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Boss Barista

Boss Barista

3
Followers
6
Plays
Boss Barista

Boss Barista

Boss Barista

3
Followers
6
Plays
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About Us

Ashley Rodriguez talks to folks about gender, race, sex, and other important issues in coffee. We invite people from all realms of the coffee world to share stories and engage in discussion - we want to hear from you! Contact us at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

Latest Episodes

Roundup — Being Fat Behind the Bar

A few weeks ago, I asked listeners to send me voice memos—and you did. Lots of them. Some were happy, some were sad, some were about a specific topic - at the time, I really wanted to learn about tips and how they affect your life as service workers. And one of the voice memos I got was from a barista in Memphis named Laurel Moreland. She joins us, along with Courtney Paige Harrough, to share their experiences about being fat behind the bar. Please send me more voice memos! If there's anything you think we should cover, record a voice memo and send it to bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com!

26 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Roundup — Being Fat Behind the Bar

Roundup — What it Means to be Unemployable

One time, in the midst of a sorrow-filled rant about my bosses and work, one of my friends told me I was unemployable. So I asked him—Brandon Epting—to come on the show and explain the weirdest compliment I’ve ever received.

27 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Roundup — What it Means to be Unemployable

Erna Baby [REBROADCAST]

We're working on some big episodes dropping around the holidays, but in the meantime, here's one of my all-time favorite episodes.

47 MIN2019 DEC 20
Comments
Erna Baby [REBROADCAST]

Roundup —How is the Price of Retail Coffee Determined?

Right now, coffee is being traded at $1.5 per pount. And yet, when you go into a coffee shop, it can feel like prices are high—and sometimes vary wildly depending on the coffee shop you go to or the bag you pick up. How does coffee's journey from farm to retail shelf affect the cost it incurs along the way? We decided to dive deep into the world of coffee prices. Featuring Joe Marrocco of List & Beisler.

24 MIN2019 DEC 13
Comments
Roundup —How is the Price of Retail Coffee Determined?

Roundup —What We Talk About When We Talk to Customers

How do you tell a customer about what's really going in your life? Today we talk to Camila Coddou of Barista Behind the Bar about what it means to have a meaningful conversation with patrons—the folks who keep the service industry alive, but often don't know much about the issues affecting workers. Learn more about her project, in partnership with Coffee at Large, about patron engagement and encouraging direct conversations with the folks who patron our workspaces—here!

21 MIN2019 DEC 6
Comments
Roundup —What We Talk About When We Talk to Customers

Boss Barista Presents Making Coffee

Hey friends, we're taking a break this week BUT we have a special treat for you! I've been lucky enough to know Lucia Solis for a few years. She consults coffee farmers all around the globe, helping them improve their processing methods and think critically about fermentation. All coffee goes through some sort of fermentation, and not in the way you think. Lucia is a fountain of knowledge, so she started her own podcast called, Making Coffee, where she talks aboutbig topics like, "how do we determine quality in coffee," or "what happens when a coffee is over fermented?" (have you ever had a coffee that tastes more like kombucha or has some funk to it? it might be over fermented). We're sharing one episode in particular that I love. You can subscribe to Lucia's podcast, Making Coffee, just like you would mine: you can go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts, and you can learn more about Lucia at www.luxia.com.

26 MIN2019 NOV 29
Comments
Boss Barista Presents Making Coffee

Roundup - Reimagining The Minimum Wage With Oddly Correct [002]

EIn the U.S., the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. 29 states have set a higher minimum wage than that, HOWEVER all by 6 states have a tipped minimum, or an amount that’s lower than minimum wage that you can pay your staff if they also receive tips. Rules vary on how little an employer can pay state by state, but in general, when we think of minimum wage, we think of lowly paying jobs, and for many, minimum wage isn’t enough to support themselves or their families or make their lives work without picking up more work or sacrificing basic needs. But what happens when we start to think about minimum wage differently? What if we could guarantee that people left work every day with MORE than what they need just to meet their basic human needs? And what sort of power structures would have to be reassessed, and flat out knocked down, for that to happen? In this episode, we talk to Michael Schroeder of Oddly Correct in Kansas City, who, on November 4th, 2019, announced an incredibly ambitious new pay structure for the business. On Instagram, they announced that all employees would make at least $18 an hour—if they made that in tips plus their base wage, that was great, but if their tips didn’t get them up to that hourly wage, they would subsidize it, and ensure that every employee took home a guaranteed amount of money everyday. And Michael says it's because they wanted to flip the idea of minimum wage on its head. SEND ME A VOICE MEMO—use your phone to record any of your thoughts, stories, or ideas and send them to me at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

