Rising Star Brandon Smyth of Water Avenue Coffee Company - Biography

Portland, OR

November 2011

Coffee Roaster Brandon Smyth took the caffeine smarts he learned from the ultimate Portland coffee powerhouse Stumptown and turned them into a small roaster business packed with creative flavor profiles and a refreshing lack of self congratulation.

Smyth grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, and while he graduated with a degree in design from The Art Institute of Seattle, he caught the coffee bug early in life. In 1995, Smyth first learned the ways of the roastery at Allann Bros, whose beaneries are spread throughout Oregon. Two years later, a twist of fate would cross his path with his current business partner Matt Milletto’s at Interzone Café, a pioneer in single origin pour-over brews (before pour-over was staple vocab for most American coffee drinkers).

In 1999, Smyth moved on as manager of the Coffee Annex of Royal Coffee, where he introduced off-beat varieties to his customers. Later, at Stumptown, he graduated from filling bags with roasted coffee to roasting the beans themselves. When he finally decided to pack it all in, buy a vintage roaster from Switzerland, and open Water Avenue Coffee with Matt and Bruce Milletto in 2010, Smyth not only brought with him seven years of experience at the Portland coffee institution, but a deep thirst for the trade that has become his career.