Five questions for….Bernie Diveley, Barista at Coffee Division

Note: “Five Questions for…” is a new article series, consisting of short Q&As to help you get to know the people who work in and around coffee. I send the person ten questions, and he or she gets to pick five to answer (in this case, Diveley chose to answer more than five). Some will be in Portland, others elsewhere. Responses may be edited for grammar, clarity and, if necessary, brevity.

Bernie Diveley works as a barista at Coffee Division, the flagship café for 5 Points Coffee Roasters, at SE Division and 35th Place. Coffee Division is one of my regular stops in Southeast PDX (I wrote about half of my book there). A burgeoning coffee enthusiast, Diveley always seems to have a smile on his face to greet customers. He doesn’t seem to mind answering my coffee questions, and once helped me out by loaning me a coffee documentary on DVD. Originally from Los Angeles, Diveley first came to Portland in 2007.Diveley in action

How did you get into coffee?

When I moved to Portland I quickly realized how much coffee was a part of this city.  I got hired at Peet's on Hawthorne and after having my first natural processed Ethiopian my view of coffee completely changed.  I then worked at Lone Pine Coffee Roasters in Bend for a couple years and I was really able to work on my skills as a barista.

What is your most memorable coffee experience?

My first tasting note when cupping. Snickers!

Who are your biggest influences in coffee?

Duane Sorenson, Geoff Watts, Peter Giuliano, James Hoffman, James Freeman, Paul Katzeff, Michael Phillips and Tom Owens.

What is your specialty as a barista?

My specialty as a barista is remembering to give thanks before pulling a shot or steaming milk. I realize that I'm at the end of a long chain and I know a lot of work went into that chain.  There's a lot to be thankful for when making a drink. The fruit itself, the farmers, the cows, all the harvesting, processing and shipping, the machines, the water, my health. And I respect the customers time and the money they give for a memorable coffee experience.

What do you do when you’re not serving coffee?


What’s your hidden superpower that few people know about?

I do pull ups, push ups and sit ups everyday.  SSHHH...

Where did your last best shot come from (other than at your own shop)?

Flight of Heart espresso from Either/Or (in Sellwood).

What’s the best beer in Portland?

Laurelwood.  Free Range Red – Malty, or Workhorse IPA  - Hoppy

What’s your dream job?

Drummer in a jazz band, like Mel Brown.

And the result