The Coffee Scholar

I was born and raised in the epicenter of American coffee culture, Seattle, Washington. Since then I have lived and worked coffee on four continents, from the farm to the roastery to the bottom of the cappuccino cup.

The coffee chain is extraordinarily long, from the cherry to the café. I specialize in understanding all sides of the business, and helping people broaden their understanding of coffee. Huge opportunities for increasing quality and the bottom line are often sitting right out in plain view, if only you know where to look.

From the café owner who is looking to learn roasting, to the barista who wants to become a manager, to the roaster who needs to understand coffee farms better, it’s my constant goal and my joy to help people better understand coffee.

I am an expert in all kinds of coffee brewing equipment, an expert in roasting, and an expert in cupping. I have extensive experience working on the ground at origin with coffee farmers and with coffee processors. I’m well-known as a clear, fun, and engaging teacher, a skill I take pride in.

I have been certified as a Star Cupper by the Coffee Quality Institute, and have served on international judging panels.

I speak fluent Spanish. I have a bachelor’s degree in literature, of all things. And I’m a pretty good bartender too, in a pinch.


Who is Daniel Humphries?

Here is a partial list of some of the work I’ve done in the coffee industry. These are just the publically listed jobs. I respect the privacy and confidentiality of everyone I work with.

  1. Philippines — Public educational events for consumers and roasters in urban Manila; and pro-bono coffee training exercises for indigenous farmers in the southern province of Bukidnon on Mindanao (2012)

  2. Portland, OR — With Boot Coffee, organized and led the 2012 Ethiopian Cupping Caravan at the annual SCAA show in Portland. Held in a public park near the convention center, dozens of coffee professionals from around the world came and sampled scores of coffee samples over the course of two days, as an export promotion for the Ethiopian coffee industry (2012)

  3. Panama — Facilitated a week-long knowledge exchange between coffee farmers in Puerto Rico and coffee farmers in Panama, with Puerto Ricans visiting the top-flight specialty producers in Panama and learning their techniques (2011)

  4. Sacramento, CA and Los Angeles, CA — Coffee educator for bartenders as part of Kahlua coffee liqueur bartender-outreach program (pdf) (2011)

  5. Honduras and Panama — Designed, coordinated and taught ongoing week-long coffee intensive courses for coffee professionals from around the world under the banner of Boot Coffee. Served as lead instructor and translator in these countries on several occasions each (2011 - present)

  6. Houston, TX — Cupping events highlighting Ethiopian coffees; and side-by-side-by-side comparison cuppings of coffee roasting machines, comparing flavor profiles as they relate to heat transfer dynamics (2011)

  7. Stockholm, Sweden — Specialty coffee expert for design symposium, Kahlua coffee liqueur brand re-launch. (2010)

  8. Puerto Rico — Lead quality consultant for the ongoing study of the influence of soil type and weather on coffee flavor profile. Taught workshops in Puerto Rico on selection of ripe coffee cherries, and performing ongoing analysis of data collected from over 90 different coffee samples. (2010 - 2011) See more about this

  9. Puerto Rico — Roasting and flavor analysis consultant and trainer for growing, mid-sized quality-oriented coffee roaster in San Juan. (2010)

  10. Mill Valley, CA — Lead instructor for Boot Coffee Consulting’s Roast Profiling and Cupping course. Trained dozens of coffee roaster owners, operators, and managers in the art and science of roasting and cupping.  (2008 - present)

  11. Mill Valley, CA — Assistant instructor for other Boot Coffee courses, including blending, advanced roasting, advanced cupping, and barista courses. (2007 - present)

  12. Guatemala — Roasting and flavor analysis consultant for large estate coffee roaster in Guatemala. This company operates three large roasting machines, roasting their own, fully-organic estate coffee near the Salvadoran border. I trained their employees, and helped them to maximize flavor and output using the existing machinery and green coffee. The company roasts about half a million pounds of coffee a year. (2010)

  13. Guatemala — Presented two roasting seminars at the annual convention of the national coffee association, Anacafé, in Guatemala City. (2010)

  14. Seattle — Founded the Seattle Coffee Society, a forum for coffee professionals from all sides of the industry in the capital of US coffee. (2010) See more about this

