Magazine 4345 NE 72nd Ave. Portland, OR 97218 phone: 800.296.9108 fax: 971.223.3659 e-mail: Barista Magazine is published bimonthly by the Barista Magazine Company, LLP. Subscriptions are $30 in the United States, $45 USD in Canada, and $60 USD for the rest of the world. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Postmaster please send address corrections to: Barista Magazine, 4345 NE 72nd Ave., Portland, OR 97218. ISSN: 1944-3544 Copyright 2014 Barista Magazine. All rights reserved. BARIST A M A G A Z I N E E D I T O R L E T T E R your life long-term 14 barista magazine B o o k 1 - 4 4 . i n d d 1 4 Book 1-44.indd 14 3 / 1 9 / 1 4 9 : 5 0 P M 3/19/14 9:50 PM

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