Community Spotlight · Caffe Vita, Seattle, WA
Sam Spillman may be best known in the specialty-coffee community for winning the 2019 United States Barista Championship, but that career highlight is just one accomplishment for the longtime coffee professional, who began working as a barista in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, when she was 17.
After moving to Seattle for college, Sam worked at area coffee companies such as Caffe Vita, where she currently works as director of coffee and customer experience.—whom she represented in her first Barista competition in 2014—as well as and . Eventually she joined
Having worked in specialty coffee for close to a decade, Sam says she loves the career field so much that she hardly considers it work. “Coffee has given me the opportunity to meet talented coffee professionals all across the world,” she says. “Not only that, but through working in coffee, the learning never stops. There is always something new and interesting to discover.”
One coffee-related thing that Sam was happy to discover is Barista Series, which she used while working as a barista, and helped change her perception of how plant-based products can perform. “I used to dread when a customer would order a beverage with alternative milk … until I tried Barista Series,” she says. “It steams and pours flawlessly, unlike many other alternative milks. On top of that, the taste is incredible and pairs nicely with coffee. I now know that I can confidently serve a guest my best when using Barista Series.”
We wish the best of luck to Sam as she continues her career as a barista trainer and coffee competitor!