AMA: David LaMont

Today’s blog features an AMA from David LaMont. He currently works for La Marzocco and prior to that he worked for Counter Culture. David is one of the individuals who made the Atlanta coffee scene what it is today and is just an all-around good guy. So enjoy getting to know a little bit about David LaMont.

Why did you start working in coffee?   

After my wife Cathy and I moved back from a year living in Japan, I started a Masters in International Affairs program at Georgia Tech.  I would spend a lot of time studying at a coffee shop close to where we lived in Duluth called World Famous Coffee.  Right as I was realizing that I wasn’t terribly interested in statistics and regressions at Tech, I was simultaneously discovering how interesting the pursuit of great espresso could be at the café. One of the owners, Rob Tuttle, was the first person I met who was truly “into coffee” and his passion was compelling.  I fell victim to the pull of coffee’s intrigue and quit school to take a part time job at World Famous Coffee.

Tell me more about you career path in coffee?

I started working part time at World Famous Coffee in early 2004.  I was only there for a matter of months before taking a job as the manager at another café that was opening just a few miles up the road.  That café was ill-fated from the very beginning and after just a few months, I ended up leaving to help set up and run a café at a big church in South Forsyth.  I managed that shop for two years before lucking into a position at Counter Culture Coffee.  I worked there for almost 10 years before making the move over to my current position at La Marzocco.

Briefly describe your job at La Marzocco?

I am the Southeast Sales Manager for La Marzocco USA if we’re being specific.  Although I’m the salesperson for this area, you can’t necessarily call me up and buy a La Marzocco espresso machine.  We do all of our sales through resellers, which are typically coffee roasters and specialty coffee equipment companies.  My main job is to support those companies in their sales to the end user.

Who is your coffee sensei?  

I feel like I’ve had a LOT of them up to this point, and all for different aspects of the industry.  In fact, I feel a bit bad even attempting to list names for fear that I would diminish anyone’s contribution.  It would take up a lot of space to list all of my past and current coworkers and bosses, but they’re the ones who I’ve learned every worthwhile thing along the way.

What is your favorite coffee drink?  

On a regular basis, 6 or 8 ounces of drip coffee, preferably a washed coffee from Ethiopia.  When it’s hot outside, I want a shot of espresso in a few ounces of good milk over ice.  And if we’re getting really indulgent, a big ol’ milkshake, with a bunch of vanilla ice cream and a shot of espresso blended in.

What is your favorite non-coffee drink?  

Bourbon.  If I need bubbles, good cider.

What's you favorite Atlanta spot?  

Gwinnett Mall area.  I know it isn’t “in” Atlanta, but it is in “Atlanta”.   I’ve watched it change dramatically over the years, having grown up near there, and it is more amazing than ever.  I think it is a real place to experience the real future of Atlanta.

What did you want to be when you grew up?   

Specifically, I thought I wanted to be Albert Einstein.  Go figure.

What is your favorite movie?

Favorites are many—I like a lot of stupid comedy, but the movie I’ve seen that had the most impact on me in recent years was “Fog of War”, a documentary about Robert McNamara.

What do you like to do other than work for La Marzocco?  

Family time.  If I’m not working and on the road, then I’m almost certainly a home with my wife and kids.  I tend to cook a lot, garden a lot (in the spring and fall – I don’t do more than I have to in the yard in the summer), and hang out with my wife and kids, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a “hobby.”


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