Welcome back to A Better Table on the Sprudge Podcast Network, hosted by Umeko Motoyoshi.
In this episode of A Better Table, Umeko Motoyoshi interviews Mikey Rinaldo, the founder of New Math Coffee. New Math Coffee is a Chicago-based roaster that highlights coffee from Asian coffee producers all around the world, including diasporic Asian producers. Motoyoshi finds out about Rinaldo’s start in coffee, and what lead them to open a roasting company.
More about Rinaldo from New Math Coffee’s website:
Indonesian-born-and-raised, Mikey Rinaldo (they/them) first discovered craft coffee as a disgruntled literature grad student in the early 2010’s. The next few years were then spent learning about coffee through home brewing and roasting. In 2016, they became a Q grader and had since taken the professional leap as a roaster, first working at Due South Coffee Roasters in Greenville, SC, then at Passion House Coffee Roasters in Chicago, IL.
“Mikey founded New Math Coffee to highlight Asia’s potential as an underdog specialty origin. While they cherish coffees from storied regions like East Africa and Latin America, they want to foster greater appreciation of Asian producers trying to improve crop quality following the specialty coffee boom in recent years.”
Rinaldo says an earlier episode of A Better Table with Cxffeeblack’s Bartholomew Jones was an inspiration for New Math Coffee’s diaspora project: “At one point, [Bartholomew Jones] was speaking of—not just sourcing from African farmers from Africa, but also looking into Afro-Brazilian or Afro-Colombian farmers. That was just an ‘a-ha’ moment… there’s a considerable population of Japanese-Brazilian migrants working on coffee in Brazil. I really respect projects like Cxffeeblack, talking about reclaiming the ancestral roots of coffee. I think it’s just wanting to focus on looking at coffee as something that’s traveled. Same with the people who worked on it.”
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Be sure to check out past episodes including interviews with Bianka Alloyn And Sabreen Naimah, Chris McAuley, Cydni Patterson, Nick Castellano, Will Frith, Laetitia Mukandahiro, Emily Haddad, Adam JacksonBey, Kim Elena Ionescu, Alice Wong, Latasha Barr Lewis, Madeleine Longoria Garcia, and Camden Myer.
Check out all of the Sprudge Podcast Networks show here.