Coffee Pros Discuss Origin Impact at Portland Event

Sharing knowledge from recent coffee travels will be the focus of Stories of Origin, a community-building event taking place this Thursday, Dec. 13, at Proud Mary Coffee.


The global specialty-coffee community has long been a curious one, with people throughout the supply chain in constant pursuit of knowledge and in frequent dialogue to learn from one another.

For many coffee professionals in coffee-consuming areas, there’s a desire to discover more about what is going on in coffee-producing countries. While some coffee pros are able to head to origin to work directly with coffee producers, most are not, yet they are still curious to learn from the knowledge at coffee’s source.

With this pursuit of knowledge in mind, Jacob Dempsey—a barista at Proud Mary Coffee in Portland, Ore.—created an event called Stories of Origin, taking place this Thursday, Dec. 13, at Proud Mary Coffee. Jacob, who put on events in the San Diego coffee community before relocating to Portland, says he was excited to start doing events in Portland. “I wanted to move past competitions and find new ways to bring the community together,” he says. “I want to encourage continuous education and empowerment within my local coffee community.”

In addition to Portland coffee pros discussing their learnings from recent origin trips, the Stories of Origin event will feature baristas from the speakers’ coffee companies serving coffees from the origins being discussed.

At Stories of Origin, four Portland-area coffee professionals will speak for 15-20 minutes about their recent coffee travels, what they learned from them, and how they impacted them. The speakers will be:

  • Luz Maria Alvarez from Smalltime Coffee Roasters, who will discuss her relationship with a women-run farm in Colombia.
  • Mike Nelson of Junior’s Roasted Coffee, who will share about a recent project at Junior’s measuring the cost of production of coffee with the Guatemalan farm Santo Tomás Pachuj. (Read more about the project in the October + November 2018 issue of Barista Magazine.)
  • Taylor Dinsmore of Cave Painter Coffee, who will cover a recent trip he took to Indonesia and share his learnings on the unique infrastructure of the country’s coffee industry.
  • Nolan Hirte from Proud Mary, who will talk about a trip he recently took to Brazil, and a new way of coffee processing he is working to develop with the Nunes family.

In addition to the talks, baristas from the speakers’ coffee companies will serve coffees from the origins being discussed—in some cases, they will be the specific coffees the speaker is talking about.

Jacob says he’s hoping the night provides an educational opportunity for interested coffee professionals and helps close the gap between coffee origin and coffee shop. “I want people coming to leave feeling inspired by people in their community,” he says. I want to show people the possible future of their coffee career. I want it to be a night of education and camaraderie.”

Stories of Origin takes place Dec. 13 at Proud Mary Coffee in Portland, Ore. Register for the event here.

About Chris Ryan 261 Articles
Chris Ryan (he/him) is Barista Magazine's online copy editor and a freelance writer and editor with a background in the specialty coffee industry. He has been content director of Sustainable Harvest and the editor of Fresh Cup Magazine.