Working where your friends hang out.

This Baratza Story is a special treat for me to introduce. I met Alexandra (Alex) LittleJohn while working together, and it is so awesome to hear from good ol' coffee comrades. Alex is the Director of Wholesale Operations at OZO Coffee Company out in Boulder, CO. She has been in the coffee industry since she was probably 14 or 15 years old. She has been involved in the SCA and BGA and held many roles that honestly, I can't name all.

Needless to say, she is a big part and influence in the specialty coffee and at Baratza we want to highlight her story. Without further adieu, here's what she shared with us.

The Q&A:

How did you get into coffee?  My first coffee shop job was at a place called “Totally Coffee” in Costa Mesa, CA . I only wanted to work there because all of my friends hung out there at the time, and it seemed like all the cool kids were working there. I just wanted to be cool.

When did you get your first Baratza?  My first one I won at the 2012 SWRBC (Southwest Regional Barista Competition) in Santa Cruz, CA when I placed 2nd in the Brewers Cup regional!

What’s your favorite coffee story? Mine or folklore? I would probably say that my favorite coffee stories are from the early Barista Camp days. Meeting so many coffee pros and realizing how much I already knew, and also how much more I had to learn.

What’s your preferred brew method? Want to share your go-to recipe?

At home: Bonavita home brewer – 60 grams to a liter and flat bottom filter, ground with my Vario W I purchased at TED in 2013. Away: Aeropress : Inverted method, 18 g coffee : 285 g water, 4 stirs throughout the 2:20 brewtime, a flip, then a 20-30 second press out.

Which coffee no-no do you break most often? Ask for espresso over a HUGE cup of ice.

Other than drinking coffee, what do you like doing? Live music is life – I’ve been to Red Rocks for 14 shows this year, hoping to make it 20 for the season, and 3 music festival! Camping, travel and Karaoke are musts in my weekly routine. And of course, great coffee and food are two things I simply can’t live without!

Why is Baratza special to you? Baratza has been so supportive of me, the barista community and increasing awareness of specialty coffee preparation in the home. Plus, Joyce is just a gem of a human being.

In her message Alex said, "I thought I'd let you know that the Vario W I purchased from y'all at TED back in 2013 had it's first service with our tech team, and it's running strong - burrs are gorgeous and I am still absolutely in LOVE." 

Nice to know that professionals like Alex LittleJohn can rely on Baratza on the bar and at home. We are happy to be part of Alexandra's coffee journey and we are looking forward to hearing many more stories.

Cheers ALJ, you're gold!