I’ve been working the butter beat for Sprudge for many years now, covering the nuttiest coffee butters known to man, so it just makes sense that I also helm the Butler beat to bring you all the nuttiest Jimmy Butler coffee news of the day.
The Miami Heat star made waves during the 2020 playoffs not just for his on-court heroics but for Big Face Coffee, the pop-up cafe he ran out of his hotel room while in the sequestered playoff bubble. Both sport and coffee publications alike (including this one) were foaming at the mouth for more and more Butler news, which is perhaps the only time selling cups of coffee at $20 a pop has been counted as a “feel good story.” But most of the reporting on Big Face has been done by the sports media, who weren’t exactly asking the hard hitting coffee questions we wanted answered. What brew device(s) does Butler use? Who is roasting the coffee? How into coffee is Butler really? Is this just an opportunity to capitalize on a market deficiency or is Butler the coffee pro we all want him to be?
Finally, these questions have been answered. In an interview with Rohan Nadkarni for Sports Illustrated, Jimmy Butler shares more about his affinity for coffee.
The interview itself is more of a victory lap for Butler, who spent the early part of his NBA career being viewed by many as a “bad teammate” (only to find out this year with the Heat that whoops Butler is actually a top notch teammate who doesn’t suffer mediocre efforts from his counterparts). The article paints the Big Face creator as a sort of foul-mouthed renaissance man laser focused on all his pursuits. Whether he’s in the middle of a 4:00am workout session or flexing on coach Erik Spoelstra—in front of Spoelstra’s own wife no less—about French wineries, there are no half measures with Butler.
So when Butler gets into coffee, it’s safe to assume he has more than just a passing interest. According to SI, Butler grew past the little-coffee-with-my-sugar stage of coffeedom at the advice of trainer James Scott, who told Butler it would help with this training regimen. It wasn’t long before Butler was spending hours in European cafes soaking up coffee knowledge. Now, according to the article, Butler’s go-to drink is a pour-over.
The biggest revelation from the article, though, beyond the news of the Heat guard owning a scale, Chemex, and espresso machine or that he’s partial to Brazilian coffees, is that Butler roasts his own coffee. This certainly would explain why no one came forward to claim responsibility for the coffee being used at Big Face. And frankly it is unsurprising given everything we now know about the person Spoelstra calls “literally one of the most interesting people in the NBA fraternity.”
The next step in the coffee journey for Butler—who tells SI he wishes he “could take five years off and open a cafe”—is latte art. Per the article, he has spent the offseason working on his rosettas and hearts and tulips, but it isn’t quite show ready. “You have to pour it from a certain height and certain angle. It’s taken up a lot of time, and a lot of mistakes.”
Thanks to the SI article, we now know a little bit more about how deep Butler has gone down the coffee rabbit hole. But even this new information is cursory at best. (But what can you expect from a sports publication impressed that a person owns a scale just for coffee?) So Jimmy, whenever you’re ready to really talk coffee, come find us. We want to know more. And damn you for making me love the Miami Heat.