Community Spotlight · La Colombe Coffee, Los Angeles, CA
About five years ago, Kat Adams made a decision. After becoming hooked on lattes at a 24-hour café near their college, Kat determined the world of coffee was more enticing than their studies, and left school to pursue a job in a café. Now five years in, Kat remains enamored with the caffeinated world. “I’m still excited to be a part of specialty coffee!” Kat says. “I love that our industry is constantly evolving and advancing, but it’s still small enough that you’ll probably end up working with your coffee heroes at some point in your career.”
While Kat is no longer a barista, they get to interact with baristas regularly. Kat serves as a head judge and committee member of World Coffee Events, where they preside over barista competitions. And in their day job as La Colombe’s regional retail trainer for California, Kat has regular contact with the baristas who staff La Colombe’s Los Angeles and San Diego cafés. “A typical week for me is made up of individual and group coffee training, regular cuppings, and dialing in new coffees in the cafés,” Kat says.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic curtailing social interaction, Kat is currently doing most of their work remotely. “Now that I’m quarantined at home, I find myself missing the luxury of a coffee made by someone else, the incredible view from the training lab, and the team I work with,” Kat says. “Once I’m back at work, what I’m most looking forward to is my regular meeting with the lead baristas in each café.”
Of course, many coffee workers have not been so fortunate as to keep their jobs in the wake of the pandemic; while Kat feels fortunate to continue working from home, they have been concerned about coffee workers’ livelihoods—particularly their food security. “When COVID hit Los Angeles, it seemed like overnight most of the coffee community had been laid off or furloughed,” Kat says. “My thoughts were with the community who were navigating unemployment. With so much uncertainty and stress, the last thing that coffee workers should have to worry about is food security.”
Kat reached out to us at Pacific Barista Series, and we gave them a budget to provide pantry essentials for coffee workers who had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Kat then partnered with Los Angeles coffee powerhouse Go Get Em Tiger (GGET) to place a large food order, assemble boxes, and deliver them to locations across the city for impacted coffee workers to pick up. “It was a privilege working with Pacific and GGET to help coffee workers receive a box of food,” Kat says. “The coffee community has given me so much; this was just a small way for me to give back. I hope that it’s not too long before I can see folks back in their jobs in cafés and roasteries.”
Kat is also part of our team of Brand Ambassadors to bring Barista Series to a wider audience. Kat says Pacific Barista Series has long been the industry standard for plant-based beverages—and works hard to maintain that reputation. “What keeps me loyal to Pacific is their commitment to improvement,” Kat says. “Barista Series was the best of the alternative milk you could get when I started my career, and it’s only gotten better. Pacific is constantly seeking feedback and developing each product according to the needs of specialty-coffee cafés everywhere.”
We’re proud to have an enterprising, selfless coffee professional like Kat on our Brand Ambassador team!