Best Barista

Coffee is something college students take very seriously. It is what gets us up every morning to go to that 8 a.m. class when we could be sleeping in, and what sustains us during the grueling evil that is finals week.

Tyson Feasel, owner of Café Moro, seems to have brewing coffee seeped into his bones. He has been making coffee for nearly 19 years and it shows in both the quality of the drinks he creates and the showmanship through which he produces them. He is recognized by the Pullman community for his skills in brewing an excellent cup of joe.

Feasel got his first start working at Caffé Vita in Seattle when he was in college and worked there for about a year and a half. He said he was very lucky to get that job, since the first coffee job is very difficult because you have no experience and need someone to be willing to take the time to train you.

Feasel said he always worked coffee, even when he didn’t know what he wanted to do while in college. He went from being in pre-dentistry to studying genetics, considered flight school and so many other options. Coffee was the only real constant.

He said that by the time he was able to purchase Café Moro from its previous owners he had been working coffee for more than 10 years.

The transition from a larger city to a smaller college town wasn’t much of an issue, Feasel said.

“A lot of it is the same actually, though Pullman wakes up a little later than Seattle,” Feasel said. “The old place we would be in there quite a bit earlier and there would be people standing at the door at 5 a.m. waiting for us to open.”

Feasel said the slower pace helps to contribute to getting to know people better. He said that he can almost always spark up a conversation with patrons and ask how their lives are going.

He also mentioned that being in a college town and meeting so many new people can be a bit daunting.

“The biggest benefit is also it biggest con,” Feasel said. “You get to meet so many interesting people but then they graduate and go home and get a job, so that is the turnover.”

Niki Marie Tuhy, a barista at Café Moro, said that being at the café doesn’t feel like work but more like she is getting to hang out with people all day and that the atmosphere is very vibrant and friendly.

“My favorite part would have to be being creative when I get to make drinks,” Tuhy said. “Like when people come in and say this is what I like and this is what I don’t like, make me something good, and I do.”

Tuhy said that working at the café and being in that kind of open and conversational atmosphere has made her want to consider a future in bartending, where she can continue to surprise people with drinks they will enjoy and create friendships with patrons.

Feasel said he tries to keep in touch with people who worked at his café and even keeps some thesis papers as a souvenir from their time working at the café.