Women in Coffee for Women’s Day 2018

Celebrating Women in Coffee for Women’s Day 2018

We, the 21st century human race, are witnessing the long-impending increased awareness and celebration of women. This Thursday, 08 March 2018, is International Women’s Day; we, BeanGenius, are partaking in this celebration by sharing the stories of women in coffee, who work with our roaster partners. Read on to meet some rad women in coffee who contribute to bringing you the best coffee out there.

Cristy – Revelator Coffee Company

Cristy - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
I really enjoy South American coffees and appreciate the unique tastes of the coffees of Peru. However, when I first started drinking specialty coffees that were roasted here in the Birmingham area, it was a Costa Rica Tarrazu La Pastora that I fell in love with. That same Costa led me to my very first roasting gig, so I’ll always have a special place in my heart for a nice Costa.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I love people and worked for several years as a Registered Nurse, following in my grandmother’s footsteps. She is also the one who turned me on to coffee when I was a kid.  When I left nursing I knew that I wanted to find something else I not only enjoyed and could be passionate about, but also that makes people happy and brings people together. I actually started as an office assistant in one roastery then moved to a sales position at another. That’s where I moved to roasting and stayed for a few years before moving to my current roasting job at Revelator.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
A few things, actually! Although the number of women in coffee is growing, there are still just a handful of us (relatively speaking) at the helms of roasters. I like being part of that group. Joining the team at Revelator was a HUGE deal for me, as I had wanted to work here for about a year or so before I finally decided my skills were worthy and made the jump. That being said, it’s tremendous that, as a single parent,  I’m able to make a living for myself and my children doing something that I can truly say that I love. We should all be so blessed.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou

Nikol – Copper Door Coffee Roasters

Nikol - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go-to café drink at any coffee shop is batch or drip coffee. If it’s an Ethiopian selection? That’s even better.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I started drinking coffee before my highschool years and I always wanted a barista job going into college. I started at a large coffee chain as a barista and have stayed in positions that revolve around coffee ever since.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
Roasting quality coffee and providing quality coffee to my local community is what I am most proud of about my coffee journey.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“To ignore evil is to become accomplice to it.” – MLK

Penney – Copper Door Coffee Roasters

Penney - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go-to is usually a pour-over. I love trying out new coffees, especially from less popular regions or regions that aren’t as familiar to me. Generally I will choose natural coffees over washed because I love the diverse fruit and flower notes that can be achieved. I think it’s really fun getting to experience the amazing tasting notes that can be achieved from experimental processing methods and a talented roaster.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I started out as a barista for a local corporate chain. I was a barista for over 10 years but moved to more specialty shops pretty quickly. Eventually, I got burnt out on working in the cafe and transitioned to the back end of things, first working for a grower/producer and now for a roastery. I’ve found that my love for learning about craft coffee is pretty insatiable.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I’m proud of how I’ve transitioned away from what was no longer bringing me joy or fulfillment to new avenues and opportunities that truly excite me. I teach a lot now and I absolutely love introducing people to specialty coffee and watching them learn how to taste and experience flavors in coffee that they didn’t even realize were there. I was also elected to the board of the Rocky Mountain Craft Coffee Alliance this year which really makes me feel like I’m on the path to being a true professional in this industry. I’m looking forward to all I can learn from my peers and the myriad of ways that this will allow me to give back to my community.

What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Hadassah – SQ1 Coffee Roasters

Hadassah - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go-to coffee beverage when I go to a coffee shop is typically a drip coffee, batch or hand brewed. I usually prefer coffees that are fruit forward, but it would be tough to pick one region! Give me something complex, sweet, and balanced and I’m stoked.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
In 2009 I got a job as a barista at a local cafe here in Lancaster and fell in love with it all. Since then I’ve really only worked for two other cafes before landing at SQ1 Coffee Roasters and being here for the last six years. I have worked with so many incredible human beings, tasted so many stellar coffees, and experienced so much growth in the few years that i’ve been in the industry. The more I learn about coffee, the people who work in coffee, and the people who have found community in coffee, the more I believe there is no end to learning.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
As someone who has a wealth of badass women in the coffee industry to look up to and learn from, it’s difficult to think of the things i’ve done in coffee as great achievements. There are so many incredible women who are innovating and breaking down barriers for more than just themselves and I’m so taken with each and every one of them. Up until the last year I may have said my greatest achievement in coffee was doing well at the United States Barista Competition two years in a row, but now I feel more pride about starting as a barista here at SQ1 and becoming the Director of Operations within 5 years.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“The more you practice the better you get” – Scott Bookman, my bandmate and the guy who always wants me to practice more.

