The rabbit hole of specialty coffee goes deep. I’ve been up, down, and all around it - and there’s still more to explore! I want to share some of the most empowering podcasts I’ve found along the way.
Whether you’re a new coffee student of you’ve been journeying into coffee for a while, these are the best of the best coffee podcasts to listen to.
Put in your earbuds, find a quiet place, and dive into the incredible world of coffee.
This podcast, hosted by Brian Beyke and Bryan Schiele, has something for everyone. They discuss all things home brewing, from techniques to online communities to new products and beyond.
Most of their episodes are beginner-friendly, but they’re still stuffed full of valuable information that even coffee veterans would appreciate.
Both hosts have worked in specialty coffee for years in a variety of roles and have some great insight into how home brewing is changing alongside the specialty industry.
This is an excellent, well-rounded podcast for home coffee lovers.
My Episode Pick: #48 Home Espresso Basics With Steve Rhinehart
James Hoffmann, winner of the 2007 World Barista Championship and author of World Coffee Atlas, interviews various coffee professionals in this insightful podcast.
If you’re interested in exploring the world of coffee as a professional, this one’s a must-listen. You’ll get an idea of what jobs there are in the industry, from lead barista to green coffee buyer, as well as invaluable tips on how to progress and grow as a professional.
James interviews some of the biggest names in the global industry, so I can’t suggest this one enough if you want your coffee passion to become a coffee career.
My Episode Pick: #7 Mikaela Wallgren & Klaus Thomsen
Tamper Tantrum is a self-proclaimed coffee soapbox. This podcast came to life after Colin Harmon, Steven Leighton, and Ben Helfen recorded a controversial conversation on all things coffee.
After realizing that the recording inspired some much-needed conversation amongst professionals, Colin and Steve decided to turn it into a podcast.
Their goal is to give an unbiased platform for radical coffee thought and discussion. The interviewees range from barista competitors to roasters to Q-Graders.
Some of the topics are not relevant to new or casual coffee lovers, but it’s definitely a show for dedicated enthusiasts and professionals.
My Episode Pick: DEBATE: “BARISTA COMPETITIONS ARE DEAD”
Cat and Cloud is unlike any other podcast. The hosts, Jared Truby and Chris Baca, have created a massive following with their deep industry insight and vibrant personalities.
This one’s not really suitable for casual coffee lovers. Many of the topics discussed have to do with specific conversations in the specialty coffee industry that non-professionals probably wouldn’t know about.
Even many full-time baristas may find this podcast over their heads, but I think that’s exactly why baristas specifically can learn lots from it. Jared and Chris come from barista backgrounds, but have journeyed into owning their own coffee shop and roastery.
Hearing their perspective on the employee / employer relationship will give you powerful insight into your place at work. If you’re not yet working in coffee, I suggest listening anyway to dip your feet into modern coffee industry issues.
These two hosts easily have the most engaging and fun personalities of the hosts on this list. Their podcast cover is a quick, obvious hint at this.
It’s extremely entertaining, it’s relevant, and, by a decent, margin, it’s my favorite coffee podcast.
My Episode Pick: Why $20 And External Education
Chris Defario, the host of the Keys To The Shop, is a leader in coffee shop management, training, and culture. His ideas on hospitality have shaped the US coffee industry for years.
Chris’ wisdom on turning a minimum wage job into a rewarding career deserves a listen by trainers, managers, and owners of coffee businesses.
I started following Chris on Twitter a few years ago and couldn’t get enough. Everything he had to say encouraged me to train and manage on a higher level, especially when it came to creating a warm, family-style shop culture.
Absolutely don’t skip if you have a higher role in a coffee shop!
My Episode Pick: #36 A Conversation w/ Hidenori Izaki / 2014 World Barista Champion
A side project of Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, this podcast is a fantastic resource for newcomers to specialty coffee who are eager to master the fundamentals.
The hosts, Drew Pond and Christian Ott, are seasoned professionals who do a great job distilling deep topics into understandable episodes. This was the first coffee podcast I discovered, and it helped me grow into my coffee knowledge quickly.
They’ve stopped producing new episodes, but the archives are packed with incredible information that’s still relevant today and will be for years.
My Episode Pick: #41 Dialing In - Manual Brewing
7. SCA Lectures
The Specialty Coffee Association has launched the SCA Lectures podcast to give professionals a glimpse into the minds of the most influencing coffee professionals in the industry.
The episodes cover a variety of topics like women coffee producers, bean fermentation, being a stellar barista, roasting with precision, and opening a cafe.
There’s no telling what direction they’ll go in the next episode, but one thing is certain: they’ll take a detailed, intentional approach to covering the topic well.
The diversity of the episodes mean not all of them will apply to everyone, but when one is released that’s relevant to your career or current status, make sure to listen.
My Episode Pick: #5 Changing Power Structures
The world of coffee is fascinating, complex, and ever-growing. There’s always more to learn, more to explore - and going down the rabbit hole is rewarding in many ways.
Great coffee is the product of great science, farming, communities, art, patience, discipline. Coffee should warm you, give you hope, inspire you to create and learn and grow. It should remind you that, though people around the world differ, we all love tasty coffee and work together to make it happen.
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