Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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25 (including his distaste for most naturals) and anecdotes from his time traveling for coffee (such as the first time he went to origin, in which he found out he was going the same afternoon as the flight). It's designed to be an evergreen tome, with practical information that should be relevant for years to come. To help bring the book to life, Ryan called on artist Jory Felice to provide playful illustrations for the cover and throughout Dear Coffee Buyer's pages. Ryan had not only worked with Jory on projects for Tonx Coffee when Ryan worked as the green buyer there, but Jory had also accom- panied Ryan on a coffee-buying trip to Rwanda and Burundi. "I didn't want to have to explain the details of wet mills and how things on coffee farms are laid out," Ryan says. "He had been there and he's an observant artist, so I knew he could capture it." In addition to Ryan's expertise and Jory's drawings, the book includes contributions from other coffee pros with extensive experience sourcing high-quality coffee. Aleco Chigounis, who worked with Ryan at Stumptown before founding San Francisco Bay Area–based Red Fox Coffee Merchants, wrote the forward. In the book's final chapter, the veteran buyers sharing their les- sons and advice include Wendy De Jong of Single O, Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia Coffee, and Anette Moldvaer of Square Mile Coffee Roasters. "For that section, I reached out to everyone who I had ever learned from, not just as a new coffee buyer, but at any stage in my coffee-buying career," Ryan says. While Ryan still does occasional consulting for coffee companies, his career focus is outside of coffee now—he's currently helping to lead a Denver-based start-up focusing on legacy preservation and storytelling among families and older adults. He says the 15+ years he spent in the coffee industry (including his pre-buyer days working as a barista and in other coffee jobs) impacted his life in a meaning- ful way. "Coffee gave me a ton of soft skills and a deep appreciation for the beverage," he says. "I didn't go a traditional route through college. I got all the education about how to be a person in a profes- sional world—as well as a human being trying to cause as little harm as possible—from coffee." More info on Dear Coffee Buyer, including how to order a copy, is available at Those who read the book can also contact Ryan via the website; he says he's open to feedback. "I explore new ideas by listening to people and some- times arguing with them, so I'm interested to know what people like and don't like about the book," he says. —Chris Ryan

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