20 MIN2019 NOV 22
Comments
Roundup - Reimagining The Minimum Wage With Oddly Correct [002]

The Boss Barista Roundup - Tipping [001]

EWelcome to the first episode of the Boss Barista Roundup! On this show, I ask experts, writers, and you—yes, our listeners—to send me messages, voice memos about a topic, and together, we’ll take a hard look at a big question. And I wanted the very first episode to be about a topic I never stop thinking about: tipping. I am obsessed with tipping. It’s something I’ve written about, commented on for other articles, even done a few episodes of this show about. And for this episode in particular, I wanted to focus on how employers talk about tips. And the reason I wanted to do so is because of a 2017 op-ed by Todd Carmichael, the owner of La Colombe coffee roasters. SEND ME A VOICE MEMO—use your phone to record any of your thoughts, stories, or ideas and send them to me at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

14 MIN2019 NOV 16
Comments
The Boss Barista Roundup - Tipping [001]

David Hu of The Peccary on Defining Value and Leadership [090]

Everyone has had a bad boss. Everyone has probably had multiple bad bosses. I had one boss tell me I was inauthentic and that he hated me, I had one tell me he couldn’t give me more money after he promoted me, I had two, a married couple, get a divorce in the middle of the cafe and put all the employees right in the center. And I too, have been that bad boss. I’ve been too overbearing, too nitpicky, too weird and mean. I learned to be a better boss—not perfect, not great, probably not even good—but better, through reading countless articles, scouring the internet for anything I could find about how to manage better. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot on the internet about how to be a better leader. There’s tons of articles complaining about shitty employees, but there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the role of leaders and how they can improve and set examples for their staff. In a way, we don’t really expect leaders to be held accountable, and instead write off bad work environments as a result of terrible employees. I know this is bullshit—but I have to say the only way I learned this lesson is because of my time as a middle school teacher. This is a story I tell all the time, but I’ll tell it again because it’s so vitally important to me and who I’ve become—I was trying to get my students to behave by lining them up outside my classroom, and it wasn’t working. So my principal calls me, and I’m immediately blaming the kids, blaming the fact that my class is right after lunch...and tells me probably the single-most important set of words I’ve ever heard. He told me their rowdiness—that’s my fault. I’m in control. But then he pauses, and says, “That’s meant to empower you. You’re always in control.” So I noticed when I started seeing these amazing post on Instagram about leadership from a coffeeshop called The Peccary in New Jersey. These posts extolled the work of baristas, and talked about how it’s the job of leaders to make the work of being a barista easier. David Hu, the owner of The Peccary, does this in a number of ways. He pays his baristas more, they know their schedules ahead of time for a year, they were paid for months during training and onboarding before the shop opened, and I wanted to learn more about how David developed such an attuned sense of purpose and vision that focused on being a strong leader that put his staff first. It’s not without his ups and downs—The Peccary recently closed its doors, which we talk about, but it does force you consider what your values are, and what you do to live those values.

