Volunteer Highlight: Brian Aliffi, Coffee Sourcing Manager of Caribou Coffee











Name: Brian Aliffi

Title: Coffee Sourcing Manager

Company: Caribou Coffee


How long have you been volunteering for the SCAA?

Since 2004.


What was the first SCAA event you volunteered for and what were your duties?

I had just “joined” the specialty coffee community and relocated to Minnesota from Georgia. I turned back to attend the conference in Atlanta and was a table lead in a cupping class, perhaps something I was only tenuously qualified to do at the time.


What is your current volunteer roll and what are your other duties in Portland 2012?

I work with the IDP committee as a subject matter expert on cupping and assisting with the development of the lesson plans as well as serving as lead instructor for the Comparative Cupping class.


Describe your most memorable volunteering experience so far?

The first time I was lead instructor for a class. I’m sure the nervousness I felt dripped from me throughout the 3 hours, but the appreciation I got from the student helped ease my concern and built my confidence for future classes.


How has volunteering for the SCAA influenced your coffee career?

I’ve been placed with, in front of and around industry peers that I wouldn’t normally intersect with. My awareness of the industry and appreciation thereof has certainly grown, and my knowledge of the world and my role in it has given me greater perspective and balance.