Self-Pourtraits Series | A Day in the Life of a Production Technician


Have you ever taken a sip of coffee and wondered how many people contributed to the quality and delicious flavor of your favorite brew? From seed to cup, the number of passionate individuals helping to create each cup of Caribou Coffee are numerous. Today we are highlighting two of the Production Technicians that work in our coffee roastery – Maria and Tyler. 

At Caribou Coffee, our purpose of creating day-making experiences that spark a chain reaction of good is supported by our core values. Maria, for example, embodies what it means to Serve with Love. She smiles brightly as she shows off her National Parks t-shirt and tells us she feels most at home when she is outside enjoying nature and loves going to visit different National Parks when she has time off. Maria describes herself as a positive, happy person and a very busy mom of two adorable children. She has worked in coffee production for over a year and a half (and counting)!

Tyler sets a great example of what it means to Be Yourself at Caribou Coffee. He sips black coffee from his favorite cat-themed mug while he shares his career journey with us. He has worked for Caribou Coffee a total of twelve years, with the first three years working in stores as a barista and nine years roasting coffee on the Production Team. Outside of work he’s a husband and proud cat dad who collects vinyl records and cassette tapes when he’s not gaming on the PC. 

We asked them both to share more about their unique experiences as part of our Coffee Production Team. Here’s what they had to say:

maria holding cup of coffee
Maria brings joy and meticulous care to every batch of Caribou Coffee.

How did you decide to enter this field?

Maria: Honestly, I didn’t really plan to enter this field, but I was interested to try something new and thought this would be a good opportunity to learn. I’m happy I decided to make the change.

Tyler: I fell in love with roasting coffee the first time I was able to try it. When I noticed a position was available in production, I went for it right away and within a year I had become a Production Roaster. I love roasting coffee so much I even built my own equipment to experiment with roasting at home!

What is your favorite part of your job?

Maria: I like the satisfaction of ending the day knowing that we make great quality bags of coffee. My coworkers and the working environment are great too.

Tyler: Roasting coffee! Being able to experience and watch coffee develop from the raw green beans into the delicious roasted coffee we serve – there’s just something magical about it! Coffee roasting is an art.

What skills are most important for somebody in your role?

Maria: It’s important to be very detailed and be able to communicate well with the team. It takes practice to learn the machines. The ability to have patience and stay calm under pressure is very important as well. 

Tyler: We need the ability to pay close attention to detail for long periods of time.  In my position I’ve learned how to run all the coffee roasting machines. I get to do some quality assurance and compare today’s roast with yesterday’s roast – what we call cupping – or tasting the coffee and making sure the flavor is consistent and meeting the high-quality standards.

tyler holding cup of coffee
From crafting the perfect espresso as a barista to mastering the roast as a technician, Tyler’s 12-year journey with Caribou Coffee is steeped in passion.

What are the rewards that you get from your job? What gives you the most satisfaction?

Maria: It’s really awesome to be recognized, and Caribou is good at telling us that we are doing good work. I like knowing that at the end of the day the team finished the coffee with great quality.

Tyler: Free coffee! And getting paid to do something I love. I look forward to coming to work.

What recommendations would you have for somebody looking for a job in this field?

Maria: Just go for it. That was me – I just went for it and decided to try something new. I like it a lot and would say that it’s easy to fit in on the team.

Tyler: Be passionate about coffee because you will spend a lot of time with it. Start tasting coffee. Really taste and think about the coffee you are drinking and have patience because there’s a lot to learn. I’m still learning things even after 9 years!

Thank you for joining us as we explore a day in the life of two of the many wonderful individuals that help bring Caribou Coffee to the world, one delicious bag at a time. Whether you’re considering a new career path, or just looking to expand your coffee knowledge, there is no better place to start than getting to know the passion and experience of our production team.