Meet our Cuppers: Chris Shegitz, Coffee Quality TechnicianAugust 1, 2014 (Published: August 1, 2014)
So what is a cupper, you ask? At Crimson Cup, it’s someone who lives for coffee. Our Cuppers have invested long hours – in most cases, years – in learning to objectively assess the quality of coffee. Each of our Cuppers brings a unique palate, set of skills and personality to our mission of consistently roasting the best-tasting coffee. This is one of a series of interviews with our Cuppers.
Coffee Quality Technician Chris Shegitz joined Crimson Cup in 2009. As part of our Seven Steps to Success program, he works with our customers in independent coffee houses, restaurants, food service operations and colleges and universities.
He performs coffee quality checks on espresso machines and drip coffee brewers. He also instructs owners and staff in calibrating and maintaining equipment to produce coffee of consistently excellent quality.
“When I started working here, I didn’t know much about coffee,” he said. “I knew I enjoyed it, but that was about it.”
At first, he worked with equipment for the most part, but he soon became immersed in coffee. “We have lots of classes at Crimson Cup. Seeing all the hard work that goes in to single cup of coffee makes me passionate about producing that perfect cup.”
Earlier this year, Chris earned Golden Cup Certification from the Specialty Coffee Association of America. The certification recognizes coffee technicians who demonstrate expert understanding of the SCAA Brewing Standards and the five points of quality for brewed coffee.
As a result of his certification, Chris is now authorized to conduct on-site inspections as part of the Golden Cup Award program, which recognizes purveyors of quality coffee. The award is a testament to skill in coffee preparation and equipment management, two important elements toward delivering a perfect cup.
Over the years, Chris’ role has evolved to include taste profiling, customer service and representing Crimson Cup at events. “I really enjoy trying all the new coffee we get in,” he said. “But the thing I love most about working here is the people.”
Outside of work, Chris enjoys spending time with family, traveling, backpacking, biking and brewing beer.