Today’s guest is basically one of my personal hobbies. He’s one of my windows into coffee culture, and following him on Twitter has given me insight into so many of the social, business, product, and values issues within coffee that I find highly relevant to beer. It’s not always a straightforward translation, of course, and much of what we talk about today is about the gaps between the two. Coffee and beer, and craft-oriented niches, have so much in common. But the differences are meaningful and instructive.
Nick Cho has been there for much of it. He’s served as director of the Barista Guild of America’s Executive Council, the SCA’s board of directors, World Barista Championship board, and chaired the U.S. Barista Championship, among many other roles. He’s also opened his own roaster, Wrecking Ball, has been a guest lecturer at Berkeley, Dartmouth, and UC Davis, and used to have a podcast of his own.
But this all pre-dates how I came to know him, and that was as a #CoffeeTwitter personality that people either get excited about or roll their eyes at. I’ve always found him to be a fantastic window into it all, with a point of view few others are willing or able to offer in public. And, like me, he hates cold brew.
So at the most recent SCA Expo in Seattle, the coffee world’s GABF, I took a break from Uppers & Downers with Nick to unite these forces for better and worse. Better for me, I think, but I’m not sure about him. For coffee folks, the beer world is just weird.
This is Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters. Listen in.