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Community Spotlight · Pacific Coffee Research, Kailua-Kona, HI

Madeleine Longoria Garcia

The year 2020 marks a decade that Madeleine Longoria Garcia has been working in the coffee world. After taking on a job at her university’s café while in college, she quickly became enthralled by the industry, and the ability to connect with people from all walks of life at the café. “It was the hub on campus and I loved the environment,” Madeleine says. “I never knew it would lead me down such a rabbit hole for the next 10+ years, but I dove deep and didn’t look back!”

Madeleine is now deep into the rabbit hole of coffee, as evidenced by how many hats she wears in the industry: To name a few, she is a Community Coordinator for the Specialty Coffee Association’s US Chapter; a Q Grader through Coffee Quality Institute; and an Educator & Espresso Technician at Pacific Coffee Research, the business she co-owns in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

Pacific Coffee Research is an education center and service provider that aims to connect the Hawai’i coffee supply chain to the local and global industry. “We work with all stakeholders in our local coffee industry—from producers and processors to baristas and café owners,” Madeleine says. As a licensed Q Grader, Madeleine provides quality analysis services and reports for coffee producers, and as a coffee technician, she regularly maintains and repairs machines in Kailua-Kona. “As coffee professionals in Hawai’i, we work toward elevating the quality of our local coffee industry while being advocates for the entire Hawai’i coffee industry across the United States and abroad,” Madeleine says.

Like everyone, Madeleine—and Pacific Coffee Research in turn—was impacted by the pandemic. Madeleine says the business’ revenue dropped 80-90% in the weeks following the pandemic’s onset—partially the result of in-person courses having to be canceled—and the Pacific Coffee Research team was forced to pivot. “We then got busy with building an online offering of various Virtual Workshops, which have proven to be popular!” Madeleine says. “We now host virtual workshops that cover a Hawai’i Coffee Tasting, Sensory Training, Manual Brewing, and How Coffee is Made. The most popular one, by far, has been the Hawai’i Coffee Tasting, which we see as a really incredible opportunity to connect with folks across the nation who have never had the opportunity to come to Hawai’i and/or taste Hawai’i-grown coffees.”

Madeleine recently took part in Pacific Barista Series’ Barista Series Challenge, launched in partnership with Barista Magazine, to share the message stated in her post. (Read it in full here.) “I spoke about workplace issues concerning safety, effective communication, equality, and simply building safe and comfortable workspaces within the coffee industry for everyone and starting that effort with staff members in companies,” Madeleine says.

To her surprise, Madeleine was selected as one of the winners of the Barista Series Challenge, earning $500 for herself and $500 for her charity of choice. She immediately committed to spending her $500 on BIPOC-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. “I believe every action we take makes a statement, and I aim to be more intentional with my statements everyday,” she says. “I am also prepared to share my receipts!”

Madeleine chose to donate the $500 for charity to Border Angels, a nonprofit that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice on both side of the U.S.-Mexico border. “Growing up in Los Angeles, I remember hearing murmurs of their work,” Madeleine says. “Upon checking in on their work over the last 20 years, I see they have grown their work to include some amazing services for immigrants and asylum seekers coming from not only Latin America, but also many nations in Africa. Based in San Diego, their work stretches across the deserts along the border and impacts people coming to the United States from all over the world. I could write a lot about the positive impact of Border Angels.”

We’re humbled by Madeleine’s commitment to strengthening her community, and we look forward to seeing how she continues this work going forward!

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