Community Spotlight · Clive Coffee, Portland, OR
August Epstein grew up around coffee—at his childhood home, his parents were daily drinkers for the beverage’s reliable caffeine boost.
But it wasn’t until he got his first job in coffee, working at a well-known chain, that he fell in love with the culture as well. “That job got me hooked on the coffee-shop atmosphere and the power coffee has in improving one’s day,” he says.
He would soon move on to working at other coffee shops, including Water Avenue Coffee in Portland, Ore., where he served as director of training. Beyond the beverage itself, August continued to be smitten with the world around coffee. “I love working in coffee particularly because of the types of people the industry attracts! Writers, musicians, and artists of all kinds find themselves working in coffee, which helps make it the unique and creative environment that it is.”
August continues to work in the coffee realm, including as a Pacific Barista Series™ Brand Ambassador. His full-time job is with Portland’s Clive Coffee—a showroom for high-end coffee equipment primarily for home users—where he serves as an educator, helping customers get the most from their coffee. “Once folks purchase a home espresso setup, they’re only at the beginning of the journey,” he says. “I’m around to make sure any questions are answered on brewing the best espresso and steaming milk as well as possible. There’s a lot to learn for brand-new home baristas!”
With more than 10 years of experience working behind the bar, August has gained skills over time—and he’s also seen his feelings about plant-based beverages evolve. “After working in a handful of coffee shops, I was convinced that nondairy milk was something that should simply never be steamed,” he says. “I’d had so many terrible soy lattes, tried to steam rice milk cappuccinos, and ended up pouring too many drinks down the drain because they were undrinkable.”
However, August says that discovering the Barista Series™ line helped change his thinking about the category. “Using Pacific’s Barista Series™ Soy and Almond milks had already made me impressed, but the first time I poured with the Barista Series™ Coconut, my mind was blown,” he says. “It’s obvious how much care and time Pacific puts into creating their lineup, and doesn’t compromise or push anything through the development phase until it’s perfect. Pacific balances both steaming performance and flavor so perfectly, and it’s incredible that there’s not one Pacific milk I don’t like.”
We’re proud to have passionate coffee workers like August on our team of Brand Ambassadors!