Gaby – Lexington Coffee Roasters

Gaby - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My ‘go-to’ coffee shop drink really is dependent on what mood I’m in and if I’m exploring a new coffee shop. If I had decide, I would probably say a cortado. I love espresso, so often, especially when checking out a new shop, I’ll just order a shot of espresso.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I started in coffee in high school. I wanted and needed a job. At the time, I did  not care for coffee (or at least thought I didn’t like coffee). It also wasn’t at the coffee shop that I worked at where I came to love coffee. It was the competing coffee shop down the street that made me realize my love of coffee, especially espresso. I really loved the environment and the general good feeling of jump starting somebody’s day with a great cup of coffee. I got back into coffee after college and have been involved with it ever since.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
Well I’m just beginning my apprenticeship in roasting. So, that’s pretty awesome.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
Inspirational quotes? There are so many. Probably a tie between: Ad astra per aspera—To the stars through difficulty(ies); or, Sic semper tyrannis—thus always to tyrants. The first is Kansas’ state motto. I was born there, but actually grew up in Virginia. The second is Virginia’s state motto. So, I guess not even inspirational quotes in the normal sense.

Cat – Philly Fair Trade

Cat - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
I usually get an americano or cortado (if they know what one is). If not, I will try any special varietal coffee by the cup that is offered. I gravitate to Mexican and Guatemalan any time and definitely Burundi in the summer where available.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I had my first taste of coffee as a small child. My mom’s side of the family is from Puerto Rico and cafe con leche is the usual post-dinner beverage when we are all together. I worked in a coffee shop in high school in the early 90’s, where I learned Kona Gold was a better quality bean of the times, then at a specialty bread and pastry shop in Philadelphia in my first year of college. We had burlap bags of loose beans for sale and I remember Costa Rican Peaberry really resonating with me. After years of business management in photography and spa/wellness, I was pregnant with my second child and needed some part time work so I worked for LaColombe at the flagship location for 6 months. Soon after, I was presented an opportunity to purchase a friend’s coffeeshop but it didn’t work out. I met the sales rep for Philly Fair Trade Roasters there and he connected me with the owners to work for them instead. It has been a fantastic move as I am now back in business management for a company that truly believes in quality coffee with a mission for humanity and sustainability behind it. I am so excited to work for people with such passion for what they do. They encourage me to drive my passion through their business while being supportive to my needs at home as a single mom. I am truly lucky.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I organized Philly Fair Trade Roasters’ Organic Certification this past October. We are one of 2 in our area with that certification. It wasn’t rocket science because we were already doing most of the parts necessary but it certainly shows our commitment to our customers that we take the future seriously. My role is to enhance the sustainability efforts for the company and expose our brand more heavily to the market this appeals to.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?

There are so many quotes!
Let it be.
Be here now.
“It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine”-Eeyore.
Stand in your truth for this is not a race as humans, we are one human race.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Music brings the sunshine to my soul.

Dina – Boil Line Coffee Company

Dina - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go-to café drink at any coffee shop is batch or drip coffee. If it’s an Ethiopian selection? That’s even better.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
In 2012, I became involved with coffee on a deeper level when I traveled to Mill Valley, CA. While my partner was attending a roasting boot camp, I traipsed around and toured Sausalito and San Francisco, visiting coffee shops and buying beans. I discovered bright and vibrant coffees that tasted like grapefruit, strawberry, and chocolate, which was an experience that ultimately began my search for and love of drinking unforgettable beautifully roasted coffees.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I am most proud of the positive, eye-opening, taste bud-exploding impact that our coffee shop has on this small town and coffee loving community here in Danville, PA. I’m incredibly proud of our entire team at Boil Line Coffee, our tenacious leader and skillful roaster and our amazing baristas who carefully craft deliciousness in a cup every day and truly delight in what they do.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
Words that inspire me are by Walt Whitman from the Song of the Open Road which begins with, “From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines.”

