Q&A with Briggo’s Coffee Guru,
What makes a perfect cup of coffee? Some might debate over the temperature, brewing technique, or shout out their favorite coffee shop. If you ask Scott McMartin, he would say it all starts with the perfect coffee bean. With over two decades of experience in the coffee industry, McMartin knows a thing or two about beans. In 1992 McMartin began a career with Starbucks and after several years he became the Director of Global Coffee Advocacy, managing global coffee supply relationships in excess of 400 million pounds per year. It wasn’t necessarily the breadth of business that fueled McMartin’s passion for the industry, it was the quality of the product. McMartin’s relentless search for the highest quality coffee bean has taken him around the globe to over 20 countries, learning unique growing and processing techniques. His wealth of experience in sourcing coffee beans, developing coffee blends, and even creating new product lines for Fortune 100 firms has honed his expertise in specialty coffee. McMartin is now Briggo’s official “Coffee Guru”, managing the entire supply chain from building relationships with the most responsible farms and co-ops, to sourcing the green beans, fine-tuning our proprietary blend, and managing local roasters.
In a Q&A with Scott McMartin, he elaborates on his relationship with Briggo, his unique approach to coffee, and his perspective on the direction of the industry.
How did you and Briggo find each other?
A friend of mine at Starbucks was mutual friends with Kevin Nater from their days at Dell together. She told me about Briggo and what they were hoping to bring to market. At the time they were on the hunt for expertise at the bean sourcing and procurement level which was obviously right up my alley. When I connected with Kevin and founder Chas Studor, they laid out their bold vision, emphasizing the pursuit of the highest quality beans and responsible production processes.
What was the defining moment when you decided to join the Briggo team?
I took a trip down to Austin to see the Briggo Coffee Haus in action, which at the time was a pilot at The University of Texas. I was immediately struck by the quality produced by this unattended robotic solution, literally a million times better in execution than the classic coffee vending machine. I ordered my favorite drink (12oz latte with a shot of espresso), which is hard to find in perfect form, and the quality was similar to that of an expert barista. When I saw that the robot was able to create a beautiful milk-based espresso I was hooked.
How has your expertise helped Briggo create the perfect cup of coffee?
Briggo needed a blend of coffee that was tuned specifically for the Haus to provide consistency and methodic delivery. I was able to help them construct a blend with a particular roast profile that would allow Briggo to satisfy its customers with every sip they take. This meant working closely with the roaster, sourcing coffee beans with precision, and of course taste tasting each blend before it ever made its way into a customer’s cup.
What is your approach when it comes to sourcing, mixing, tasting, and roasting?
Coffee is inherently variable, so it’s all about consistency and preservation of a good supply chain. The key is to minimize disruptions for a quality blend: day after day, month after month, and year after year.
What have you enjoyed most about being a part of the Briggo team?
The growth. In the last five years I have seen this company evolve and optimize at every level. The team in Austin is dedicated to perfection and continuous improvement is part of the Briggo DNA. It’s exciting and rewarding to play a role in that.
Why do you believe in the Briggo solution to a cup of coffee?
The robot is in a great mood every day, pleased to make your drink, and can deliver more precisely a positive experience in every single order. I think with anything in life consistency is elusive yet greatly cherished when it is found. Briggo customers get consistency along with personalized convenience. This is a great evolutionary point for our industry.
How would describe Briggo in one sentence?
The beauty of human meets robot, and taste and art meet technology.