You might know Oregon-based coffee professional Morgan Eckroth from their wildly popular @morgandrinkscoffee TikTok and YouTube and Instagram accounts. You might know Morgan Eckroth as the Director of Content at Onyx Coffee Lab. You might even know Morgan as the 2022 US Barista Champion and the 2022 World Barista runner-up. And if you don’t know Morgan? Listen to the latest episode of A Better Table with Umeko Motoyoshi!

In this episode, Motoyoshi asks Eckroth about their first coffee experience, their thoughts on becoming a popular social media star, their competition experience—and some visions for 2023. Eckroth talks about the joys of being behind the bar as a barista and their thoughts on improvements that ought to be made for the position:

“On a barista level, you think about things like going back to what I was talking about people understanding the job, the amount of skills and time and effort that go into the position. And more often than not, they’re highly undervalued positions, purely in a monetary standpoint, whether we’re talking about livable wages, we’re talking about healthcare or benefits, all these things that baristas deserve and should have and often don’t. When we look on a bigger scale of the coffee industry, about how much mistreatment there is and how much inequity there is between the US side of it and then also producing countries and it’s like how are we exchanging value? What value are we providing to other people? How are we creating value and retaining value at a farm level rather than just siphoning it off to other places? That’s barely even scratching the surface of these huge questions that exist in the coffee industry.”

Listen below for the whole interview with Morgan Eckroth and Umeko Motoyoshi.

A Better Table is a podcast on the Sprudge Media Network. Host Umeko Motoyoshi talks to guests and discusses social, economic, and environmental sustainability. “Sustainability means a lot of different things, but here are my guiding questions, the questions I want to explore,” explains Motoyoshi. “What sustains communities? What sustains relationships? What sustains your heart?”


A Better Table is sponsored by Pacific Barista Series.

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Transcript available here.

This episode is available now via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or load it up on your favorite podcast platform using this RSS link. Subscribe, like, rate, and review A Better Table on Apple Podcasts.

Be sure to check out past episodes including interviews with Bianka Alloyn And Sabreen Naimah, Chris McAuley, Cydni Patterson, Nick CastellanoWill Frith, Laetitia Mukandahiro, Emily Haddad, Adam JacksonBey, Kim Elena Ionescu, Alice Wong, Latasha Barr Lewis, Madeleine Longoria Garcia, and Camden Myer.

Check out all of the Sprudge Podcast Networks show here.

Top photo courtesy of Wildly, produced in collaboration with Pacific Barista Series