ROASTER: Jamie Smith
COMPANY: Coffee Manufactory, San Francisco, Ca
With 707*530*805, I’m trying to give back. 707*530*805 are all area codes for communities that were affected by California wildfires. A percentage of my release will go towards the Camp Fire Relief fund. My first community is my home, California, which has been through hell and back in the last couple of years. Folks I know and hold dear have lost homes and loved ones to these devastating fires. As someone who on a small level knows what it’s like to lose it all, I can’t imagine what these communities are feeling. Please know that if you purchase my release you will be helping my community in a small way!
NAME: Juliet Han
YEARS ROASTING: 9 Years
COMPANY: Blue Bottle Coffee, Oakland, CA
It wasn’t until we talked to Juliet Han, our featured roaster for the month of February, that we saw just how amazing it is that roasters even agree to do this, let alone share beautiful, intensely personal stories with all the folks at home drinking their coffees. Really, we’re asking people to share a part of themselves, and that can be really daunting. “First impressions of me can be awkward, and to be honest, I almost said no to this project because it would mean attention on myself and I kind of suck at that.”
NAME: Sam Neely
YEARS ROASTING: 2 ½ Years
COMPANY: Switchback Coffee Roasters, Colorado Springs, CO
Have you ever done a crossword that, when all the words come together, they reveal a theme? If you put all the words together here—decisive, passionate, intrepid, and just—we hope it spells out a coffee that is both uniquely delicious, special, and completely accessible. All those things describe Sam as well (delicious…maybe? Sam does admit they’re very into food and wine so they’ll probably taste like the last delicious thing they ate). Every time we present you with a coffee, we want the coffee to sing both of the work of the producer and the work of the roaster. With Sam’s coffee, we hope you can taste each individual component—the decisiveness, the passion, the intrepidness, and the justness—and you can feel connected to them and their story.
NAME: Kiana Cruz
YEARS ROASTING: 2 Years
COMPANY: CoRo Coffee Room, Berkeley, CA
After leaving school and working a few coffee jobs, Kiana landed at Paramo Coffee in San Francisco, where she met one of her mentors, Gabe Boscana (who was our featured roaster in October). After she was offered a managerial role, Kiana says that Gabe was one of the first people to see past her insecurities and into her potential. “At that moment in my life I felt like I couldn’t do this…I felt like I didn’t know enough and questioning myself,” she says. “Gabe acknowledged my struggle—it was the first time I ever reached out to someone and he gave me the time of day and advised me through the process as I tried to break down the barriers of thinking I wasn’t good enough.” She then stops, and thinks for a moment. “It’s probably the single biggest act of kindness that’s kept me in the industry.”
NAME: Sara Gibson
YEARS ROASTING: 2 Years
COMPANY: Greater Goods Coffee Roasters, Austin TX
Sometimes, legends are legends for a reason.
A few years ago, you wouldn’t have found Sara Gibson behind a roaster. You would have found her, instead, on the roller rink, leading The Oakland Outlaws, a roller derby team, to victory. Now, she’s roasting for Greater Goods Coffee in Austin, Texas, and is our featured roaster for the month of November.