Monday, March 27, 2023

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An Interview With Morgan Eckroth, Half One

In a brand new two-part interview, we delve into the thoughts of this gifted barista champion and content material creator to realize insights and inspiration.


Pictures courtesy of Morgan Eckroth, besides the place famous

Morgan Eckroth is a barista and creator on the forefront of creativity in espresso. They showcase their abilities and creativity by way of short-form movies on TikTok and Instagram, long-form movies on YouTube, and charming performances within the U.S. Barista Championship. (Morgan is the reigning U.S. Barista Champion.) On this interview, we sit down with Morgan, who lives in Portland, Ore., to study her journey into the world of espresso, her strategy to content material creation, and their ideas on the present state and way forward for creativity within the specialty-coffee trade.

Barista Journal: What’s your identify and what are your pronouns? 

Morgan: My identify is Morgan Eckroth and I exploit she or they pronouns.

Do you determine as nonbinary?

I don’t know! I can’t inform you how little I take into consideration gender in my life. It’s by no means one thing that influences actually something for me. Particularly on-line. I view myself as a impartial slate. The entire turtleneck factor sort of began as a joke however I’ve continued it as a result of I really like turtlenecks. I simply need to be a clean slate for no matter emotion I’m making an attempt to painting. That’s one thing that has carried into actual life. I don’t need to be this or that, I simply need to be a very good barista. So I don’t actually give it some thought … I feel nonbinary might be the closest, however I’ve by no means actually put a label to it.

Morgan and another competitor sip coffee from spoons during a cupping.
Morgan cupping on the U.S. Barista Championship.

The place did you develop up and what did you dream of doing?

I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, which is an hour and a half south of right here. The very very first thing I needed to be was a spy within the CIA or FBI. Then I needed to be a film director, sarcastically. It’s sort of come full circle! That’s what I needed for a very long time. That was again once I simply began to observe YouTube movies. In highschool, I believed I needed to work in forensics or criminology. The primary quarter of school that I took was in criminology and prison justice. In a short time I noticed I needed a extra artistic profession so I switched to advertising and marketing. I went by way of this huge arc of profession paths.

What do you do for work?

We’re engaged on a web site that may be a hub for my favourite issues and folks I like working with, and hopefully constructing it out to be a espresso useful resource for schooling. I’ve three jobs proper now. I work as a barista at Keeper a number of days per week, totally on the weekends. I work for Onyx as their content material advertising and marketing specialist. I fill plenty of gaps and do plenty of short-form video creation and modifying.

Morgan Drinks Espresso (MDC) is my full-time job primarily, but it surely’s all very fluid the place all these jobs complement one another. It’s all only one homogeneous espresso profession. I simply ship issues to completely different individuals.

You sound busy.

I’m very busy. I actually like being busy. I expertise my greatest dips and tedium and stagnation once I’m not engaged on tasks. I’m not superb at resting. However I don’t want plenty of relaxation. I don’t have weekends anymore and I do know that sounds actually dangerous. Once I discuss to individuals I say don’t do what I’m doing. This works for me however I wouldn’t need individuals to, like, try for it. … I do know the place my limits are. My relaxation time is within the evenings. I’m very cautious about ending my days at 5 p.m. and the remainder of my day is for myself. I’ll flip all the pieces off.

MorganI’s efficiency on the 2022 World Barista Championship finals.

When individuals ask what you do, what do you inform them?

When individuals ask what I do I say I do plenty of web issues. I inform individuals I’m a content material creator. I’ll say I make espresso content material round schooling and barista life. If I’m in knowledgeable setting I’ll say I work in advertising and marketing at a espresso roaster. I’ll often go to the lengths of describing my three sides. There are lots of people who know me from working at Onyx. There are lots of people who know me by way of MDC. There are lots of people who simply know me as their barista. I feel it’s enjoyable to make clear the opposite bits. But additionally the reply modifications relying on who I discuss to.

Morgan stands between two other competitors, all wearing black and white, and boots. Behind them is the Boston Championships banner with USCC logo and logos of the event sponsors.
Morgan after successful first place on the 2022 U.S. Barista Championship.
Picture by Niki Weegens.

Inform me about studying and the books that modified your life.

I’ve all the time been a large reader. I used to be homeschooled rising up with my brother. It was stereotypical homeschooling. We watched zero TV. We acquired to observe Mr. Rogers as soon as per week and that was all we acquired. My mother as a substitute took us to the library. Each different day we have been there loading up on books. I grew up studying a ton of fiction. Just a few years in the past I rediscovered my love for studying, which felt nice. It was a coming again residence. 

One of many books that has caught with me the longest and probably the most is American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It was one of many first grownup fiction books I learn. It’s a very lengthy, very dense e-book. His writing takes some getting used to. This was one of many first I might learn to completion. To this present day he’s one among my favourite authors. I really like how he builds mythology into our world. 

There’s additionally one different e-book I all the time assume again to. It’s a nonfiction e-book known as Gunn’s Golden Guidelines by Tim Gunn from Venture Runway. (It’s) his information to etiquette and the way he carries himself by way of life. These are golden guidelines of politeness and the way he approaches issues and discussions. That caught with me. I actually respect this individual and I needed to be like him.

Morgan, steaming pitcher in hand and wearing a dark apron and black turtleneck, smiles at the camera behind an espresso machine. In front of them on the wooden counter is bagged coffee branded with Morgan Drinks Coffee logo.
Along with their work in advertising and marketing and a barista job, Morgan is a well-liked content material creator at Morgan Drinks Espresso.

What are you studying proper now?

A e-book known as My Commerce Is Thriller by Carl Phillips. I don’t learn plenty of nonfiction, principally science fiction, and fantasy. It’s this dissection of how he views the world as a author and the way he approaches all the pieces, and it’s a deep dissection of how his humanity has been impacted by his writing. How he sees the world by way of it.

What does your artistic course of appear like? 

I discover myself fairly scrappy with how I do issues. Loads of what I do is how I’m feeling within the second. I prefer to work organically. I’ve an concept folder on my telephone and as concepts come to me I’ll jot them down. I received’t, like, schedule them. I’ll movie them once I really feel prepared and ready. I’ll submit them after they really feel proper. Equally, with YouTube, I’ll have a deposit of concepts I can pull from once I must. However I’m centered on what feels related, what feels proper within the second. Loads of it nonetheless is simply me. Folks ask about my crew and it’s simply me. I’ve a YouTube editor now, which is nice, however I do all my very own filming. It’s simply me and my telephone. I nonetheless have my fingers on all the pieces I make, which is essential to me. I don’t really feel able to launch that.

Keep tuned to Barista Journal On-line for half two of this interview.


Kate Van Petten (they/them) is a author, musician, and occasional skilled primarily based in Seattle. They’ve labored within the specialty-coffee trade for years with a give attention to artistic storytelling by way of advertising and marketing. You will discover their songs and poems in Espresso Folks Zine and you may hearken to their debut audiobook, For Somebody, on cassette tape or on-line through Good day America Stereo Cassette. They’re at present an editor and publicist for Poetry Northwest, the Pacific Northwest’s longest-running literary journal. If you wish to share a narrative or join, you possibly can attain them at or discover them at


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