Maybe It's Fate | OBIIS

Category: One BIGG Island in Space

By Alysha Burney

Coffee is a central part of my day to day experience and has been since age 12. I’ve prided myself on my craft in making it. Steaming the perfect microfoam on my home espresso machine and pulling the best crema from my perfectly tamped group head. I know all the coffee growing regions and can talk at length about the attributes of African versus Central American flavor profiles. Through it all, years and years of coffee know-how, I never once considered the farmers.  Not once.

At 12, I started working at a small roaster and cafe called the Village Roaster in Lakewood, CO. I needed money to go to Ireland on a school choir trip so my parents encouraged me to get a job. During the interview, I assured the incredibly generous and sweet owners, Jim and Kathleen Curtis, that I was really good at moving boxes and counting things, assuming I’d be working in their back storage area. Kathleen quickly corrected me and told me I was going to be a barista. I was beyond excited! My journey (maybe obsession?) into coffee began

Maybe it's fate

Working a morning shift at the Village Roaster.

I did save enough money to go to Ireland with the choir and didn’t stop there. That first international experience infected me with a ceaseless need to experience the world. In the Summer after my Junior year in High School, I worked and saved enough money to pay my way as a volunteer for Amigos de las Americas (which is kind of like a mini Peace Corps) and spent 2 months in a small town near the Haitian border in the Dominican Republic working on an HIV/AIDS community education project.