Byron Dote (1975), Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. I started working for Sweet Maria’s a few years back to manage our marketing and merchandise. Since my first day, I learn new things about coffee on a daily basis and I still feel like I don’t know anything!

How do you take your coffee?

Brewed black with no cream or sugar. If I’m out and at a cafe’ that isn’t known for it’s pour-over coffee, I’ll order an espresso drink.

How many coffee cups do you drink on an average day?

I drink about 2 cups a day…usually spread out into small pours throughout the day. We get to try a lot of different coffees on a daily basis at Sweet Maria’s so I never pour myself a full mug.

Do you have an espresso machine at home and if so, what model?

No…maybe one day.

What is your favorite coffee bean blend?

I don’t have one. I really like single origin coffee.

Do you enjoy having your coffee with some bakery alongside, and if so, what is it?

Yes. If I go to a cafe’, it’s nice to try their baked goods since a lot of the cafe’s in the SF bay area serve snacks made by local bakeries. I’ll usually go for something sweet with chocolate.

 From your experience what is the most important factor when it comes to making good coffee?

You have to start with good coffee. If the coffee itself is low grade, old or damaged, there’s not much you can do for it in the roasting or brewing process to make it taste good.

 Any expert’s tip you want to give the Israeli coffee consumer?

Drink as many different coffees from as many different origins as possible. This will expand and educate your palate.

From your experience, what are the most common mistakes people make regarding making/drinking coffee?

People tend to get caught up in terminology and advertising too much. It’s a mistake to let a company tell you what is good and what you should enjoy. Trust your own taste.

Any coffee shop you want to recommend on?

I don’t go out to drink coffee enough to have an opinion about our local cafe’s, but I can say that we are spoiled here in the SF bay area with new cafe’s popping up all the time. Some are good and some are bad but it’s great to have so many to choose from.

 Can you describe the coffee culture in your hometown?

It’s hard for me to say since Sweet Maria’s isn’t directly associated with the cafe scene here, but we do know it’s growing and it’s nice to see smaller shops opening up as the larger ones like Blue Bottle expand into the mainstream. 

Anything you want to add?

Come visit the SF bay area and experience our growing coffee scene.

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