Community Spotlight · Slow Pour Supply, Spring, TX
Before diving into the world of coffee, Anita Tam’s primary focus was music. “For a long time, music was like the only thing I knew,” she says.
In 2015, while working toward her master’s degree in music, Anita began working as a barista. Though she was intrigued by coffee, she didn’t envision it becoming a full-time pursuit. “I never really thought I would be working full-time in coffee, not because I did not enjoy it, but more because I chose the music path so much earlier on that I did not ever expect to switch to anything else.”
Flash-forward to now, and coffee has indeed eclipsed music as Anita’s full-time focus. In 2018, she launched Slow Pour Supply, maker of pitchers and other tools to support the barista community. “Our mission is simple: It started with an idea to make tools that are practical, brands that are tried and trusted, and ideas that would instantly improve baristas’ job, easily accessible to as many coffee folks as possible,” Anita says. “Accessibility has played a huge roll in our mission. We try to take care of the folks we interact with in our industry, and provide great tools that are at an accessible price point as well.”
Now that she’s fully immersed in the coffee world, Anita can also be found supporting the community in a variety of ways, including serving as a U.S. Barista Championship technical judge; she also serves on the Pacific Foods Barista Series advisory board. Additionally, Anita uses Slow Pour as a venue for championing a variety of industry causes. “We use tools as a medium to generate attention and community support to the initiatives we care about,” she says. “A portal of every sale from our website goes to a benefiting organization we showcase. We also launch regularly #pitcherforacause, and dedicate the profits to organizations like the International Women’s Coffee Alliance and Glitter Cat to support their work.”
Though Anita is now more focused on coffee than music, she continues to see comparisons between the two. “Both are time-delicate products, sensitive to the environment of which they are produced,” Anita says. “They should both call for more appreciation, and are often overlooked and under-appreciated (think batch brew and elevator music).”
She sees additional parallels between the performative aspect of the job of both musicians and baristas. “I can compare the baristas as the performers/interpreters of coffee. There are elements of human connection, fine motor skills, multitasking, and objectivity, but also subjectivity that is required of a great musician. I believe that is the same for a great barista.”
Anita may spend her time behind a desk instead of behind an instrument these days, but she says her connection with the coffee community gives her professional fulfillment. “Now most of my time is dedicated to interaction with our wholesale and retail customers, and I love getting to know them and spending time on a Zoom talking about products and coffees!” she says.
Along the way in her coffee journey, Anita has also discovered Barista Series products, which baristas pour beautifully using Slow Pour Supply pitchers. “The creamy texture really works wonderfully during the pouring process,” Anita says. “I especially enjoy the Unsweetened Almond; it has a great balanced flavor and works very well with espresso. As a person who is avoiding dairy intake, I really appreciate a great plant-based beverage in the morning!”
We’re so impressed by Anita’s support of and passion for the coffee community, and we’re thrilled to have her a member of the Pacific Foods Barista Series advisory board!