61 MIN2019 NOV 7
Comments
David Hu of The Peccary on Defining Value and Leadership [090]

Maggy Nyamumbo's Therapy Is Solving The Coffee Price Crisis [089]

If you work in the coffee industry, you might have heard of the coffee price crisis. To put it simply, we are not paying farmers enough money to grow coffee. And it’s not a little bit of money—we’re not even paying enough for farmers to cover their costs to produce coffee. It’s not just that farmers aren’t making money, but actively losing it by continuing to grow and produce coffee. This is a problem of dignity—who do we respect, whose labor is valued, where is value created—but this is also a logistical problem that threatens the entire future of coffee. So what’s the answer? We talk about this issue ALL THE TIME, but I know, for me, it feels like we’re not getting concrete answers. Folks like Starbucks just announced an initiative to pledge $20 million dollars to farmers, which to some sounds like a good start, but to others, sounds like lip service, especially when you consider that Starbucks is a multi-billion dollar company—that’s right, BILLION, and not just a couple billion: try $22 billion. And what this story—the one about Starbucks donating money to farmers—attempts to obscure, is that multinational corporations, like Starbucks, actually have a lot of say in how the market acts and how prices are figured out. And that’s something Maggy Nyamumbo is incredibly quick to point out. And this point—that there are market actors that we don’t talk about, or illuminate just how influential they are—is really what Maggy wants to talk about. Maggy is the founder of Kahawa 1893, a social enterprise aimed at connecting farmers directly to consumers in an attempt to get more money back to farmers. Maggy is a trained economist—she graduated from Smith College in 2011, went to the London School of Economics, got her MBA at Harvard, worked for the World Bank and on Wall Street—and she’s able to see beyond the problem. Yes, we know that coffee prices are at an all time low, but what happens next? How do we actually begin to solve this problem? For someone like Maggy, that means truly understanding how we got here. And that means being upfront about coffee’s colonial history, its reliance on free labor in the form of slavery, and what she calls “big coffee” and their reluctance to stabilize the market. Maggy called this conversation her therapy, which seems like such an incredible privilege for me, and hopefully for you, because this conversation was easily the most informative conversation I’ve ever had about how the coffee market works. I’ve been in coffee for almost ten years—and finally, FINALLY, by talking to Maggy, I get it. This is the best hour of information I’ve ever recorded—so listen to this. Again and again. She talks about how sustainability is often a buzzword to get farmers to overproduce coffee, how influential multinational corporations are on global legislature, and even how American politics could affect the future of specialty coffee.

70 MIN2019 NOV 1
Comments
Maggy Nyamumbo's Therapy Is Solving The Coffee Price Crisis [089]

Latest Episodes

Roundup — Being Fat Behind the Bar

A few weeks ago, I asked listeners to send me voice memos—and you did. Lots of them. Some were happy, some were sad, some were about a specific topic - at the time, I really wanted to learn about tips and how they affect your life as service workers. And one of the voice memos I got was from a barista in Memphis named Laurel Moreland. She joins us, along with Courtney Paige Harrough, to share their experiences about being fat behind the bar. Please send me more voice memos! If there's anything you think we should cover, record a voice memo and send it to bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com!

26 MIN3 d ago
Comments
Roundup — Being Fat Behind the Bar

Roundup — What it Means to be Unemployable

One time, in the midst of a sorrow-filled rant about my bosses and work, one of my friends told me I was unemployable. So I asked him—Brandon Epting—to come on the show and explain the weirdest compliment I’ve ever received.

27 MIN2 w ago
Comments
Roundup — What it Means to be Unemployable

Erna Baby [REBROADCAST]

We're working on some big episodes dropping around the holidays, but in the meantime, here's one of my all-time favorite episodes.

47 MIN2019 DEC 20
Comments
Erna Baby [REBROADCAST]

Roundup —How is the Price of Retail Coffee Determined?

Right now, coffee is being traded at $1.5 per pount. And yet, when you go into a coffee shop, it can feel like prices are high—and sometimes vary wildly depending on the coffee shop you go to or the bag you pick up. How does coffee's journey from farm to retail shelf affect the cost it incurs along the way? We decided to dive deep into the world of coffee prices. Featuring Joe Marrocco of List & Beisler.

24 MIN2019 DEC 13
Comments
Roundup —How is the Price of Retail Coffee Determined?

Roundup —What We Talk About When We Talk to Customers

How do you tell a customer about what's really going in your life? Today we talk to Camila Coddou of Barista Behind the Bar about what it means to have a meaningful conversation with patrons—the folks who keep the service industry alive, but often don't know much about the issues affecting workers. Learn more about her project, in partnership with Coffee at Large, about patron engagement and encouraging direct conversations with the folks who patron our workspaces—here!

