Just a blueberry explosion.

This one is from the house. The Support & Coffee Specialist,  Alex Choppin shares a little more about his coffee journey. We interviewed Alex a little over a year ago when he was preparing to compete in the qualifiers for Brewer's Cup - you can read that here.  Fast forward almost two years here's a little more insight into his Baratza story.

So let's go!

How did you get into coffee? I started off working at Starbucks and really didn’t like coffee at all! I decided that was a bit silly, so I started making myself drink black coffee on a regular basis. I ended up taking a liking to it, especially after tasting my first natural-process Ethiopian coffee (just a blueberry explosion). I was immediately hooked on the idea of coffee tasting like that. I feel like, as my palette developed for lighter and fruitier coffees, I’ve been chasing that experience deep down the rabbit hole that is coffee.

How long have you worked at Baratza? I’m coming up on just two years here so far!

What is your favorite coffee story? Long Miles Coffee Project. Thanks in part to their work in Burundi, coffee which was previously sold pre-ground in tins at rock-bottom prices is now selling at specialty rates. This means massive improvements in the taste quality of the coffee, which pays off when that coffee fetches a higher price on the market. Coffee farmers who work with Long Miles have seen massive increases in their income as a result of this.

What equipment do you use normally to make coffee with? I have a Forte BG at home, and I use a BonaVita 1900ts for heavy-lifting. If I’m just making a single cup, my go-to is the Kalita Wave.

What is to your go-to coffee brewing recipe? On Kalita Wave - 25:425 Bloom as appropriate and pour basically as slowly and continuously as I can in order to hit 3:15-3:45 (depending on the coffee) contact time.

Who or what is your source for coffee education? I’m a big fan of Barista Hustle, and of course I love the Baratza Blog (shameless self-promotion there). Really, though, just getting out and involved in coffee events is a great way to gain knowledge and build connections! The competition system, local events, fests and cons and expos – more immersion in coffee is always great!

Other than drinking coffee, what do you like doing? As any proud citizen of Cascadia should - I like camping, hiking, and outdoorsy stuff generally. Also food and beverage stuff (buying and/or making food, cocktails, etc) but that’s pretty coffee-adjacent. 😊

Baratza is delighted to have Alex’s deep coffee knowledge on the team. As our Coffee Specialist he has helped write most of our educational blog posts. We are excited to be a direct part of his unique coffee journey. If you want to learn more about Alex’s Brewer’s Cup recipe and how that untangled, check it out here. If you can’t get a chance to meet him at any coffee event, stay tuned to our blog to read more posts from Alex.