Alex Spampinato

For me proper coffee started about 12 years ago when a guy opened a café in my little nothing hometown in the middle of the desert known as Phelan, California. I started hanging out there a lot and he trained me up and showed me that this is what good coffee is supposed to taste like.

I trained myself for 6 years after leaving home, bouncing around as visas would allow, working in a café in York before opening a shop with my wife near Nottingham that used 200 Degrees beans. Then my wife and I one day walked past their coffee shop in Nottingham and I said ‘Where did this place come from?”. I saw the "Roasted On" date on the bags in the window and I thought ‘this place is gonna be pretty good’. I went in, tried the coffee and I really liked it, and I said ‘If these guys keep doing what they’re doing they are going to do very, very, very well”.

So I got hold of Tim to see if there was any work available, and I joined 200 Degrees as a barista the following month.

For me what’s important is the commitment to quality and striving to meet that standard in every aspect of the company, not just coffee but customer service and food, pushing all the way from the roaster to the café. We don’t cut corners and we're not snobby or presumptuous in any way. It’s important that we don’t belittle the customer if they don’t know everything the first time they walk in, there’s too much of that going on, we should be here to help them learn to enjoy coffee.