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Isabel Soto

What's your favorite coffee drink? 

Whenever they're in season or on the menu at a cafe, I instantly jump into a Kenyan Pourover. That has been my ultimate favorite for some time now. The deeper notes envelope my tastebuds in true satisfaction.

When did you first start drinking coffee? 

Without realizing it, coffee has always been an integral part of my upbringing. I wasn't always the one consuming it per say, but it was always present and it always created a sense of union. When my family would get together, we would end each meal with the warmth of a cup. Each person enjoying the coffee as they pleased- either dipping pastries in the drink or adding milk and sweetener.  My grandmother taking great pride in heating the water and bringing everyone a mug at the table. If you ever offered your help she would insist on doing it herself. This was such an important ritual that always brought about a sense of family. We would all catch up on each other’s daily occurrences. It was wondrous!

When we moved to the United States we continued this same tradition, only this time the coffee occurred in the mornings after breakfast. We also brought more people into it! We welcomed friends and neighbors. All of which shared stories about their different lifestyles. This always brought me back to my grandmother's home in Toulouse.

The space we provide is definitely an environment I take pride in for the same comfort. It is a place for all different walks of life to gather, speak their stories, share life experiences, opinions,  and express their passions.

What do you love about working in specialty coffee? 

The people I've  met in this industry have made this whole experience so enticing! Everyone is so different and just so darn zealous about what they do. We push/inspire eachother to keep improving. It's  a community I cherish ever so fondly! We all understand  one another's love for coffee so we can nerd out openly. I constantly find myself laughing out loud after realizing I spent hours ‘talking coffee’ with another barista.

This is also a malleable industry, so there is always something to look forward to. That's  why staying up-to-date is so crucial.

What's one goal you're working toward that you're really excited about? 

I want to help empower women in third world countries. So I'm  currently saving up to visit Guatemala and do just that. I've reached out to different organizations to aide in teaching. Women in coffee play a crucial part in the process and they go uncredited. People won't  sell their crops because of their gender. It's  something I want to help combat.

What's your favorite jam?

This is always such a difficult question. I grew up listening to Chopin, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson,  Bruce Springstein, Fleetwood Mac, Beatles, Bryan Adams , and Bob Dylan because of my parents. I uncovered the Smiths, Ryan Adams, Tame Impala , Fyfe , and all sorts of indie bands along the way. Music brings out vibrancy my soul!