George Howell Coffee
Please tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up the youngest of three in a very small town in Massachusetts (population of about 7,500). I moved to Boston at the age of 18 for art school. I did not stay in school but I loved Boston and stayed living and working in the city. I got my first coffee job in 2014 and have be in love with it ever since. When I’m not slinging spro, I’m usually relaxing at home binging TV and movies, and playing video games.
How did you get started in coffee?:
I had been working in the food service industry for a few years and ended up getting a job as the assistant manager of a cafe that served George Howell Coffee. I learned how to work the bar and the theory and science behind extraction was very interesting to me so I began to pursue coffee as a career. After a few years of working at various cafés, I ended up at George Howell and couldn’t have been more fortunate in the opportunities that have presented themselves here.
Please list the coffee competitions you have participated in, what year they took place, and your results:
The only other competition I’ve participated in was the US Cup Tasters qualifying competition in 2018. I placed 18th (I’m better at brewing than tasting I guess!)
What are you excited to do while you are in Brazil?:
I cannot wait to try some of the local cuisine!
What was your first amazing experience with coffee?:
In the first training session I had at my first cafe job, the trainer took the time to explain brew ratios and extraction percentages to me. I had no idea what any of it meant but I wanted to know! He really instilled a drive in me to learn as much as I could about coffee.
What is your favorite coffee brewing method and why?:
That’s a tough one, I honestly would have to say I love the Bonavita home auto-drip brewers. They are consistent and durable, and when I spend all week brewing coffee by hand or making espresso, it’s nice to have a machine brew me a really good cup of coffee on the weekends.
What coffee-producing country most interests or excites you?:
I’ve always gravitated towards Colombian coffee, especially now that there are so many innovative producers beginning to experiment with processes and growing conditions. There are lots of exciting things coming out of Colombia!
What are your interests outside of coffee?:
I absolutely love food. Everything from your grandmas favorite comfort food to 5 star restaurants excite me. I grew up in a house of cooks and fishermen, so fresh seafood is definitely at the top of my list. I also have gotten interested in cocktails lately and am learning how to balance a drink when there are so many ingredients to choose from.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?:
I don’t know! I have no plans to leave my current home/job but am not opposed to taking advantage of every opportunity that crosses my path.
Is there anyone you would like to thank or recognize, or who helped you to prepare for the competition?:
So many people! OF course there is George and the team over at George Howell Coffee. Rob Rodriguez, who is roasting my coffee and helping me prepare; Erika Vonie, who is my coach and a huge moral support; and my parents for always believing in me, no matter how weird and niche my interests get.