Rose Woodard - Boston, MA

“No woman has won the World Barista Championships - that sucks.”

Becca Woodard will be the first one to tell you that winning the 2018 US Brewers Cup Championship was nothing but a simple surprise. From the preliminary qualifiers to the celebration in Seattle, her journey has been filled with a wide range of emotions. However, making the best cup of coffee in the country was never the ultimate goal. No, Becca’s dreams are much bigger than that.

@bosintersectionalcoffeecollective   - Kristina Jackson & Becca Woodard

@bosintersectionalcoffeecollective - Kristina Jackson & Becca Woodard

The coffee industry has marginalized voices. We know this. We want to change. However, individuals like Becca aren’t settling for industry norms. From the minute we met Becca and asked her about her experience at the Brewers Cup, she immediately told us her focus - shine a light on those who've been pushed backward. “I’m not going to have a voice on this stage and not use it. I hope to help with more baristas of color, more women, more LGBTQ, and everybody doing it so they can be included. Move forward,” says Becca. 

Becca is not alone in her mission. Teaming up with Kristina Jackson, founder of the Boston Intersectional Coffee Collective (BICC), and fellow George Howell employee, Rob Rodriguez, Becca recently hosted an event at Wired Puppy Cafe in Boston, MA. She had the chance to sit down and take questions on her experience in Seattle. While most wanted to know what it’s like pouring coffee in front of judges and an audience filled with the best baristas in the country, Becca reminded us what truly matters - exposure. “I am queer myself and I decided to use the competition as a platform to talk about those things.”

Becca is working on creating more events that put forward conversations on intersectionality. We know that there is a lot of work to be done to provide access to all members of the coffee community but we feel a little bit better knowing a leader like Becca is at the helm. Thank you for all you have given us at The Pour, Becca. You have no idea how lucky we feel to have captured a glimpse of your journey and to learn from you. We know there is a lot more to come and we commit to continue covering your message going forward.

Next BICC Event: CounterCultureCoffee - Somerville, MA

June 24th: Panel Discussion on "Being Queer + Coffee + Boston" 

SK Coffee - Allston, MA

A relationship with coffee can be deeply personal. This is exactly how it is for Sam Kjellberg, a choral conductor who has discovered the beauty of roasting his own coffee. As a conductor, Sam’s job is to manage the experience of the music for the audience. Sam calls it "having agency" pulling together every aspect of the music and the performance such that the audience hears and feels exactly what Sam wants them to. 

Sam Kjellberg   and Nils Clauson 

Sam Kjellberg and Nils Clauson 

Sam took that same desire to create the perfect experience into his relationship with coffee. For Sam, coffee was perhaps getting a little too elitist and in the process was becoming less accessible to those unwilling to acquire the knowledge and the language to "speak coffee." The audience was growing more distant from the authenticity of the coffee. 

Sam turned this challenge on its head. By getting to know the beans better, by learning what it takes to roast coffee in a way that brings out its full and diverse flavors, by choosing, roasting, cupping and tasting his coffee over and over again until he got it "right," Sam created "agency" with coffee.

Musician - Billy Dean Thomas 

Musician - Billy Dean Thomas 

While investing deeply into exploring the coffee experience for himself, something still missing. That something was the audience. How could Sam share his coffee experience and make it accessible to others without putting them off or making them feel ignorant? 

That's where The Pour came in. By understanding Sam's coffee experience better, by seeing the parallel path between his love of music and his love of coffee, The Pour created an event where Sam’s love of music and his intimate experience with coffee could be shared with others. Bringing together a diverse group of people who liked coffee and music, The Pour created a stage where Sam could share his experience of coffee in a way that was more accessible his audience. The result is right here in this video. Enjoy the music of coffee as conducted by one very passionate leader.