Jessica – Boil Line Coffee Company

Jessica - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go-to coffee shop drink is a chai latte.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I became involved in the world of coffee through my job at Boil Line Coffee Company. I’ve always had an interest in coffee, but really learned a lot through working at Boil Line Coffee Company.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
Although I’ve only been working in the coffee industry for about a month, my greatest achievement has been that I’ve learned so much about coffee in a short period of time. I have used that knowledge at Boil Line Coffee Company and my personal life.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean

Kristina – Boil Line Coffee Company

Kristina - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go to coffee drink in the cafe is a pour over. Before I became a barista I was an avid coffee drinker but I had never experienced quality or specialty coffees. My favorite coffees to make for pour over are African coffees. My first African love was a Kenyan coffee with its intense and bright flavor. I also love sweet, fruity Ethiopian coffees.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I sort of accidentally stumbled into the world of coffee. I was in the process of quitting my old job and completely leaving that career behind and was looking for something to do before I figured out what I wanted to do next. My boyfriend told me about this great coffee shop he enjoyed going to in the town we were moving to. I went there, had some awesome cold brew, and met the owners, put in an application and the rest is history!
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I am proud of how hard I’ve worked to learn as much as I have in a short amount of time. I have I only been in the industry about 7 months and I feel proud that I can confidently serve the customers great beverages and have an educated conversation with them about coffees and help them choose a drink they will love. I know I have only scratched the surface of this vast industry and its knowledge and I look forward to learning even more.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison

Kelsey – Peaks Coffee Co

Kelsey - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My favorite drink right now is black coffee with oat milk. I generally lean towards Colombians or Guatemalans. I love them for their balance.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I started working at Starbucks as a sort of creative escape. I suffered from severe anxiety and depression during highschool, and it was bad enough that I was placed on home bound learning. My way to conquer my mental illness was to challenge myself to drive to a local coffee shop, get a cup of coffee, and leave. Soon in started to be sit in the building for 5 minutes and leave. Eventually, it was something I wanted to do with my life. I met my husband working at Starbucks and together we founded Peaks.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I think I am most proud of the fact that we started a company at 19 and 21 years old. I am now 22 and we’ve seen our business grow more than we ever thought in the town of Cazenovia. There is so many more things to come, and Im excited for that future.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“Life is about enjoyed the peaks, and enduring the valleys.” (PS this is where we came up with the name Peaks!)

Karin – Higher Grounds Trading Co

Karin - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My go-to drink right now is our house espresso with a splash of steamed 1/2 & 1/2.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee? / What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
When I came into the coffee industry, I was looking to take a break from the culinary world. I knew the mission and values of Higher Ground were in-line with my own values and through the owners, I heard they were looking for a coffee bar manager. 10 years later, that mission and those values remain key to the company and is a large part of why I transitioned from the coffee bar to roasting. I have been roasting for Higher Grounds for the last 5 years and with the company almost 10 years.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou.

Jessie – Ironsmith Coffee Roasters

Jessie - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
Typically I drink lattes; the creaminess of the milk with the combination of espresso is quite a pair. I’d have to say americanos are second best; just a touch of hot water and a dash of almond milk tickles my fancy.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I joined forces with a coffee shop from my home town in Maryland. It was locally owned, and I had been a part of their team since the opening in 2013. I’m thankful for the lovely experience to have worked in a local, Women owned shop, and just as well, to see them grow and flourish over the 4 years I was there. It was over this time that I truly grew a deep love and appreciation for coffee and the community that it can bring together.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
The close relationships in which I developed with regular customers and co workers. I have friends of all types, whom I met while working in the coffee industry, that I hold dear to my heart. (Also, hearing “this is the best coffee I’ve ever had!”, Isn’t too shabby either).
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?

