The way we come into contact with people through the specialty coffee industry is wild and wonderful: you can reach out to almost anyone armed with only your passion for coffee, and a certain trust is immediate. That’s the way I felt when Christina Furr emailed me for the first time last year.
She was young and coffee crazed, an experienced barista who had fallen so hard for coffee that she started her own blog to track it, to write and photograph it and the people behind it. Specifically, Christina sought to chronicle the rise of specialty coffee in Texas, and she appropriately called the blog Cup of Texas.
“A few of my favorite cups (stories) so far have been my barista stories,” she wrote on the blog of how it began. “I get to talk with the baristas who make your morning cup every day and ask them questions about the job and their lives. The baristas I interview are gracious enough to take time out to sit for their portrait in front of my Yashica 120mm film camera. I am grateful to be able to talk with all kinds of people in this field and love sharing in their passion for coffee.”
I first met Christina when she asked if she could write about the Barista Nation Texas event last fall for Barista Magazine. She expressed such enthusiasm and verve in her message that I knew she would throw herself into it; and she did. You can see for yourself in the article.
I was delighted last April when I was paired with Christina in the judges’ workshop for the first Latte Art Exhibition: when she came up to introduce herself, I threw my arms around her in thanks for her article, and also just in thanks for that kind of spirit; one of the best things ”no, I’m going to say the best thing ”about this industry is the opportunity to meet people with hearts as big as Christina’s. She had saved her own money to attend the SCAA show, which is no small expense. She flew there, stayed in a hotel, and volunteered at the Latte Art Exhibition as well as at the Barista Nation Pop-up Cafe space; she had made many good friends through her experience at Barista Nation Texas.
I remember saying goodbye to her at the end of the Latte Art Exhibition ”we ran through some article ideas, and had one on the books for the December+January issue of this year.
Christina Mosley Furr passed away last night from a brain tumor, in Fort Worth, Texas, where she lived with her husband, Jacob. Both Jacob and Christina’s father were with her until the end.
There will be a memorial service in the coming days at Broadway Baptist Church, 305 W. Broadway, in Fort Worth. Details will be announced here and on Barista Magazine’s Facebook page when a date and time have been scheduled.
Whether or not you had the great opportunity to meet Christina Furr in person, I know you in the specialty coffee community ”and particularly the barista community ”knew what she was like, because she represented the best among us: people so passionate and curious and meticulous and happy about coffee, how it’s grown and prepared, and the people behind it. She couldn’t stop at being a great barista; she went farther as a documentarian, blogging and photographing for the pure love of it.
You can read through Cup of Texas here. And you can remember Christina in your hearts, and in the coffee you drink.
Jacob, we wish to express our sincerest condolences to you and to your extended family. Gail and I had the great pleasure to know Christina and the opportunity to introduce her to the small farmer communities of Mexico and Central America, from which she derived immense pleasure in writing about their farming, work and development. All her efforts were to the benefit of the coffee community at large. Thank you for sharing her with us and her love for coffee and coffee people. She will be missed, fondly remembered and you will always count with our prayers for the days ahead.
Christina had a special aura, enthusiasm and energy. Although I only met her once, I could see and feel very special human qualities in her. Her beautiful smile and memory will continue to inspire others through coffee, work, and engagement in general.
Jacob, please receive my condolences and in the name of the producers of La Selva Café, Chiapas a special RIP for Christina
Beautiful people will be always remembered.
Beautifully written article, Christina sounds like she was an inspiring person…
Encouraging woman that had a heart created for serving people. My wife and I loved getting to know her as part of the overall DFW coffee community. She was our favorite part of Avoca; always one of those people we wish we knew better.
Christina was such a kind, big hearted women who truly loved getting to know people. We loved hosting her in our shop and getting to know her through events in Texas. She was such a big part of the scene in DFW and beyond. We are truly saddened but at the same time thankful for the mark she was able to leave.
I am saddened by Christina’s death. She worked for me at Northpoint Coffee in Sausalito, California. I loved her upbeat spirit and professionalism as a barista. The world has lost a special person.
Thanks for this!! I’m grateful for someone who can write about her from a level, unbiased perspective from the coffee industry. We’d love your personal contribution to the #cupofmornings collaborative art project I’m putting together. You can read about it on my blog. Thank you for welcoming Christina into your world. (As if you could help yourself. ;))
I met her once when she was serving Avoca samples at Central Market. How devastating to lose her. So young!
May she rest in peace and her family find understanding.
Thank you, Sarah, for this wonderful article. We are sad to hear of Christina’s passing, but will continue to remember her when we drink our coffee. For those who had the honor of knowing her, knew that she lived life to the fullest and encouraged all to follow their hearts and dreams.