  15. Anaheim, CA — Organized and presented promotions of Ethiopian coffees at the annual SCAA show. I helped to gather over 50 samples of fresh-crop coffees from all over Ethiopia, which I then presented over multiple cuppings to the attendees of the show. This was part of a larger project for quality improvement and promotion of Ethiopian coffee funded by the United States Agency for International Development, and headed by Boot Coffee. (2010)

  16. Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle — Three more cupping events as part of the Ethiopia project, presenting the coffee samples to roasters, importers, baristas, and green buyers in these three cities. (2010) See more about this

  17. Ethiopia — Organized and led the 2010 Ethiopia Cupping Caravan. Through the USAID-ATEP program, I took a group of 12 coffee professionals, including representatives from some of the most famous companies in specialty coffee, into the back roads of Harar to cup coffees with the people who grew them. I also organized another trip to Sidamo for another group. (2009 - 2010) See more about this

  18. New York City — Executed extensive coffee tasting and coffee machine testing for a large third-party company, serving as their in-house coffee expert. (2008 - present)

  19. New York City — Head of education and training for the East Coast for Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Focused on espresso education, brewing, and tasting. Trained wholesale clients and held daily classes in Intelligentsia’s SoHo Manhattan laboratory. (2009)

  20. New York City — Founded the New York Coffee Society, a forum for coffee professionals from all over the fastest growing coffee city in the US. Hosted monthly get-togethers, cuppings, and educational seminars for hundreds of coffee professionals. (2007 - 2010)

  21. Ecuador — Judging and groundwork for the Taza de Oro coffee competition. One of 10 international judges selected to judge the best coffees in Ecuador. (2008)

  22. New Orleans — Presenter on the topic of specialty coffee for the National Coffee Association’s first annual educational conference. Also led a tour of New Orleans area coffee houses. (2008)

  23. Minneapolis — Organized and executed special tasting sessions for the annual SCAA show. These were show-floor cuppings at the El Salvador booth, highlighting the most interesting coffees from that country. (2008)

  24. El Salvador — Led two tours of coffee buyers from around the world to farms and washing stations of El Salvador. I helped organize the tours, arrange for cuppings to take place, and guided the roasters and importers every step of the journey. Taking place at the height of the picking season. (2009)

  25. El Salvador — Taught coffee roasting courses to the top coffee roasters in El Salvador. Two three day courses, taught at the Escuela de Café (Coffee School), within the Consejo Salvadoreño del Café. (2008)

  26. Ethiopia — Helped organize and judge the Ecafé Gold competition of Ethiopian coffees in Addis Ababa, through USAID-ATEP and Boot Coffee. Collected hundreds of coffees from around Ethiopia and organized a week-long judging sessions with elite judges from around the world. Also participated as one of the judges. (2008)

  27. New York City — Manager and head of barista training for Jack’s Stir-Brew Coffee in Manhattan. (2007 - 2008)

  28. Peru — Specialty consultant and trainer for a brand new coffee shop, Café Sacramento, in Lima’s exlusive San Isidro neighborhood. (2007)

  29. El Salvador — Taught a barista course at the Escuela de Café in San Salvador. (2007)

  30. Pennsylvania — Made the final round and placed in the top three at the Northeast Regional Barista Championship. (2007)

  31. Long Beach, CA — Presenter at the SCAA annual show on the topic of the influence of altitude on flavor in different coffee varietals. (2007)

  32. New York City — Director of coffee and head trainer for Café Grumpy’s new Manhattan location. I helped conceptualize, design, and give training for this “super-specialty” location. At the Manhattan location, I installed the machinery, including the first two “Clover” machines on the East Coast. (2006)

  33. Seattle — Made the final round and placed fourth at the Northwest Regional Barista Championship. (2006)

  34. Seattle — Manager, head barista, and wholesale trainer for Victrola Coffee’s original Seattle location. Helped create espresso blends, set barista protocol, and manage day-to-day operations of the café. (2004 - 2006)

There is a lot more I have done in coffee. You can see details and photos from some of these projects on the Past Work page. But I hope this gives you an idea of what my experience is. If you would like to reach me drop me a line any time.