Borderstan is happy to introduce a new columnist to the team, Jonathan Riethmaier. Jonathan will let us know everything there is to know about coffee. We had a little chat with him and he explained what his new column will be about.
Borderstan: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Riethmaier: Like a lot of DC residents, I’m a transplant of sorts who’s fallen in love with the city’s people, places and culture. My wife and I have been in the area for about four years, and we’re looking forward to raising our son here in the District. I work with a nonprofit that advocates for equity and inclusion for people with significant disabilities and, in my spare time, I chronicle the city’s specialty coffee scene at District Bean.
Borderstan: You have an education that does not normally lead to becoming a coffee connoisseur. Fill us in on that.
Riethmaier: So my education and professional work has been in public relations, nonprofit management and journalism which has, interestingly, intersected and furthered my love for coffee. It was during my years at a PR agency that I first attended specialty coffee industry events, worked with trade magazines and really came to know and appreciate the folks who work in the coffee business. It’s hard not to be inspired by an industry of people who are so passionate about their craft.
Borderstan: Why is coffee important?
Riethmaier: Because coffee — specifically, specialty coffee — can make the world a better place. When coffee businesses domestically build relationships with farmers and farming communities, they invest in technology, education and sustainable farming practices that lead to positive outcomes for those communities. In return, the quality of the product increases dramatically. So, when we buy better coffee, we not only create a quality consumer experience, we’re feeding into a cycle that improves people’s lives the world over. How cool is that?
Borderstan: Tell us about what this column will be about?
Riethmaier: DC has a vibrant and growing coffee community, and that’s perhaps no more evident than right here in Borderstan. In this column we’re going to explore the people and places that make coffee in this area so special. I’ll share with readers some insights on where to go for unique coffee experiences and go behind the scenes with local baristas to talk varietals, brew methods and all sorts of coffee geekery. Stay tuned for more on coffee, cafe culture and tips on coffee brewing and consuming! If you have a question or tip, feel free to reach me at jonathan[AT]borderstan.com