In December, I did a post about Mistobox.com – an amazing coffee subscription service I’ve been using for the past year. I love Mistobox, and I asked one of the founders, Samantha Meis, if I could interview her, and she agreed. Yay! She is really nice and down-to-earth. It was so much fun talking with her. Below is the very first in a series of Q&As annelovescoffeemore.com will do with people who are rocking the coffee industry.
Q: When did you first discover coffee?
A: When I was in college during late-night study sessions. Back then, the coffee I was drinking was not great coffee — I was mostly drinking it for the caffeine. That is until I discovered Cartel Coffee, my first experience with specialty coffee during my final year of college.
Q: How did you end up starting Mistobox.com?
A: In 2012, my business partner, Connor Riley, and I started MistoBox as a school project in our final year of college at the University of Arizona. We knew we wanted to start a subscription-based business, and we thought coffee would be a good product for that model. It’s never easy starting your first company. We had very little business experience and no experience in the coffee industry. To be perfectly honest, back then, we didn’t even know much about coffee in general. As a result, it was difficult finding quality roasters who were willing to take a chance on us in the beginning. We hit a turning point when we appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank and hired coffee expert Seth Mills as our Director of Coffee. Once those pieces were in place, the best roasters in the industry started taking us more seriously. Now we have the luxury of carrying beans from only amazing, award-winning roasters.
Q: What are some of your favorite cities for coffee in the U.S.? And what are one or two coffee shops you like to frequent when you are visiting those places?
A: I’m fortunate enough to live in San Francisco, my all-time favorite coffee city. I particularly love going to Equator, Sightglass, and Four Barrel shops. Love also love visiting Portland, Los Angeles, and Seattle. In Portland, I like Coava Coffee. In Los Angeles, I like Verve, and in Seattle, Caffe Ladro is great. Although I might be biased to the roasters we work with.
Q: Where do you plan to go on your next vacation?
A: In March, I am going to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru followed by a week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Q: Any coffee places you are looking forward to checking out on that trip?
A: I haven’t had the chance to scope out my coffee destinations yet. I sometimes find it difficult to find coffee shops in other countries that serve coffee with the same quality I’m used to in San Francisco. I am hoping I’ll find one or two good ones on this trip, though.
Q: How do you brew your coffee?
A: Chemex. Unbleached filters.
Q: What is your favorite thing to eat with your coffee?
A: Blueberry scone. And I like them best with Ethiopian coffees that have been naturally processed because they often have complimentary blueberry notes.
Q: What is one items of clothing you love?
A: I have a very minimalist wardrobe. I’m lucky to live in a casual city where I can wear the same things at home, work, and out socializing. My go to outfit is jeans and a simple sweater with white Converse. As you can see from the photo, they are the item of clothing I love.
Q: What is the one thing that you feel has had the biggest impact on your success?
A: I think it was going on Shark Tank. Not because we got a deal – though that was huge – but because we were able to survive such a truly high-stress experience – pitching to 5 incredibly successful and sometimes ruthless investors in front of 7 million viewers. I can confidently say that I will never fear any public speaking or investor pitch after that experience. Facing your fear is incredibly empowering.
City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.