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Kristina Tuason

At the Bar: Spencer Cortright

Here's another installment of our At the Bar series, where we interview Coffeebar's bold, bad ass baristas, chefs and Hospitalians to learn about their journey and passions, both in front of and away from the espresso machine. We hope these conversations inspire and demystify the people and process behind your cup of coffee. These are the hands, hearts and minds you'll find at the bar.

This week, we're talking to Coffeebar Reno Barista and outdoor enthusiast Spencer Cortright. Enjoy!

At the Bar with Spencer Cortright

You’re currently going to school for Forest Management and Ecology. What motivated you to choose that path?

I’ve always loved the outdoors and I think protecting our natural resources is one of the most important issues we face today, plus I couldn’t see myself having a desk job so it seemed like the perfect fit for me.

When you’re not behind the bar, you’re big on hiking and traveling. Where are some of the best places to lose the crowds and get outside?

Glacier National Park in Montana is somewhere I recommend to everyone, the Redwoods are awesome, and the Grand Tetons are one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been.

Glacier National Park by Spencer Cortright

Glacier National Park by Spencer Cortright

What’s the best way to enjoy your coffee in the Great Outdoors?

First thing in the morning, while eating oatmeal, sitting around a smoldering fire with your friends or loved ones. Extremely hot water, poured over a dark roast into your favorite camping mug that’s still dirty from the previous mornings brew. The absolute key is to not measure anything. Because sometimes the cups of coffee that you will never forget are because of who you shared them with, not how the coffee tasted.

At the Bar with Spencer Cortright

You also manage Coffeebar Reno’s beer program. What’s your favorite style of beer? Favorite beer ever?

My favorite beers are probably lagers and blonde ales. I don’t know if I have an all time-favorite beer, but I do know I’ve never had a bad time while drinking Corona.

Our Reno roastery is opening this year. What will your role be there and what sparked your interest in roasting?

I’m going to be learning the art of roasting, as well as working on the cafe side of things. The story of coffee before it reaches the customer is a super fascinating one, and something I’m really excited to learn more about. It’s fun being a barista and being face to face with customers as they experience the very last step in the journey of coffee, but I’m stoked to learn more about the behind the scene side of things like sustainable sourcing, creating relationships with coffee producers, and how to highlight each unique coffee from around the world. I think the roastery will be an awesome new addition to Coffeebar and I can’t wait to help spark a deeper appreciation for each cup of coffee.

At the Bar with Spencer Cortright

What records can we expect you to be playing at the roastery?

Definitely lots of the Beatles, some early Led Zeppelin, Fleet Foxes, and Crosby Stills and Nash. All of the stuff no one wants to listen to at the Mt Rose store.

If you could make coffee for anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

Neil Degrasse Tyson. He could answer all of my science questions. 🍻

Interested in learning more about our roastery? 

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