Welcome to The Sprudge Twenty Interviews presented by Pacific Barista Series. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be featuring our 2019 featured class of Sprudge Twenty honorees, each one changing the coffee game worldwide. For a complete list of 2019 Sprudge Twenty honorees please visit sprudge.com/twenty.
Felix Felix is a working coffee professional and competition barista living in Santa Barbara, California, where he works as a Cafe Manager for Dune Coffee Roasters. Felix (he is mononymous and has competed in the Brewers Cup circuit as Felix Felix) is one of several nominees who was highlighted for his exemplary customer service and for approaching coffee work with a level of care and consideration on par with fine dining. From Kay Cheon’s nominating essay:
“As one of our store managers, Felix sets an example for service and work ethic to all of our employees, and is always looking to improve his skills as a manager and barista. Before he and I worked together, he would always come in and ask me questions about the coffee we were serving that day, gently asking me questions about what flavors we were getting and just generally being excited about coffee and its potential to bring people together. He holds Danny Meyer and his book Setting The Table in the highest regard, and is genuinely the most creative and heartfelt person when it comes to customer service.”
Nominated by Kay Cheon
This interview has been edited and condensed.
What issue in coffee do you care about most?
Workplace environments. I really care about healthy, positive, and supportive workplace environments.
What cause or element in coffee drives you?
Being able to create a safe and welcoming place for anyone to walk into.
What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?
How we could waste less and reuse more.
What is the quality you like best about coffee?
I like the diversity of flavors you can find in different origins and processing methods.
What is your idea of coffee happiness?
Seamlessly crushing a shift with my friends all while making meaningful connections with our guests. There’s nothing better.
If you could have any job in the coffee industry, what would it be and why?
A local barista in the best town with the best guests… oh wait ;)
Who are your coffee heroes?
Matt Fewel and Collin Barrett are living legends.
If you could drink coffee with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
If you didn’t get bit by the coffee bug, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Something using my Culinary Arts degree
Do you have any coffee mentors?
My dear friend Kay Cheon. I love bouncing coffee/life ideas off him and then talking about them for a long time
What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first starting out in coffee?
That the water you brew with also matters.
Name three coffee apparatuses you’d take into space with you.
An electric kettle, a flat bottom dripper, and my favorite mug (a clear 12oz glass handle mug).
Best song to brew coffee to:
Anything by Ratatat.
Look into the crystal ball—where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Still trying to create the best hospitality experience possible for people.
What’d you eat for breakfast this morning?
Trader Joe’s cereal with some strawberries!
When did you last drink coffee?
What was it?
A pour-over of a natural Ecuador from Hacienda La Papaya. Thanks Juan Peña!
Zachary Carlsen is a co-founder and editor at Sprudge Media Network. Read more Zachary Carlsen on Sprudge.