21 MIN2019 DEC 6
Comments
Roundup —What We Talk About When We Talk to Customers

Boss Barista Presents Making Coffee

Hey friends, we're taking a break this week BUT we have a special treat for you! I've been lucky enough to know Lucia Solis for a few years. She consults coffee farmers all around the globe, helping them improve their processing methods and think critically about fermentation. All coffee goes through some sort of fermentation, and not in the way you think. Lucia is a fountain of knowledge, so she started her own podcast called, Making Coffee, where she talks aboutbig topics like, "how do we determine quality in coffee," or "what happens when a coffee is over fermented?" (have you ever had a coffee that tastes more like kombucha or has some funk to it? it might be over fermented). We're sharing one episode in particular that I love. You can subscribe to Lucia's podcast, Making Coffee, just like you would mine: you can go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts, and you can learn more about Lucia at www.luxia.com.

26 MIN2019 NOV 29
Comments
Boss Barista Presents Making Coffee

Roundup - Reimagining The Minimum Wage With Oddly Correct [002]

EIn the U.S., the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. 29 states have set a higher minimum wage than that, HOWEVER all by 6 states have a tipped minimum, or an amount that’s lower than minimum wage that you can pay your staff if they also receive tips. Rules vary on how little an employer can pay state by state, but in general, when we think of minimum wage, we think of lowly paying jobs, and for many, minimum wage isn’t enough to support themselves or their families or make their lives work without picking up more work or sacrificing basic needs. But what happens when we start to think about minimum wage differently? What if we could guarantee that people left work every day with MORE than what they need just to meet their basic human needs? And what sort of power structures would have to be reassessed, and flat out knocked down, for that to happen? In this episode, we talk to Michael Schroeder of Oddly Correct in Kansas City, who, on November 4th, 2019, announced an incredibly ambitious new pay structure for the business. On Instagram, they announced that all employees would make at least $18 an hour—if they made that in tips plus their base wage, that was great, but if their tips didn’t get them up to that hourly wage, they would subsidize it, and ensure that every employee took home a guaranteed amount of money everyday. And Michael says it's because they wanted to flip the idea of minimum wage on its head. SEND ME A VOICE MEMO—use your phone to record any of your thoughts, stories, or ideas and send them to me at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

20 MIN2019 NOV 22
Comments
Roundup - Reimagining The Minimum Wage With Oddly Correct [002]

The Boss Barista Roundup - Tipping [001]

EWelcome to the first episode of the Boss Barista Roundup! On this show, I ask experts, writers, and you—yes, our listeners—to send me messages, voice memos about a topic, and together, we’ll take a hard look at a big question. And I wanted the very first episode to be about a topic I never stop thinking about: tipping. I am obsessed with tipping. It’s something I’ve written about, commented on for other articles, even done a few episodes of this show about. And for this episode in particular, I wanted to focus on how employers talk about tips. And the reason I wanted to do so is because of a 2017 op-ed by Todd Carmichael, the owner of La Colombe coffee roasters. SEND ME A VOICE MEMO—use your phone to record any of your thoughts, stories, or ideas and send them to me at bossbaristapodcast@gmail.com

14 MIN2019 NOV 16
Comments
The Boss Barista Roundup - Tipping [001]

David Hu of The Peccary on Defining Value and Leadership [090]

