Sprudge Twenty season is in full swing here in 2023, and we need your help. There are but a few short weeks left for you to nominate your coffee heroes for this year’s class of The Sprudge Twenty, our annual initiative honoring and amplifying extraordinary individuals in the specialty coffee community. Presented in partnership with Pacific Barista Series, the Sprudge Twenty is searching for mentors and leaders, strivers and game-changers, baristas and farmers, traders and teachers, entrepreneurs and original voices in the field of coffee.
Nominations are open through February 28th at 11:59 PM for the Sprudge Twenty class of 2023. Nominations can be submitted in any language, in the form of an original essay, audio nomination, or video recording, so that there is no barrier to submission—the entire process is open and free, in partnership with Pacific Barista Series.
Click here to nominate someone in your community today, and read on to learn more about some of our favorite past Sprudge Twenty honorees—and in particular, a few of our favorite interviews from the inaugural Sprudge Twenty class of 2019. We’ll be sharing more of these stories in the weeks to come as your nominations come rolling in.
As part of the program, each member of the class receives an in-depth profile interview. Here’s a few of our favorite from year’s past!
Marissa Yooree, Tanbrown Coffee and @CoffeeAsians (Class of 2022)
What cause or element in coffee drives you?
I am driven by the pursuit of education, community growth, and fostering paths that demonstrate diverse pathways within the coffee industry rather than the hierarchical ladder many people have been spoon-fed. I believe education and agency allow folks to grow and flourish in the ways they need and allow for stronger futures. Because so much of coffee in the west is gatekept, there are few outlets for baristas on the floor to feel motivated to stay in the industry so many leave and I want to see that change. I know part of the battle is showing up and the other part is figuring out ways to make these moments open to all because this industry in particular is FILLED with passionate people who just crave access, how can we do better to provide that? Because I have experienced a lot of community care in the midst of having a lack of access to education in my city, I have seen how it has allowed me to learn and grow as a coffee professional and I hope more folks have the space to receive the education they need to thrive and make a difference for the better of the industry.
Gisele Rodrigues Coutinho (Class of 2019)
What issue in coffee do you think is critically overlooked?
Consumer education. People need to understand the amount of work necessary and just how much it costs to fill a cup with quality coffee and how many studious people need to work at this to make it happen. Coffee is not just coffee.
Laetitia Mukandahiro (Class of 2019)
What do you wish someone would’ve told you when you were first starting out in coffee?
I would like to hear that I am able and everything will be alright, because in my time everyone told me that coffee is not good for my health and other many discouraging words.