General Manager - Dennis Ostheim Jr.

dennis-ostheim-jr-bio.jpg

What drew you to the coffee industry?

I have a deep appreciation for learning, as well as a strong determination to nurture my personal and professional growth.  I have spent the majority of my life in “the people business” of restaurants and was ready for a chance to expand my knowledge and skillset.  The opportunity to inject myself into the coffee industry happened rather organically (pun fully intended).  As I began learning more about Sweetwater’s core values, mission, and co-op involvement, I became determined to enter the coffee industry with Sweetwater as my guide. I want to positively impact as many aspects of coffee as I can, especially the farmers’ lives and our environmental footprint.

What's your favorite coffee?

Let me start by saying that I love all of our coffees and the trading partners who provide them. I don’t believe I ever had fresh-roasted coffee before starting with this company, and now I know I can’t go back. Sweetwater coffee has been the first coffee that I’ve been able to drink black, without drowning my coffee cup with sugar and milk. It’s been a new experience for me to say the least. My favorites keep changing week to week, currently I’m drinking Freight Train and loving the blend of Peruvian and Mexican beans. There’s a nuttiness that is complemented by the smooth body and clean finish that I am happy to wake up to every morning.

What do you do outside of Sweetwater Coffee?

I spend time with my amazing wife and two wonderful boys. We aim to stay connected with nature by visiting springs and nature preserves.  We play games together and hang out by the pool or beach whenever possible. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts.  I enjoy coloring really intricate mandalas, and I stay devoted to developing myself while growing professionally. How many cups of coffee do you consume a day?

How many cups of coffee do you consume a day?

I drink 2-3 cups a day, sometimes more and rarely fewer than that. I start off with a cup at home, then we are regularly tasting for quality at our roastery every day. Add in some cuppings for a more formal and in-depth evaluation of our coffee, and I can easily put back 5-10 cups in a day.

What's your daily driving force?

My desire every day is to support my family while being a part of something bigger and positively impacting as many lives as possible. I love my wife and kids, and I’m truly a lucky man to have such supportive people in my life. They drive me to be a better man, husband, and father because I want to provide them with the best possible life. I want to lead by example and now with Sweetwater, I have a means to improve other people’s lives on a scale I have dreamt of for my whole life.  

Favorite brew method?

My favorite methods so far are pour-over and espresso.  I find the flavors in those methods to be more dynamic than in some other methods.  I find it interesting that the same coffee can produce different flavors depending on the brew method.


tina-adkins.jpg

 Sales & Customer Service Manager-  Tina Adkins

What drew you to the coffee industry?

In 2009, while my daughter worked at Sweetwater, I would come and pick up my new grandson for a few hours a week. Hearing her talk about the farmers, the essence of coffee, seeing the roasting process and meeting Tripp Pomeroy, learning more about it with every visit, I knew I had found a long lasting personal relationship with coffee and all that comes with it.

What's your favorite coffee?

Moka Java Viennese Roast is my go to, top of the list, favorite! My least favorite and this may sound biased is anything other than Sweetwater. I just recently visited our trading partners in Pangoa, Peru. Ahhhhhhhmazing and I am looking forward to going back to learn more and sharing my knowledge.

What do you do outside of Sweetwater Coffee?

Spending as much time as I can with my 2 grandsons, Leathem(6) and Brantley(2 ½).

Photographing everything I can while traveling the countryside on my Harley Davidson 883 sportster. Music festivals and events, I’m always looking for the next adventure. I enjoy introducing our coffee and sharing this coffee world to unsuspecting family and friends.

How many cups of coffee do you consume a day?

The question is how many cups of coffee consume me in a day.   I start at home with that first freshly brewed pot of java that tides me over for the 7 minute drive to work, where I sip that Sweetwater brew all day long.

What's your daily driving force?

Every day is a learning experience in the world of coffee and knowing that just a part of what I do contributes to everyone I come in contact with.

Favorite brew method?

Brewing coffee over an open fire while traveling sounds about right. My favorite though is coffee that’s brewed, ready and waiting when I walk into work.


Tripp Pomeroy

Business Development & Trading Partner Relations - Tripp Pomeroy

What drew you to the coffee industry?

The opportunity to: 1) work with my good friends and partners Lee and Bill Harris; 2) run a business that is one of the coolest innovations I have ever seen, mixing business with a meaningful purpose, vision and core values; 3) work directly with small-scale coffee farmers and; 4) help folks to understand the reality of our small-scale coffee farmer partners and connect with them in a meaningful way via a simple cup of coffee.

What's your favorite coffee?

Need to be careful here – because I cherish ALL of our trading partners… would have to say it’s a tie between Colombia from Fondo Paez and Peru from CAC Pangoa. Knowing these folks makes their coffee that much more flavorful for me.

What do you do outside of Sweetwater Coffee?

Spend time with my wonderful wife and two kids, a little scuba from time-to-time, and try to escape to quite places in nature whenever possible. Also working with great partners to figure out best way to introduce Sweetwater and our approach to people and business to their markets in Asia and South America.

How many cups of coffee do you consume a day?

2… but I have a daily ritual that is non-negotiable. First thing, I go down and turn on the water heater. While it’s heating, I scoop 7 rounded tablespoons of French Press grind coffee into my nifty, nay awesome, French Press from Planetary Design. Once the water has come to a boil, I turn off the heater and let the water settle. Then, I pour a little water on the grinds to prime them…

several seconds later I fill the coffee press all the way up, pop the top on and sidestep over to my timer and set it for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off – and I can hear it from remarkable distances – I speed-walk back to turn off the timer, press the French Press plunger down, and pour my sweet nectar of the gods into my favorite mug and savor what I know is some of the best coffee in the world. That is when my day officially has started.

What's your daily driving force?

My faith in God, the inherent goodness of people, my family and my friends… and the opportunity to work with such a fantastic, diverse group of people (from crop to cup) who are interested in and actively working on making the world a better place.

Favorite brew method?

French Press.


hannah-mercer-head-shot.jpgCoffee Education Coordinator- Hannah Mercer

What's your favorite coffee?

I jokingly say "Whatever coffee I didn't have to make!". But in all seriousness, a cup of coffee I drank at 11pm with our trading partners Fondo Paez in Colombia changed my life, and that will always be a very special coffee I feel deeply connected to.

What drew you to the coffee industry?

I wanted to work around happy people and have Sunday's off while I was in college.  It very quickly turned into a career that absolutely fascinates me and is constantly rewarding in ways I never imagined possible.  It allows me to fulfill my life long dreams of travelling, meeting new people, and doing something interesting every day.

What do you do outside of Sweetwater Coffee?

I love hula hooping and traveling to different states or countries, going to concerts and music festivals with friends. Any time I'm around live music it perks me up. Other than that, I love listening to podcasts (especially true crime!) and curling up with my pup.

How many cups of coffee do you consume a day? 

0-75, depending on whether I'm teaching or not, haha. On a non-class day where I am working, I average around 3, but I don't actually make coffee for myself on the weekends/days off... I will drink it if someone else makes it though! During an intense coffee tasting class, there's no telling how much I drink, but the answer is definitely too much!

What’s your favorite brew method? 

The Clever Dripper!!! It's like a paper filtered French Press - so you get the set-it and forget-it ease of that brew method, with about a tenth of the required clean up.  It gives you a full bodied cup of coffee that isn't oily, and doesn't have suspended solids - the industry term for floating grinds.  It's the best of all worlds to me. 

What is your daily driving force? 

Helping people realize their potential.  Coffee can be complex and scary - so making coffee approachable is huge for me.  I hope I can always leave someone with a smile, and feeling better than before we met.