156 episodes

Ashley Rodriguez talks to folks about gender, race, sex, and other important issues in coffee. We invite people from all realms of the coffee world to share stories and engage in discussion - we want to hear from you! Contact us at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

Boss Barista Boss Barista

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 80 Ratings

Ashley Rodriguez talks to folks about gender, race, sex, and other important issues in coffee. We invite people from all realms of the coffee world to share stories and engage in discussion - we want to hear from you! Contact us at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

    Guest Episode: Coffee Consumption in Nicaragua

    Guest Episode: Coffee Consumption in Nicaragua

    The Boss Barista takeover is brought to you by Chobani.

    A few weeks ago, I put a call out to coffee folks, fans, and drinkers across the globe to pitch ideas about the podcast they’ve been dreaming of making—and today we’re turning the mic over to the last in our series of guest creators.

    Ana Sofía Narvaez takes over hosting this episode and interviews Sara Corrales of Finca Los Pinos in Nicaragua. Sara is part of the new face of the specialty coffee industry—one that’s dedicated to promoting internal coffee consumption, a topic that’s not often covered or promoted.

    A full transcript is available here. 

    • 51 min
    Leadership as Mentorship with Kaleena Teoh and ChiSum Ngai [147]

    Leadership as Mentorship with Kaleena Teoh and ChiSum Ngai [147]

    Partnerships can have the power to clarify and sharpen traits, skills, and ideas, and that’s true of Kaleena Teoh and ChiSum Ngai—who goes by Sum—who are the co-founders of Coffee Project New York. 

    Originally started as a small shop in the East Village in 2015, Coffee Project has expanded to a number of retail stores, a roastery, and a Specialty Coffee Association-certified training lab. Sum is a Q grader, which means she’s passed rigorous tests to evaluate and tastes coffees, and both Sum and Kaleena take their role as leaders seriously.

    In this episode, we learn more about how their relationship to coffee, each other, and themselves has changed over time. Both Sum and Kaleena believe in the power of education, using Coffee Project as a space to bring customers into the coffee world. 

    They also strive to build meaningful careers for their staff—which is why they’ve grown their business. But they still know the value of leading by example and are always looking to learn and expand their knowledge base. Here are Sum and Kaleena.

    • 47 min
    A Matter of Trust with Brian Gaffney [146]

    A Matter of Trust with Brian Gaffney [146]

    I first met Brian Gaffney while working at an unobtrusive coffee shop in Brooklyn called Daily Press. This wasn’t the kind of place you’d go out of your way to visit—it was located right on a busy street in the southeast corner of Bed-Stuy—and mostly, it attracted folks who lived locally.

    Instead, the fact that it was a neighborhood spot made Daily Press what it was. Almost every customer was a regular, someone who at least one of the baristas had built a relationship with. I remember Brian distinctly—he was friendly with everyone. He worked out of the shop pretty often, and was always curious about the types of coffee we were pouring.

    Although Brian doesn’t work in the coffee industry as we traditionally think of it—he even describes his relationship to the industry as being “coffee-adjacent”—he’s continued to pursue his interest, writing about coffee for publications like Standart and serving on the board of the Coffee Coalition for Racial Equity (CCRE).

    In this conversation, we revisit our nine-year-long friendship and discuss how to find ways to connect with customers. I continue to come back to this phrase that I think James Hoffmann, owner of Square Mile Coffee and former podcast guest, said once—one you’ll hear in this episode—that coffee is bad at telling its own story. Brian’s background is in marketing and brand strategy, so we talk about what it means for coffee people to take ownership of their own narratives.

    But we’re not just talking about coffee shop owners when we say “coffee people.” When it comes to coffee’s narratives, Black and Brown people are all too often left out of the equation, even though their labor, both historically and today, continues to be the backbone of our entire industry—and yet the stories and ways we talk about coffee center affluent, white consumers. Brian and I discuss what a coffee industry led by Black and Brown people could look like, and how centering the perspective of the laborers in coffee has the potential to completely rewrite the industry’s future—and reverse the descent into sameness we seem to be experiencing now. Here’s Brian.

    • 55 min
    Guest Episode: Dispatches from Colombia, Part Two

    Guest Episode: Dispatches from Colombia, Part Two

    The Boss Barista takeover is brought to you by Chobani.

    A few weeks ago, I put a call out to coffee folks, fans, and drinkers across the globe to pitch ideas about the podcast they’ve been dreaming of making—and today we’re turning the mic over to the third in our series of guest creators.

    This episode is a little different than what you’ve heard so far. This is the second of a two-part episode—in these episodes, we talk to Colombian coffee farmers about risk, white saviorism, and the future of coffee.

    A full transcript of this episode is available here.

    • 48 min
    Guest Episode: Dispatches from Colombia

    Guest Episode: Dispatches from Colombia

    The Boss Barista takeover is brought to you by Chobani.

    A few weeks ago, I put a call out to coffee folks, fans, and drinkers across the globe to pitch ideas about the podcast they’ve been dreaming of making—and today we’re turning the mic over to the third in our series of guest creators.

    Sebastián Diácono is a country manager for Latorre & Dutch, an international coffee-trading and -exporting company. He’s based in Colombia, and his job is to act as a liaison between people who want to buy coffee and people who grow it, understanding and synthesizing the needs of both in the process. When I first mentioned this project on Twitter, he messaged me almost immediately, saying he’d like to help me tell stories of coffee producers in Colombia. 

    A full transcript of this episode is available here. 

    • 51 min
    Guest Episode: Pressure Profiles

    Guest Episode: Pressure Profiles

    The Boss Barista takeover is brought to you by Chobani.

    A few weeks ago, I put a call out to coffee folks, fans, and drinkers across the globe to pitch ideas about the podcast they’ve been dreaming of making—and today we’re turning the mic over to the third in our series of guest creators.

    Today’s episode comes from Linn Tsang, who is kicking off her podcast called Pressure Profiles. Pressure Profiles is a Berlin-based interview-style show where Linn chats with baristas and other hospitality professionals about representation and community.

    A full transcript of this episode is available here.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
80 Ratings

80 Ratings

forced 2 rate app ,

Standard Pour episode!

I loved this episode! Very thoughtful and thorough interviewing really brought out the reflections and the experiences of a Black women-owned coffee business owner and first-time entrepreneur.

My key takeaway is that sometimes it’s daunting to realize your visions, but once you start working towards it, you find community willing and able to support you in manifesting your dreams along the way.
Keep doing what you do!

abbyelizaa ,

Amazing resource

I’ve been a listener for years and am finally getting around to reviewing. This podcast is a PHENOMENAL resource for all things coffee. Managing tips? Got em. How to get into competition? It’s here. Unionization efforts? Covered. Roasting and sourcing conversations? Oh you betcha. Love it and cannot recommend this podcast enough.

Old Man Beans ,

Amazing

I'm kind of surprised that this show doesn't have more reviews. It's given me so much information and resources to move forward in the coffee community. Ashley does a wonderful job of highlighting the issues that this industry faces.

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To