Over the years we have had a lot of great conversations with Pete. He is one of those people we see eye to eye with on a lot of different topics.
He has helped me with competition routines, challenged philosophy and critiqued service.
He truly is one of the great thinkers and competitors in our industry.
We figured we would ask him to share what's hot in his mind so stay tuned for a guest blog from former WBC Champion, Pete Licata.
First though, let's get to know a bit more about him.
Name and Occupation:
Pete Licata, Consultant and coffee taster
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Kansas City, KS. I grew up all around the KC area, which at the time wasn’t very interesting.
What was your first coffee job?
Barista at PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. in Kansas City
What made you fall in love with coffee?
I had a long obsession with caffeine as a teenager. Pretty sure I thought I loved coffee then, but really it was the buzz I was seeking. IT wasn’t until I was working at PT’s that I found the customer service aspect as well as the depths of knowledge and training to be truly fascinating.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people probably don't know.
I used to work at a potato restaurant called 1 Potato 2 in a mall food court, and to this day I still know the secrets to the perfect french fries. (hint: no, your fries aren’t perfect)
What do you do when you're not making coffee?
I’m glad you ask because for a while coffee was really the only thing I was doing. Talk about a downward spiral into madness! In free time I enjoy practicing martial arts, video games, and reading. Nothing out of the ordinary really.
Whats one piece of advice for someone new to coffee who has aspirations to turn coffee into a career?
Be patient. Real knowledge and mastery of a craft takes time, and there is no real substitute. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to coffee “celebrities” about the things you don’t know. We are all people too.
Who was your first coffee hero?
Those Capuchin monks. There was an old (Folgers, International Delights, something?) commercial when I was a kid talking about how they are responsible for the cappuccino, which may or may not be total garbage. If we are talking about modern and real coffee heroes, I would definitely say Tim Wendelboe. He visited KC early in my career as the reigning WBC champ and for the first time I saw something that I wanted to achieve.
What's in your hopper right now ?
El Salvador Colomba Natural from Messenger Coffee in Kansas City
The Sound of Music. Don’t mess with Julie Andrews yo
Favorite food item?
The short answer is bacon, but there are so many things out there. Rice in Japan, Ahi poke in Hawaii, Khachapuri in Russia/Georgia. These are all serious yums.
Favorite brew method?
Filter. Chemex, Fetco, Beehouse, or BonaVita auto.
Favorite city to visit?
So far, Tokyo. I have a feeling Kyoto or Sapporo might be my jam though.
What are you worst at?
Not gonna lie, accounting, taxes, and graphic design.
If you want to get ahold of Pete for consulting, follow him on social media or to get involved with his new adventures, here are the goods:
Again, tune in this weekend for more from Pete!