Coffee Podcasts:
What I’m Listening To

Gonna be a short post today, but it’s one I’ve been meaning to share for awhile now, all about the coffee podcasts I listen to for news, inspiration, etc. During the 10 days that our new baby was in the NICU in Tampa, I used the daily commute to catch up on a backlog of unplayed discussions, and it helped occupy my mind with positive thoughts. With at least 40 minutes drive time each way, I got within a few weeks of the latest updates before that wonderful day when we finally brought him home.

So much great information flows through these coffee professionals, not just about coffee but about life in general. I have a lot of thoughts from each podcast I listen to, and wish I could jot them all down in this space, but for now here are the highlights:

Cat and Cloud Coffee Podcast

If you’re a regular on this blog then you’ve seen me mention Cat and Cloud many, many times. Chris and Jared are so full of energy and positivity, and they have a natural talent for this format. They’ve been cranking the coffee discussions since July 2015 with a ton of awesome guests as well as great Q&A sessions and some really fun rants.

I highlighted them just last week because of their influence in my journey toward better time management, so it’s not all about the coffee. There is a lot of focus on just being a better human, in and out of the coffee world, and their approach to service is inspiring. Humor is a big part of their attitude toward the world, and I find myself laughing along with them and quoting the funny lines to my wife.

This is a great look into the personality of some long-time specialty coffee professionals who have watched the industry change and grow. They don’t obsess over trends, and while they can geek out on espresso specs, there is an emphasis on simply enjoying coffee and enjoying people and not shaming anyone if their favorite drink doesn’t fit the narrow philosophy of a “third wave” shop.

Opposites Extract

This is a coffee debate podcast by Cafe Imports. It took me awhile to get into the debate format, but now I can’t get enough. I’ve been lucky enough to attend some cupping classes led by Joe Marrocco, one of the hosts, and he always impressed me with his openness and kindness toward others. He is a wealth of coffee information, but presents it in such a humble and human way, and now that I’m getting caught up on this podcast I believe he can argue any side of a discussion with clear, critical thinking.

Meister is the other host, and she is just as knowledgeable and skilled at debate while also being spontaneously hilarious at times. Joe and Meister take turns challenging a different guest each episode in a semiformal debate structure on topics such as traveling to origin, latte art, even fermentation experiments in coffee processing. The debaters have to take a stand on each issue, and their fate is determined by a coin toss, so it makes for some interesting mental gymnastics at times.

None of the issues they discuss are completely black and white, so each debate is followed by more honest discussion of the debaters’ actual views. I leave each episode full of new ideas, new ways of looking at all aspects of the coffee industry. And sometimes Joe talks about his guilty pleasure, an almond milk iced vanilla latte, and I wind up laughing hysterically about almond farmers and the difficult work they do.

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Those are the two major podcasts I’ve been enjoying recently, but since I’m finally catching up and now listening more frequently in the car, I’ve gone digging for more content. I’ve recently subscribed to The Coffee Podcast, which has been running for almost a year now, as well as I Brew My Own Coffee, which has been around even longer. At the time of writing, I’ve only barely started to listen so I can’t share any thoughts yet, but look forward to digging a little deeper later on.

I also want to mention an old favorite: The Audio Cafe podcast was a big inspiration to me a couple years back when I was just getting into specialty coffee, but it’s been awhile since Levi was able to post any new episodes. Still, his archives include a lot of great interviews so it’s well worth a listen.

Blog updates might be sketchy for awhile with an infant at home (our toddler already made it a challenge, now he has extra help, heh heh) but next week I plan to share some thoughts on coffee age/freshness inspired by a recent episode of Cat and Cloud. Until then… Readers: do you have any favorite podcasts you want to share?

4 Replies to “Coffee Podcasts:
What I’m Listening To”

  1. Matt:

    Per podcasts in general, I’m quite the junkie. Am always looking for exposure to New to add to the list and I gravitate to (at least) one of them during and after my own morning Sacred Cup (THIS morning: Parritilla form Velo Roasters in Chattanooga, Tennessee). My favorites tend to be Slate’s Culture Gabfest and The New Yorker’s Fiction Podcast, but I do want to report here that I had added Audio Cafe and listened to Episode 001 (Levi’s De-Brew) a week or so back and found him engaging enough to listen to more in future. Had also added Cat and Cloud last week to rotation but have yet to listen; and just now located-bookmarked the websites for Opposites Attract, Coffee Podcast & I Brew My Own Coffee. Thanks as always!

    1. Hey Brad,

      Levi is a lot of fun to listen to, and there is a great backlog of episodes that you can enjoy. It’s mostly aimed at people who run/own cafes but I enjoyed it nonetheless, and Levi is just a nice guy all around.

      There’s a lot to listen to out there, and I always found it hard to keep up, but now that I’ve switched phones I’m listening to podcasts ~15 minutes at a time in the car on my short trips to and from work.

  2. You are too kind! I am so glad to hear that your baby is at home and gaining strength. I am filled with emotions knowing that my podcast brought you some comfort at best, and distraction at least during this difficult and stressful time.

    As you know, my wife has been ill for some time. Podcasts were a great distraction/comfort for me as well. This has been the period that really got me into podcasts, and inspired me to want to host one. To know that it has been affecting others in the way that I was affected is quite humbling.

    We will continue to bring you excellent content and thoughtful debates, along with some smiles.

    For reference, the Judge John Hodgman podcast on Maximum fun was the one podcast that brought me some great alone times in my car. There is nothing about coffee (that I can remember) on this podcast, but a wealth of wisdom about how to be a better human. Enjoy!

    1. Thanks, Joe, your words mean a lot! I, too, am filled with emotion knowing that podcasts helped you in the same way they are now helping me. It’s funny and amazing how things in life are so intertwined.

      I’m all about learning to be a better human, so thanks for the recommendation, and thanks for everything you do for the coffee community and humanity in general.

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