It’s that time of year again. Time for The Sprudge Twenty presented by Pacific Barista Series!
Nominations are now open for this year’s class of The Sprudge Twenty, our annual initiative honoring and amplifying extraordinary individuals in the specialty coffee community. Now in its incredible fifth season presented in partnership with Pacific Barista Series, the Sprudge Twenty is dedicated to mentors and leaders, game-changers and inspirations, baristas and coffee producers, traders and teachers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and original voices in the field of coffee.
Nominations are open through February 28th for the Sprudge Twenty class of 2023. This is an open call to our global network of readers: nominate worthy individuals in your business or community who exemplify excellence, leadership, and the future of coffee. Nominations can be submitted in any language, in the form of an original essay, audio nomination, or video recording, so that there is no barrier to submission—the entire process is open and free, in partnership with Pacific Barista Series.
See past honorees for the 2019 Sprudge Twenty class, and 2020 Sprudge Twenty class, 2021 Sprudge Twenty Class, and 2022 Sprudge Twenty Class.
As part of the program, each class member receives a special in-depth interview feature on Sprudge—here are some excerpts from a few of our favorites from 2022.
Kenzel Fallen, Three Keys Coffee Roasters
What is the quality you like best about coffee?
The best part about coffee, especially as both a participant and owner in the industry, would be the people. Coffee enthusiasts are some of the most innately unique, interesting, and genuine people I’ve encountered.
Yasuo Ishii, Leaves Coffee Roasters
What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?
The value. It is easy to be misjudged a cup of coffee at a shop. Apparently, the final result that you can see all is made by a barista. Although, brewing cannot be exceeded by roasting, and roasting cannot be exceeded by green quality. I think the most important element is the origin. Making a better cup quality of coffee is just one of our our fundamental jobs. Our next goal is to make our customer aware of the value of origin.
Marissa Yooree, Tanbrown Coffee and @CoffeeAsians
What cause or element in coffee drives you?
I am driven by the pursuit of education, community growth, and fostering paths that demonstrate diverse pathways within the coffee industry rather than the hierarchical ladder many people have been spoon-fed. I believe education and agency allow folks to grow and flourish in the ways they need and allow for stronger futures. Because so much of coffee in the west is gatekept, there are few outlets for baristas on the floor to feel motivated to stay in the industry so many leave and I want to see that change. I know part of the battle is showing up and the other part is figuring out ways to make these moments open to all because this industry in particular is FILLED with passionate people who just crave access, how can we do better to provide that? Because I have experienced a lot of community care in the midst of having a lack of access to education in my city, I have seen how it has allowed me to learn and grow as a coffee professional and I hope more folks have the space to receive the education they need to thrive and make a difference for the better of the industry.
Will Wells, The Artery Community Roasters
What is your idea of coffee happiness?
It’s drinking a cup of coffee we have roasted, grown by a producer we admire and call a friend, and just being so thrilled by what they have accomplished, and that we get to enjoy it and then get the privilege of sharing the coffee and the producer’s story with others. It just feel so rewarding to drink something that you have played a small part of in making and coming to life! I honestly can’t believe we get to this professionally, as it’s just such a rewarding experience, in so many different ways.
Check out the full list of 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 Sprudge Twenty honorees and read their remarkable interviews here. Presented in partnership with Pacific Barista Series.