CCS Friends & Family

CCS Friends & Family: Reveille Coffee Roasters

As part of our mission to source the right coffee the right way, we invest heavily in long term meaningful relationships in the coffee industry. This includes relationships with our customers, coffee roasters. We love growing with a business, understanding your markets, connecting you to producers, and sourcing the perfect coffee for you. We consider you a part of the CCS family.

This is the first in an ongoing series of blog posts celebrating the businesses and the people roasting CCS-sourced coffee.

Interview with Prestin Yoder, Roaster, Reveille Coffee Roasters

 Prestin Yoder, Reveille Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

Prestin Yoder, Reveille Coffee Roasters, San Francisco

Describe your coffee journey

I went to college and immediately got a gig as a barista. Found it a useful skill as a side-hustle while I did school. After graduating, I was not comfortable working within my line of study. At the time I found friends who were trying to improve quality of green, roasted and brewed coffee. The culture was lit with critical thinking and potential. I wanted in. Working my way through Seattle, New York and San Francisco, I soaked myself into a dissolved solid.


Why do you roast coffee?

I like the work. It’s interesting, gratifying and fun. I have been working with coffee for over a decade now, I want to get closer to the product and its producers. I like the challenge, meditation and discovery of the job.


If you weren’t working in coffee, what would you be doing?

Painting and mashing apples hillside.


(After coffee) what is the thing you love most?

People, my first love.


If you could change one thing about specialty coffee, what would it be?

Compensation for farmers. The chain has got to change, though I know we are better off now than before, there is much work to be done. This is a multifaceted issue of course.


If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?

Our current administration.

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Tell us about Reveille Coffee Roasters

It started with two brothers, Christopher and Thomas Newbury. They tricked out an old DHL truck and started brewing the best coffee they could find. It was a modest operation for San Francisco, but it proved to suit the neighborhood of Jackson Square. After that, they locked down their first brick and mortar location in North Beach. As the company grew, logistically, the next step was to roast for themselves.


What makes Reveille Coffee Roasters special?

Reveille’s roastery is unique to me because it is one of the few light roasters in the city. We push the cup score for the Bay Area with acidity and clarity. I also find the coffees that CCS provide us with are above par. Quality green cannot lie.


Tell us about the San Francisco coffee scene

Oh San Francisco. What a romance, a steel colander of colorful characters strained into a reserved social disposition. It’s beautiful here, the greenscapes at your fingertips and the ocean whispering at you from all sides. We are fortunate to have a big audience for quality coffee here. Coffee is a staple for most folks in SF, the everyday consumer is a bit more conscious of what is good. The tech community has a special place in their heart for specialty coffee, they never cease to surprise me with their level of engagement.


What is your favorite CCS coffee?

That’s hard to say. One that comes to mind is the 2017 Harvest of Gakuyu-ini AB from Kirinyaga. That coffee was seductive with red velvet, saturated berry sweetness, ethereal hibiscus florality and a nippy carignan grape/cranberry finish...just for the record. That coffee aged really well, I appreciated how it opened up and remained vibrant/stable beyond 10 months post-harvest.


Preferred super power: flying or invisibility?

Flying, true Leo styles!

Meet Dulce Barrera, Quality Control Manager for Bella Vista, Guatemala

Dulce Barrera recently triumphed over twelve other competitors to take the inaugural CCS Colombia Tasters Challenge crown at the SCA. When not killing it in competitions, Dulce is in charge of Quality Control for Zelcafe, our partners in Guatemala. 

It is not surprising that a professional cupper might win a cupping competition against coffee professionals who have to leave the cupping table now and then to run a roaster. What is remarkable is that Dulce has only been cupping for a few years, and in that time she has managed to win the Guatemala Cup Tasters Championship two years in a row. 

But it wasn’t sheer luck that won Dulce these accolades. Nor can her success be put down to natural talent. It was dogged determination and constant practice, as she explains below. 

Meet Dulce Barrera

 Dulce Barrera (right) with Melanie Herrerra, both of Bella Vista, Guatemala 

Dulce Barrera (right) with Melanie Herrerra, both of Bella Vista, Guatemala 

I began working with the Zelaya family at the Bella Vista mill on January 4, 2002. We were working with small producers and processing record quantities of cherries. About eight years  after I started, Luis Pedro (Zelaya) began working with micro-lots to meet the demand from our customers. It was my job to prepare the samples for the Quality Control manager, who came the to farm once every week or so with customers. That’s when I discovered coffee cupping, and I wanted to know more. 

Luis Pedro invited all the administrative staff to learn to cup coffee. We worked in a small space that later became the Bella Vista laboratory. Long after everyone else had left I was still there, tasting tasting tasting, learning everything I could. I shadowed the Quality Control manager each time he came to Bella Vista, and I learned how to score coffees. I learned from the customers who came to taste coffees, people like George Howell, Laura Perry, Tal Mor, Tom Owen and others. It was difficult because I don’t speak English, but I watched to see what they liked and didn’t like, and always tasted those coffees once they were done. 

The Bella Vista Quality Control manager retired around three years ago, and I became the cupper for Bella Vista. I was still learning, so if we had major doubts about a coffee we would send a sample for a second opinion, but Luis Pedro had faith in my skills. In May 2016 he entered me into the Guatemala national Cup Tasters Championships. He didn’t tell me until a week before the event! I had no idea how the competition even worked, and I finished in seventh place, just outside the finals selection. 

I competed again in 2017 and I made it to the finals in fourth place. I won the final, the first woman to win the Guatemala Cup Tasters Championship, with seven correctly identified coffees in 5,24 minutes. I went to Budapest to compete in the international competition, and placed 21st. This year I won the Guatemala Cup Tasters Championship again, and I am ready to compete for the international prize in Dubai in November. 

At Bella Vista I work with small producers. I make sure to record all the information about each lot, where the coffee is from, the altitude, the varieties the farmers work with. I manage the Quality Control, and I give a price to the farmers based on the quality of their coffee. 

Guatemala is known for its washed coffees, more so than its honeys or naturals, but these days there is a trend to experiment and buyers want to see more flavor options. My favorite Guatemalan coffees are bourbons from Antigua for their bright and sweet cups with notes of peach, plum and cane sugar, and coffees from Huehuetenango for their tropical fruit notes with pronounced acidity. 

Best wishes and I hope you enjoyed my story.
Dulce