Interview with Matt Toomey
Anyone can throw water on coffee and call it coffee. But for Matt Toomey, owner and roaster at Boomtown Coffee, he likes to pay attention to the variables that make coffee special and sing. That is why he dedicated his career to learn the coffee craftsmanship — the application of professional skill and manual precision — at all stages of production from farm to cup.
Last Friday, I interviewed Matt to learn about his professional journey in the coffee industry and received a Chemex slow-brew method demonstration.
Matt’s passion for coffee developed in college while he attended the University of St. Thomas. Matt worked at a nearby coffee shop where he embraced the connection of coffee with art, good food, and community. He noticed coffee was a common bond people could relate to because it weaved into their daily lives. This led Matt to pursue hands-on managerial and operations experience by working at various Houston cafes.
As Matt’s career evolved, his interests shifted to roasting coffee and learning how beans were sourced. This curiosity led Matt to a local coffee roaster who learned the craft from the coffee master, Alfred Peet, who inspired Starbucks. Shortly after, Matt joined the local roasting company where Matt was able to learn the other side of the coffee business. And through the gradual progression of his journey, Matt branched off to open Boomtown Coffee in 2012.
As Matt progressed in the coffee business, Matt Toomey and his wife, Anna-Marie Nagel obtained their Q Graders certifications in 2016. Q Grade certification is like being sommelier but for coffee. Only a handful of certified Q Grader professionals exist in Houston with a little over 4,000 in the world. The certification is useful for purchasing coffee, selecting roast profiles and production/processing methods, understanding coffee origins, and more. Q graders are also capable of analyzing coffee through smell and taste called “cupping”.
During my behind the scenes Boomtown Coffee tour, Matt showed me an on-site cupping session for a potential client as well as the operations floor. At every part of Boomtown Coffee, you can see Matt’s passion and vision for his craft.
See for yourself in my Boomtown Coffee interview with Matt Toomey.
What’s new for Boomtown Coffee?
What’s new for Boomtown Coffee? Plans are in the works to expand Boomtown Coffee’s operations facility into a coffee education center. Boomtown Coffee will offer beginner to advanced level classes for industry professionals and coffee enthusiasts. I’m super excited about this news because I’ve always wanted to learn about the various coffee brewing techniques and how to make latte art.
Another fresh offering Matt Toomey is bringing to Houston in 2018 is the Modbar coffee brewing system. A Modbar allows baristas a way to provide clients with an immersive coffee experience. Once I taste and see what this unique coffee experience is all about, I will share the details on the blog!
For now, take a peek at the Chemex slow brew demonstration with Matt Toomey.
Taste & See for Yourself
Taste and See Life friends, you can enjoy Boomtown Coffee in the Heights, at their sister location, The Honeymoon Cafe, or at any of the Boomtown Coffee retailers. Order a latte and admire the flavors behind the grind.
If you’re looking for a creative gift idea for a coffee connoisseur, give them a Boomtown Coffee gift subscription or coffee bundle for small-batch roasted coffee. And for corporate events or pop-ups, Boomtown Coffee offers catering services too!
Thank you, Matt Toomey, for sharing your professional journey into Houston’s craft coffee culture with Taste and See Life. It was a pleasure visiting your coffee roasting facility and learning about your new coffee training program.
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