The time is nigh! We've got just a few short hours left for you to nominate your coffee heroes for this year's class of The Sprudge Twenty, our annual initiative honoring and amplifying extraordinary individuals in the specialty coffee community. Presented in partnership with Pacific Barista Series, the Sprudge Twenty is searching for mentors and leaders, young strivers and future game-changers, baristas and farmers, traders and teachers, entrepreneurs and original voices in the field of coffee. We need your help to discover who should be honored!

Nominate a Sprudge Twenty Honoree Today. 

Nominations are open through Friday, February 28th at 11:59 PM for the Sprudge Twenty class of 2020. 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.

Click here to nominate someone in your community today, and read on to learn more about our inaugural class of Sprudge Twenty honorees. Each class member receives a special in-depth interview feature on Sprudge, and we're presenting a few of our favorites from last season below.

Haley Lytle, Sprudge Twenty honoree for 2019

What issue in coffee do you care about most?

I care about hospitality being restored because I feel like it became the norm for baristas to have a mean edge. What seemed to manifest from that was a lack of making customers feel welcome and being given the opportunity to fall in love with coffee, whether your thing is vanilla iced lattes or pour-overs. I would also love to see more racial diversity in the coffee industry because the market still seems to be directed toward a certain kind of person who looks one way, knows certain things, and is well-spoken in English.

 

Laetitia Mukandahiro, Sprudge Twenty honoree for 2019 

What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first starting out in coffee?

I would like to hear that I am able and everything will be alright, because in my time everyone told me that coffee is not good for my health and other many discouraging words.

Gisele Rodrigues Coutinho, Sprudge Twenty honoree for 2019

Gisele Coutinho – Pura Caffeina of São Paulo, Brazil

What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?

Consumer education. People need to understand the amount of work necessary and just how much it costs to fill a cup with quality coffee and how many studious people need to work at this to make it happen. Coffee is not just coffee.

Kazuhiro Nagasawa, Sprudge Twenty honoree for 2019 

Kazuhiro Nagasawa (Photo courtesy Kazuhiro Nagasawa)

Did you experience a “god shot” or life-changing moment of coffee revelation early in your career?

A long, long time ago, one day, I hiked up to the top of a mountain for snowboarding. It was a tremendously cold day, and I was almost freezing. Then, somebody poured a cup of hot coffee from a thermos for me. I vividly remember the scene and its unforgettably delicious taste of the coffee still now.

It was not that tasty as we could call “specialty,” it was precisely my life-changing moment that made me realize it all depends on the environment or situation; we could find any coffee to be the best coffee. I could say it was a very precious discovery for my career.

 

Check out the full list of 2019 Sprudge Twenty honorees and read their remarkable interviews here. Presented in partnership with Pacific Barista Series.