Tim Hill is a legendary name in the coffee industry. If you’ve been a part of the industry for any amount of time, Tim Hill’s name will come up in conversation. At Utopian we’ve been so lucky to work directly with this legendary figure whose helped us form direct connections with some of the cooperatives and farmers who we are sourcing from season after season.
Before working as a trader for Atlantic Specialty Coffee, Tim worked for Counter Culture Coffee, one of the largest specialty coffee roasters in the United States today. Tim helped guide Counter Culture through seasons of growth and change, working from the bottom up, first packaging coffee then roasting and later developing some of the quality control metrics Counter Culture uses to this day. His notoriety has earned him multiple opportunities to work directly with some of the best coffee roasters and farmers in the world.
Through an odd series of connections, Utopian Coffee was connected with Tim, who immediately offered to help us transport coffee from Colombia and Ethiopia back to the states. Looking back it’s hard to overstate how important Tim has been to Utopian’s growth and continues to be to this day. Tim and Nick, our roaster and green buyer, regularly talk about everything coffee, ranging from coffee quality to the history of a specific coffee tree. Tim’s guidance has led Utopian to form some of our most important relationships with organizations such as Origin Coffee Lab, Sookoo Coffee, and Cari Coffee.
Ethiopia in particular can be a difficult country to source within. Historically, Ethiopia’s complex laws and regulations regarding coffee trading has made it hard to form deep and meaningful relationships that continue season after season. Lucky for us, Tim Hill has worked alongside several of the country’s most prestigious washing stations and cooperatives. What this means for us today is that our sourcing strategy in Ethiopia reflects the kind of robust partnerships that now supply us with arguably some of the best coffees coming from Ethiopia.
We’re deeply grateful for who Tim Hill is… one of kindest people in coffee.