I was introduced to coffee when my mom began roasting at home when I was a teenager. We purchased beans from all over the world and roasted them following the machine’s preset profiles, later brewing strong cups of coffee in a stovetop moka pot. I can’t remember how any of these first roasts tasted, but I do remember how roasting and drinking coffee brought us together.
In 2011, I started my specialty-coffee career as a barista at a café in Minneapolis’s North Loop neighborhood and began roasting for the café as soon as the opportunity arose. Like so many of us, I had an epiphany after roasting a Natural-process Ethiopia: I was blown away by the fruit-forward cup. I’d had no idea that coffee could taste like that, and I am still impressed by the potential that lies in every bean. From that point forward, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in specialty coffee. I took every opportunity I could to learn more about roasting and the specialty-coffee industry.
Over the following years, I worked in the specialty-coffee industry as a customer service representative and educator, green-coffee buyer, roaster, and roastery operations manager. My journey through the industry has taken me to Seattle to judge at the U.S. Barista Champtionship, to New Orleans to compete as a roaster, and to Colombia to purchase coffee. In 2020, I completed my master’s of science in supply chain management at the University of Minnesota and began working as a supply chain specialist at Cafe Imports. I am excited to continue my career in specialty coffee.