Last, but most decidedly not least, to the stage in New York was our guest host, long-time twitter friend (/adversary), and fellow podcaster, Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Coffee. With near-trademark provocativeness, Nick tackles what he feels is “the biggest problem in specialty coffee today”—and no, it’s not actually climate change. Our biggest problem, according to Nick, is that we’re simply not very good at what we do. As he breaks this idea down in order to build a solution, Nick makes some astute observations about the current state of our industry and asks some big questions about what we need to do (and whether or not it’s even possible) for us to move forwards from our current position.
Nick founded murky coffee in Washington DC in 2002, which emerged as one of the pioneering third-wave cafes on the east coast, winning barista competitions and recognition around the specialty coffee industry. In 2011, he and his wife Trish Rothgeb co-founded Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in San Francisco, where they work and reside.
Nick has served as a director on the Barista Guild of America’s Executive Council, on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Board of Directors, on the World Barista Championship Board of Directors, and as the chairman of the United States Barista Championship. He was also the 2006 South East Regional Barista Champion and has served on the SCAA Standards Committee. He also created the World Brewers Cup competition in 2011.
Nick has been a guest lecturer at the University of California Berkeley, Dartmouth College, University of California Davis, and a speaker at various events around the world including SCAA/Re:co Symposium. He started the Portafilter Podcast in 2005, and is proudly Tamper Tantrum Podcast’s 42nd biggest fan