A place for escape, play and exploration in coffee, tech and design


A place for escape, play and exploration in coffee, hospitality, design and business

The Portafilterland Statement of Intent


Portafilterland Is For Lovers... I Mean For Fun.

Portafilterland exists to share stories and pictures, and to bring value to those interested in specialty coffee. Coffee is our excuse to be hospitable, to talk and share and grow together with those we interact with in our worlds.

The point of Portafilterland is to have consistently interesting, useful and beautiful content that will add value to that specific little niche of our world. Posts will come out fourteen times per day. Oh wait, that's not right... I WANT to say there will be tons of content because I WANT to dive right in and I think there's a lot to share but I also have a startup, a job, a 7-month old boy, a wife, family, friends...

Keeping in mind that Portafilterland is FOR FUN for you and me will help guide what happens here. Posts will be launched at least one time each week on Mondays. Our social media (@portaftilerland) will have daily content along the same lines of the blog and maybe even some giveaways now and then. If you're not having fun, that's okay - no hard feelings. If you are having fun, or think you know someone who might enjoy this, please let them know about us!

Winter Content

The categories and schedule for content are coming together on paper. I find a pen + paper to be the most viable tool for taking the myriad of things bouncing around in my brain and getting them into any sort of cohesive structure. Some of the topics Portafilterland will cover in the next few months are:

  • Cafe Stories: Why do we exist and why are our cafes worth a visit?

  • Cafe Layout + Design: What is good, beautiful or unique cafe design?

  • Company Culture: How can we design and maintain a genuine and healthy place to work where people want to spend their precious time working for us?

  • Hospitality + Customer Experience: How do we develop and maintain company cultures which encourage people over product while still honoring quality at its peak?

  • Coffee Equipment + Tech: How do we make our espresso machine work better for longer or make them more unique?

  • Coffee + Coffee Products: What are some good coffees and products in the world right now?

  • Branding + Design: How do we consistently and interestingly tell the story of our coffee to the world?

Head on over to the Portafilterland Instagram for daily pictures, the Facebook page or Twitter to engage on the regular.

A Little Background

My story has taken me through a few different avenues.

I'm the son of a creative and an architect/entrepreneur. If I didn't receive my dad's enterprising spirit, I would most likely be an architect today. For better or worse, I am not currently an architect designing beautiful, affordable, sustainable and intelligent homes.

Like a lot of people who have been in coffee for a decade or more, I fell into the coffee world by chance and stayed for the coffee and the people. Coffee would be the catalyst to falling in love with most of what I now hold dear. My first coffee job led me from barista, to bike shops, to bike racing, to bicycle framebuilding, back to barista and then into the tech and service side of coffee.

Removing a lot of detail, I am now putting to rest my second business: a could-have-been-successful-but-still-would-have-been-burdensome coffee tech business. Like so much more in life, this story is so much more complicated but that is for another time. If you'd really like to hear about it, let's grab coffee sometime soon.

Right now I am a part of a coffee startup called Freight Forward Coffee. I won't plug Freight too much on here - that's not the point!

The point is that Portafilterland was created to be a place for us to escape, play and explore. If we aren't building relationships, having some fun, learning more, and ultimately doing something that adds something to peoples lives, what are we doing?

Let's be creative and engaging and share our love for people and coffee and everything in between.

A few fun facts about me:

  • My first taste of coffee was a memorable moment at a hotel continental breakfast which kept me from coffee until I was in high school (hotel roast is the best roast)

  • I wanted to be an FBI Agent when I was five, a car designer when I was ten, [some kind of] engineer when I was fifteen, a coffee shop owner when I was twenty, a bicycle framebuilder when I was twenty-five and a person adding value while doing something interesting when I was thirty (maybe I'll be an FBI agent)

  • When I was a kid, I thought the nickname "Ben the Pen" was the most ferocious thing ever (don't ever call me that)

  • There are two buildings that were built that my brother and I did the CAD drawings for when we were in our teens (maybe I should have been an architect)

  • My wife, Katie, and I are what is affectionately known as a "House Blend" at Peet's where we met - two Peetniks who fall in love (crushtomers are real)

  • My boy Clyde has fancy tastes. While his dad will gladly eat boxed mac n cheese, Clyde did not like his first taste of baby food but loved his first taste of espresso (unattended children will be given espresso and they will LOVE it)

  • I went to college for almost two years and have little more than one term's worth of credits to show for it (I was good at college)

  • Every January since I was 25, I STILL re-apply for FAFSA just in case I go crazy, drop everything and go back to school that year (I'll probably apply every year until I know I'm making too much to get any financial aid)

  • I bashfully watch car videos on YouTube when I'm alone (I really want to be starting a YouTube channel where I drive around pretty places with my family in beautiful cars but somehow that didn't seem viable).

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