Confession: Before October, I (Lauren) had never listened to a podcast. They honestly intimidated me, and even more honestly, I didn’t know how to access them because I am seriously becoming my mom when it comes to technology… However, I had to get my act together, because a DC coffee podcast was in the works. I eased my way in by first listening to Serial (if anyone is still wanting to talk about it three years later, hit me up). I soon followed with episodes of The Coffee Podcast, 51 First Dates, and Pod Save America. Now, with several podcasts under my belt and a better understanding of the medium, I feel as though I am aptly prepared to fully appreciate Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast.
Drip is the creation of coffee enthusiast Austen Brower. Austen reached out to us over the summer, expressing interest in conducting an interview for the pod. I met up with him at The Cove in Columbia Heights, nervous and not really knowing what to expect. My first impression was that he is a genuinely nice guy, evidenced by the fact that he offered to drink the decaf cup of coffee I accidentally brewed in the keurig (and they say chivalry is dead). My second impression was that this guy is really energized about coffee and the connection that comes with it.
Austen grew up around coffee – particularly on his father’s side – but it wasn’t until he entered AmeriCorps that he really found himself interested. His service had him teaching in Kansas City, MO, and the local coffee scene “became sort of [his] refuge.” A few of his favorites shops include Thou Mayest, Opera House, and Roasterie. Upon returning to DC where the coffee scene was exploding, Austen was looking for a way to make money while completing an internship, and so he began working as a barista at La Colombe Chinatown (where he still picks up the occasional weekend shift).
Why a podcast? Austen jokes that it’s because he’s horrible at writing, but the truth of it is that he really enjoys talking to people. A fan of podcasts himself, he received a microphone for Christmas last year, and things have been coming together ever since. Informational interviews with Commonwealth Joe and Wydown helped set the stage for his style and questions he wanted to ask, and he enlisted friends to help him with the production side of things. His music comes from local band Broke Royals (their self-titled album drops later this month). His editor is Steve Stewart, creative direction provided by Wesley Stukenbroeker, and Rebecca Silverstein designed the artwork.
The goal of Drip is simple: to brew community. Austen’s favorite aspect of the DC coffee scene is the people – people with incredible passions and incredible stories. He hopes his audience comes away with a deeper understanding of coffee and inspiration to follow their own dreams. In his first three episodes, he talks the relationship between roasters and baristas with Charles and Matt from Qualia, Chris Vigilante’s journey from small roaster in Hawaii to coffee virtuoso in the DMV, and I think I just might be in there somewhere…
Drip: A DC Coffee Podcast is available now on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher! Be sure to tune in and share with your caffeine-addicted friends! Additional episodes will be coming every other week, the first season comprising around one dozen episodes.
Who else is stoked to be celebrating DC coffee in this fresh, new way?!