“The sun sets, but the Moon always rises.
A leaf will detach, and another will grow.
We fall into sleep, to eventually reawaken.
Rain falls upon the earth, only to be reabsorbed into clouds.
How many times has the world shown us that even amongst the darkest hour, light is on the horizon?”

Jennifer – Higher Grounds Coffee Co

Jennifer - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
I generally like to order a “one-and-one”: a single shot of espresso next to a single shot with a small amount of milk (generally a macchiato or small capp). It gives me the chance to taste a shop’s espresso profile on its own as well as experiencing how it interacts with milk, without having to order two giant drinks.
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
I worked as a barista on and off for several years in various shops wherever I happened to be living, and ultimately my part-time barista job here at Higher Grounds evolved into other positions that utilized my skill set: writing, marketing, communications, training, quality control, and purchasing of green coffee. Somehow I’ve managed to land in what turns out to be my dream job, though I wouldn’t have dreamed it up myself if you asked me a decade ago!
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I was honored to serve on the cupping jury (judges panel) for the 3rd annual Saveur du Kivu in 2017, a cupping competition for coffee farmers in the eastern Congo. It’s a great pleasure to be part of a project that’s bringing the DRC’s resilient farmers and their exceptional coffee into the global spotlight.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“It’s better to be looked over than to be overlooked.” – Mae West // I take this to mean stand up, be noticed, take a chance and put yourself out there even if it makes you uncomfortable. I learn by doing, even if that means making mistakes in the process.

Rachel – BeanGenius Coffee

Rachel - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
I am a die-hard latte girl. While I don’t discriminate against ANY kind of coffee, a latte is always my go-to. Sometimes with an extra shot if I feel crazy (which is fairly often).
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
My first encounter with coffee was with a vanilla latte from Starbucks. That was around 5 years ago, and it got me hooked. Soon after, I became a 2-3 cups a day kind of girl, and still am! Fast forward to 2018, I heard about BeanGenius and learned that they were looking for interns. I decided to apply because, you know, coffee. So here I am, just starting to immerse myself in the world of coffee, but loving it!
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
Well, I’ve been in the industry for a solid month, so my accomplishments are minimal. With that being said, I think my greatest accomplishment is getting an internship with a focus on something that I love – coffee. Not everybody gets that opportunity, and it’s pretty awesome to spend your day thinking about something that you are truly interested in.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” – Oprah Winfrey

Sienna – BeanGenius Coffee

Sienna - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
My order greatly varies depending on the mood I’m in, if it’s to stay or to-go, etc. I generally stay in the espresso-based category (e.g. cappuccino, americano, or latte).
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
In terms of my career involvement, I happened upon an internship opportunity when I was at university – BeanGenius was looking for a design intern! Since then I’ve found myself having a toe in coffee through projects at other companies, then returned to BeanGenius last September.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to highlight these incredible women in coffee for Women’s Day 2018. I have a passion for interacting with and empowering humans – this project very much taps into these passions.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“It is what it is but it’ll be what you make it.” – Pat Summitt

Kimberly – Pin Drop Coffee

Kimberly - Women in Coffee for Women's Day 2018

What is your go-to coffee shop drink or type of coffee (region, etc)?
I always find myself favoring natural processed Ethiopians, and always drink it black. Love the fruit bombs!
How did you get involved with the world of coffee?
Landed my very first barista job straight out of high school 14 years ago in Lacey, Washington. Life took me on a different route, and 11 years later, I got back into the industry and began working for Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco, which led me to start my own company, Pin Drop Coffee, in 2016.
What’s been your greatest achievement in this industry, or something of which you’re proud?
Having the courage to start my own coffee business with literally no funding or business partners, just some knowledge and an idea. It began as a mobile pour-over cart a year and a half ago, I’ve showcased over 35 roasters since then, and collaborated with multiple businesses and charities to serve and educate people about specialty coffee and brewing. I’m hoping to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the next few months so I can build the coffee trailer of my dreams, where guests will be able to sit inside or order from the outside, and I will be able to travel and serve around the country.
What is one of your favorite (inspirational) quotes?
“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden

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