Everyone has had a bad boss. Everyone has probably had multiple bad bosses. I had one boss tell me I was inauthentic and that he hated me, I had one tell me he couldn’t give me more money after he promoted me, I had two, a married couple, get a divorce in the middle of the cafe and put all the employees right in the center. And I too, have been that bad boss. I’ve been too overbearing, too nitpicky, too weird and mean. I learned to be a better boss—not perfect, not great, probably not even good—but better, through reading countless articles, scouring the internet for anything I could find about how to manage better. Surprisingly, there’s not a lot on the internet about how to be a better leader. There’s tons of articles complaining about shitty employees, but there seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the role of leaders and how they can improve and set examples for their staff. In a way, we don’t really expect leaders to be held accountable, and instead write off bad work environments as a result of terrible employees. I know this is bullshit—but I have to say the only way I learned this lesson is because of my time as a middle school teacher. This is a story I tell all the time, but I’ll tell it again because it’s so vitally important to me and who I’ve become—I was trying to get my students to behave by lining them up outside my classroom, and it wasn’t working. So my principal calls me, and I’m immediately blaming the kids, blaming the fact that my class is right after lunch...and tells me probably the single-most important set of words I’ve ever heard. He told me their rowdiness—that’s my fault. I’m in control. But then he pauses, and says, “That’s meant to empower you. You’re always in control.” So I noticed when I started seeing these amazing post on Instagram about leadership from a coffeeshop called The Peccary in New Jersey. These posts extolled the work of baristas, and talked about how it’s the job of leaders to make the work of being a barista easier. David Hu, the owner of The Peccary, does this in a number of ways. He pays his baristas more, they know their schedules ahead of time for a year, they were paid for months during training and onboarding before the shop opened, and I wanted to learn more about how David developed such an attuned sense of purpose and vision that focused on being a strong leader that put his staff first. It’s not without his ups and downs—The Peccary recently closed its doors, which we talk about, but it does force you consider what your values are, and what you do to live those values.

61 MIN2019 NOV 7
Comments
David Hu of The Peccary on Defining Value and Leadership [090]

Maggy Nyamumbo's Therapy Is Solving The Coffee Price Crisis [089]

If you work in the coffee industry, you might have heard of the coffee price crisis. To put it simply, we are not paying farmers enough money to grow coffee. And it’s not a little bit of money—we’re not even paying enough for farmers to cover their costs to produce coffee. It’s not just that farmers aren’t making money, but actively losing it by continuing to grow and produce coffee. This is a problem of dignity—who do we respect, whose labor is valued, where is value created—but this is also a logistical problem that threatens the entire future of coffee. So what’s the answer? We talk about this issue ALL THE TIME, but I know, for me, it feels like we’re not getting concrete answers. Folks like Starbucks just announced an initiative to pledge $20 million dollars to farmers, which to some sounds like a good start, but to others, sounds like lip service, especially when you consider that Starbucks is a multi-billion dollar company—that’s right, BILLION, and not just a couple billion: try $22 billion. And what this story—the one about Starbucks donating money to farmers—attempts to obscure, is that multinational corporations, like Starbucks, actually have a lot of say in how the market acts and how prices are figured out. And that’s something Maggy Nyamumbo is incredibly quick to point out. And this point—that there are market actors that we don’t talk about, or illuminate just how influential they are—is really what Maggy wants to talk about. Maggy is the founder of Kahawa 1893, a social enterprise aimed at connecting farmers directly to consumers in an attempt to get more money back to farmers. Maggy is a trained economist—she graduated from Smith College in 2011, went to the London School of Economics, got her MBA at Harvard, worked for the World Bank and on Wall Street—and she’s able to see beyond the problem. Yes, we know that coffee prices are at an all time low, but what happens next? How do we actually begin to solve this problem? For someone like Maggy, that means truly understanding how we got here. And that means being upfront about coffee’s colonial history, its reliance on free labor in the form of slavery, and what she calls “big coffee” and their reluctance to stabilize the market. Maggy called this conversation her therapy, which seems like such an incredible privilege for me, and hopefully for you, because this conversation was easily the most informative conversation I’ve ever had about how the coffee market works. I’ve been in coffee for almost ten years—and finally, FINALLY, by talking to Maggy, I get it. This is the best hour of information I’ve ever recorded—so listen to this. Again and again. She talks about how sustainability is often a buzzword to get farmers to overproduce coffee, how influential multinational corporations are on global legislature, and even how American politics could affect the future of specialty coffee.

70 MIN2019 NOV 1
Comments
Maggy Nyamumbo's Therapy Is Solving The Coffee Price Crisis [089]

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