Alex Brown, Customer Relations RepresentativeAlexander Zachary Brown was born (and lived most of his life) in Athens, GA. He spent his summers at the beach learning to swim and surf and anything else that is possible to do in the water. His great-grandmother introduced him to coffee at age 6 when she would fill up a cup on a saucer and add milk until the mixture overflowed into the saucer. Little Alex would drink the milk from the saucer because it was significantly cooler than the cup. This was his first introduction to coffee. He began working as a barista in 1999 and fell in love with the coffee industry. He took a break in 2004 to teach a surf camp in San Diego, but other than that has been involved in coffee in some capacity. He went to college to study art, but dropped out one year shy of completion. He then decided the best expression of his artistic ability is in food—as it involves all the senses—and studied Culinary Arts. After graduating in 2008, he began working with Counter Culture Coffee.
Q: What coffee are you currently drinking?
La Golondrina and Valle del Santuario … two killer coffees that are in season right now and tasting amazing!
Q: Choose your favorite coffee and brewing method.
Favorite coffee? No way I could ever choose. As for brewing methods, I have been rocking the Eva Solo, but lately the Chemex has been treating me really well.
Q: Who at Counter Culture would you most like to arm-wrestle, and why?
Laura Heyda. I think she is the only employee who has a shot at beating me.
Q: What is your favorite book?
It’s actually a series of three books by C.S. Lewis: The Space Trilogy
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength
Q: What keeps you busy outside of work?
Cooking, brewing beer (Java Stout is in the works), enjoying time with my wife, Anna, and skateboarding have been occupying my time lately.
Q: Share an interesting fact you've learned about coffee while working at Counter Culture Coffee and name the person from whom you learned it.
The difference between pre-infusion and soft-infusion is a wonderful fact I learned from Mr. Brian Ludviksen.
Q: When you were 8 years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An oceanographer … I am COMPLETELY obsessed with the ocean (most specifically Architeuthis).
Q: If you could beam yourself anywhere in the world for your lunch break, where would you go, and what would you eat?
Oh man … In-N-Out Burger—definitely. The one in Carlsbad, CA, is the best.
Q: Which Counter Culture Coffee customer is most likely to see you outside of work?
Lana and crew over at Big Bear. Anna and I love hanging outside and sharing a Chemex or two.
Q: Alex, when you came to North Carolina for your company orientation you found a pretty amazing skateboard at a local shop. How long have you been skating? Who's your all-time favorite skater? And, where do you skate in DC?
I totally picked up a great board in Durham. I have been skating since I was seven, but really got into longboards when I was in college. My all-time favorite skater is my best friend, Justin Waldorf. In DC, you have to skate late at night to get the really good hills and skip the scary traffic. I usually wind up skating more in Baltimore.
Q: We know you're a graduate of Baltimore International Culinary School. What are your five "desert island" ingredients?
Salt, fish sauce, vinegar, honey, and black pepper. With these five things, you can rescue any dish in the world!