Name: Noah Namowicz
Title: Director of Marketing and Sales Associate
Company: Café Imports
How long have you been volunteering for the SCAA?
What was the first SCAA event you volunteered for and what were your duties?
The first event I ever volunteered for was the COTY competition in Anaheim. My main responsibilities were brewing different coffees and managing my brew bar. I remember that so distinctly, because it was the first time I met a coffee farmer. The farmer from Honduras who grew the coffee I was brewing walked up and introduced himself to me. It really hammered home how much time and effort goes into these lots of coffee, and confirmed that working at Café Imports was definitely the right place for me to be.
What is your current volunteer roll and what are your other duties in Portland 2012?
Currently I volunteer on the Executive Council of the Barista Guild of America, and help out with many barista events throughout the year. I try to judge as many regional competitions as I can, I volunteer to teach classes like Seed to Cup at various events like BGA Camp and the SCAA event, and I hope to help again with COTY this year in Portland.
Describe your most memorable volunteering experience so far?
My most memorable experience so far volunteering has to be teaching at BGA Camp the past two years. Being at the first ever BGA Camp, and back this year for the second one, I can say that the barista community has a really unique and powerful momentum behind it right now. Everyone came to camp really hungry to learn more information. I was able to teach “Seed to Cup”, a class I helped write regarding green coffee and green coffee processing. Being able to help baristas connect the dots with green coffee and the complex issues at origin is something that is really rewarding for me and something baristas don’t often get a whole lot of training in. It is a win win, because I have also become a much better barista.
How has volunteering for the SCAA influenced your coffee career?
Volunteering has influenced my career greatly because I have met so many people on a personal level that I never would have met if I wasn’t volunteering. Seeing that most of the events in our industry are put on largely by volunteers has given me a deeper appreciation for everything our industry does for the larger coffee community. This truly is a pay it forward community, and I love that.