Kristina Tuason

At the Bar: David Wilson

“Architecture was a career, coffee is a passion.”

Between trail running and painting, our Director of Coffee David will tell you, with an accent you can’t quite define (is it British? Is it Australian?), that coffee has been an amazing yet unexpected departure from what he thought would be a fulfilling career in architecture.

“I fell in love with coffee and coffee shops whilst working in architecture (late nights and the need to get away from a computer screen)," David said. "So when I was transitioning out of that career, I took a job as a barista while I 'figured my life out.' Two cafe jobs later I found myself in a place where I was able to begin tasting coffee at a higher level and learn about roasting.”

Not long after that, David accepted a job as Head Roaster at a specialty shop in Reno before launching his own business, Vertical Coffee Roasters.

“I found myself… traveling to origin countries, and fully committed to this industry as a career.”

David combines his expertise with the field trainers he works with in Guatemala to help generate a healthy income for farmers as well as, of course, high quality coffee.

“Coffee is a global product, and so we have to embrace that," said David.  "And maybe even expand our definition of ‘community.’ Nevertheless, one can still be intentional about where that coffee comes from.”

David is now settled in Reno and continues to connect the dots between farmer to cup in the city’s growing coffee community.

“Just in the last couple of years it's been cool to see the boom in the number of shops opening up, and the events that happen around the community, bringing baristas from all over the city together for competitions. And yet it's still small enough that any cafe I go into I feel like I know the baristas and they know me.”



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