Meet small business owner Joel Finkelstein of Qualia Coffee

Coffee Roaster Joel Finkelstein Wants to Give You More Than a Caffeine Fix

Coffee Roaster Joel Finkelstein Wants to Give You More Than a Caffeine Fix

What do you do all day?
Feb. 1 2016 11:59 AM

The “How Does a Coffee Roaster Work?” Edition

Meet someone who gives you a reason to wake up in the morning.

Coffee roaster.
Joel Finkelstein.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Rachel E. Gross.

Listen to this episode of Working with guest Joel Finkelstein:


Running a coffee shop sounds pretty straightforward, right? Wrong. In the first episode of this season of Working, Slate’s Rachel E. Gross talks with Joel Finkelstein, owner of Qualia Coffee in Washington. Finkelstein talks about his transition from home brewer to local business owner, how little his customers know about where their coffee comes from, and why maybe that’s OK. Then, he takes us behind the scenes of the roasting process and shares his conversion from caffeine-injecting health care journalist to single-origin coffee connoisseur. But hey, no one’s judging you, Starbucks drinker! Pinkies out.

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Podcast production by Mickey Capper.

Rachel E. Gross is the science web editor at Smithsonian.