Get to Know Todd Goldsworthy, the 2014 and 2016 U.S. Brewers Cup Champ
BY JOSHUA DUSK-PEEBLES
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE
Todd Goldsworthy of Klatch Coffee is a likeable person. He has all the skill and knowledge befitting a seasoned coffee competitor while remaining humble and eager to learn. He has won the U.S. Brewers Cup twice ”in 2014 and 2016 ”and placed 8th and 5th at the World Brewers Cup, respectively. His passion for coffee and people (especially his family) is palpable. He also has some strong thoughts on traditional coffee beverage definitions. Read on to discover more about him and learn from his experiences.
Joshua Dusk-Peebles: You were just in Brazil! How was the trip? What did you do? What did you learn?
Todd Goldsworthy: Brazil was amazing. Ally Coffee (the trip sponsor) did a fantastic job of putting together a trip to allow us to really experience the diversity that Brazil has to offer. We got to visit small farms where a husband and wife are the only workers (pickers, processing, you name it ”they do it) and also some of the largest farm operations I’ve seen. We had the chance to brew coffee for farmers, spend time in the fields with pickers, talk with producers about their experiments, and even had the chance to ride a mechanical picker at night. I could probably go on for a long time about the amazing experience that it was, so if anyone wants to hear more stories they can give me a call!
JDP: So now you are back home! Speaking of home, what brewer do you use when you make coffee at your house?
TG: My Bonavita 1900. I don’t want to fuss over coffee when I’m home. I just want a tasty cup to get my morning going. Also, my eight-year-old son can brew with my recipes and has been making me coffee at home for about four years or more. My thinking is if he can pick up the kettle, he can brew!
JDP: Is it challenging to prepare for competitions with a family?
TG: It is. I have two amazing sons who I still want to hang out with, coach a baseball team, help them with homework, and have fun together. I got engaged right before United States competitions this year, and you bet my amazing fiancée wants to hang out with me and NOT talk about coffee all the time. She was also one of my coaches ”so that was awesome ”but we definitely had to set aside time for us that was not work and not competition. It is a very challenging balance but worth it in all aspects.
JDP: What has been the biggest discovery you have made about brewing so far?
TG: Water. I’ve always been taught how water is important but I didn’t really start to focus on learning and understanding it until the 2014 competition season. Since then I’ve continued to learn more about water, how the various minerals, amount of minerals, and combination of minerals really does effect my final brew and what flavors come out. Understanding how a 90ppm (parts per million) will extract versus a 120ppm on a Geisha versus a Kenya versus a Guatemalan has been the most eye opening for me. The more I learn about water, the more I realize I know so little about water (and people around me think I geek out on it more than coffee itself sometimes).
JDP: How often do you drink espresso? What is your favorite espresso drink?
TG: I do not drink espresso very often and rarely straight espresso. I seem to like to try espresso (and espresso beverages) more often when I travel and visit a coffee shop or a roaster I’ve never tasted before. My favorite espresso drink is a cappuccino, and when I say cappuccino I want a real cappuccino WITH foam! Too often I order cappuccinos and I basically get a small latte served to me, with almost no foam. It’s a cappuccino, not a latte. Okay, my rant is over. Thank you.
JDP: What does Klatch do really well that you would love to share with other specialty coffee folks?
TG: Experimentation. It’s really where my theme for competition ”what if? ”came from. It’s what we do everyday. We experiment, document, and taste the results looking for how we can improve in what we do and share that with our team and our wholesale partners. That translates into continuous improvements in our store operations, improvements in our training programs, improvements in our wholesale program, etc. The experimentation mentality that we all have helps us push one another, ask more questions, and get better results in order to get great coffee to our customers in a consistent manner.
JDP: What œwhat if questions are you pondering right now?
TG: Cold brew. I have been taking some œfree time to really start to dive further into the capabilities of what can happen with cold brew or just iced coffees in general. I am not to any solid conclusions yet but am definitely getting some great results that either tell me I’m going in the right direction or I really need to stop and rethink what I’m doing.
JDP: What is one prediction that you have about the future of coffee?
TG: I wish I could give you one prediction but really I just have a lot of ˜thoughts’ about the future of coffee. It’s still such a young industry that I think we all need to be ready for anything.
I’m excited each time I visit a coffee origin to see the experimentations coming from farms ”I know we are going to be tasting some really unique and exciting coffees in the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Dusk-Peebles is a lifelong explorer, experimenter, and learner. He enjoys nothing more than sharing what he is learning with other people. When he was young, he would get legitimately angry if his dad forgot to let him smell the coffee every time a new bag was opened. Unfortunately, the much less pleasant corresponding beverage kept him away from coffee until his 30s, when he smelled and then tasted a well-handled natural process Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, and everything made sense again. He plans on getting his own new-born son started much sooner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or found online at duskcoffee.com.