Florida native Matthew Lee believes in signs. "The morning I walked in Case Study Coffee, I knew it was a place I wanted to be," he says, and adds that the months he worked with us were "Amazing. It's been my best experience with coworkers ever."
A roamer at heart, Matthew entered the coffee world through the frappuccino door, as so many of us did. "Honestly? I just needed an easy job, and Barney's Coffee & Tea down the road was hiring. I didn't care about coffee, but over the next few months I did build a foundation of coffee skills." Barney's transitioned to CoffeeKitchen and brought in Ultimate Barista Challenge winner James Duncan to train the top employees. Matthew says, "James taught me how to use a manual machine, and the inside workings of coffee and espresso. I attribute much of my coffee passion to him."
Several cafe jobs later, Matthew moved to Glacier and then (on a whim) to Seattle, where he joined the Cafe Fonte staff. After another short-lived stay in Florida, he made his way to the City of Roses to try his luck here. We accepted him happily.
Matthew anchored both the Sandy and Downtown stores with a ready smile and quick hand. His favorite drink to make is traditional cappuccinos, he says. Outside of work Matthew loves to hike (in fact, he's planning a long hiking trip in Alaska next summer), and is passionate about putting words on paper.
Which leads to the sad truth: Matthew is leaving us, on the best of terms. He's taken the 30-hour train ride south and on to sunny Florida where he intends to focus on building family ties and, finally, giving his fiction and poetry the attention it deserves. We wish him the best in every endeavor, thank him for sharing almost a year with us, and look forward to seeing his face again very soon.