Celebrating the Women of Barista Magazine

a scene of a women's march. a woman holds a sign that says the future is female.


Cover photo by Lindsay Lamont for Unsplash

Women empowerment has been one of the core pillars of Barista Magazine, which we gratefully exemplify through our stories, our events, and our own contributors. Our magazine would be nothing without the significant accomplishments that women-identifying members of the coffee industry have achieved. For this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day, we invite you to learn a little more about our longtime female contributors, as well as take a look at the past work we’ve featured on Barista Magazine Online that recognize the consistently outstanding work that women in coffee.

Sierra Yeo (she/her)

Sierra is a young woman with long black hair. Featured is a closeup portrait of her. She looks to the left smiling, and wears a puffy green blouse and a necklace. She has a tattoo of a coffee plant on her chest.

Sierra is a Singapore/U.K.-based contributor to Barista Magazine in print, and is also the founder of The Kore Directive, a community nonprofit dedicated to uplifting and advancing the lives of unheard voices in the coffee industry. If you’ve ever read a piece by Sierra, you’ll know that she truly loves to go in-depth when it comes to thoroughly researching, analyzing, and providing thoughtful introspection on topics like the cost of coffee production and allyship amongst marginalized communities.

What are your favorite topics within coffee to write about?

I love writing about social justice where it intersects with coffee, and writing about an ethical coffee supply chain. It’s the people within the industry that do it for me, as well as what the people care about.

What are some of your favorite pieces that you’ve written for Barista Magazine?

I love “Two Histories, One Voice,” which was about how the histories and oppression of African Americans and Asian Americans are interwoven and what we can do to be good allies of colour!

Sunghee Tark (she/her)

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Sunghee Tark is a contributor to both our print and online outlets, and runs the feminist nonprofit Bean Voyage, a group that empowers female coffee producers in Costa Rica and beyond. After spending a lengthy period of time in South Korea during COVID-19, Sunghee has gifted us with a wealth of content covering the coffee scene in Seoul and how the country has been handling COVID-19, as well as inspiring interviews with coffee professionals. We’re unsure of how she managed to squeeze in writing for us with such an ambitious schedule, but we sure are lucky to have her!

What are your favorite topics within coffee to write about?

I love writing about people in coffee, social justice, and intersectionality as well as anything that falls within the big realm of sustainability! However, I would definitely say my favorite part is to interview and learn from so many great people in coffee!

What are some of your favorite pieces that you’ve written for Barista Magazine?

I enjoyed writing all of the “10 Minutes With” pieces that I have done for Barista Mag Online. Hearing from co-founders of Fritz Coffee, BK and Geunha, about their philosophies behind their company was particularly inspiring, and the interview that I did with Maria Paz from Coffee Institute of Costa Rica to write the article on sustainability initiatives in Costa Rica was also enjoyable. For Barista Magazine in print, I enjoyed writing the most recent piece on the pandemic from producers’ perspectives. As hard as it was to hear the challenges in producing communities, I was grateful for Daniela, Benjamin, Allan and Ganga to have allowed me to share their insights with the industry and were humbled by their resilience during the interview. 

Tigger Chaturabul (she/her)

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Tigger Chaturabul is a print and online contributor based in Hong Kong. A barista-turned coffee writing pro, she is a writing machine who is responsible for impactful cover stories, including her interviews with Kapo Chiu and with Jeremy Zhang during COVID-19. Tigger’s work spans content that uses coffee as a kickstarter for larger conversations around current events, and helps the community get a better picture of the culture in Asia and beyond when she’s traveling.

What are your favorite topics within coffee to write about?

I love writing about origins and all of the new things going on at each place, because the writing/research process is also a huge learning experience for me, and I always end up with a greater appreciation for all the little things that contribute to a cup of coffee!

What are some of your favorite pieces you’ve written so far for Barista Magazine?

Definitely the piece on Kapo, my first big piece for B Mag, and it was so much fun to spend some time with him chatting and taking photos. He’s really quite an icon in HK, and to be able to get to know his story better was a huge privilege.

I also loved the capsule review! It was fun and eye-opening and the perfect excuse to splurge on some interesting coffee.

Emily Meneses (she/her)

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A longtime coffee and café enthusiast, Emily’s entry into the coffee writing world has been effortless and admirable. This Los Angeles-based writer has since become one of our most consistent contributors to Barista Magazine Online, and recently debuted in the print issues as well. With passions for exploring environmental and social justice, Emily’s interests have aligned with Barista Magazine’s perfectly.

What are your favorite topics within coffee to write about?

I love writing about the things that are both separate and inseparable from coffee—social issues, environmental issues. … Most of all, I want to encourage community and collective thinking, to bridge the gaps between members of the coffee world: the gap between customer and barista, the gap between customer and farmer. I’m a Filipina-American, born to two immigrants from the Philippines, and for me, culture is very important. It’s important to me that people see specialty coffee not as something solely for the wealthy, Western, and white world. Coffee is global, and it should be accessible: there are so many ways to make it, so many ways to enjoy it, so many amazing people of color working in this industry. I want to tell their stories, as well as the stories of the farming communities in the Global South who make all of this possible. 

What are some of your favorite pieces that you have written for us?

I had so much fun writing the Coffee in the Philippines series—it was such a great way for me to bridge my love for coffee with my curiosity about my family’s culture. The article highlighting AAPI-owned cafés was another fun one to write, I met so many amazing people through that one! My piece about community fridges was another important one to me, as well as my article about empowering coffee producers (huge thanks to Kavi Bailey for being the highlight of that one). And of course, my very first Barista Mag article with Coffee Del Mundo’s Jonathan Kinnard will always be a memorable one; he’s really the one who opened my eyes to how important it is to uplift farming communities and see coffee through the lens of people of color.

Women-Forward Content

Did you know we have a Women in Coffee category on Barista Mag Online? You can read the many articles we’ve written in this section here, which include “10 Minutes With” interviews, spotlights on women-owned businesses, and features with women coffee producers.

Some of the larger roundups we’ve loved on women in coffee spotlight African women in coffee, female roasters of color, and cafés owned by women of color.

We’d love to include lists of women-owned businesses, initiatives, and industry members you can follow, but the list is simply too large—it’s a good thing. We’re constantly amazed by the strong, solidified presence of women in coffee, and hope to continue serving this group through dynamic content at Barista Magazine.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.