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Keeping the coffee and tea world abuzz
Keeping the coffee and tea world abuzz

Writing and editing is Julie Beals' cup of tea. It's her cup of coffee, too. Named editor of Fresh Cup magazine in March 2005, Beals '96, MS '99 guides the 14-year-old Portland-based trade publication to offer readers the latest in everything about coffee and tea, from farm trends to cash-flow management, third-world markets to cutting-edge espresso equipment, "everything from the chemistry of coffee to its history," says Beals.

"It's devoted to making coffee and tea retailers successful," she explains, adding that coffee and tea afficionados also enjoy the monthly magazine.

Current trends? "There's a big upsurge in the Carolinas right now: It's the new hot-spot for specialty coffee. But the Northwest is by no means saturated."

Thoughts on Starbuck's? "They have educated the market. People know what a latte and a cappuccino are."

Beals, 33, was born in Omaha, Nebraska, spent part of her childhood in a small Colorado town "twice the elevation of Denver," then moved back to Nebraska for high school where she was editor of her school paper. At 18, she felt a strong pull westward, and moved to Portland, where she had previously visited a friend. "It seems strange, but ever since the third grade, when Mount St. Helen's erupted, I thought, 'Wow, I really need to go check that out.' So I got on the train."

Enrolled at PSU while working for in-flight magazine publisher Skies America, Beals fell in love with political science, "a very valuable degree for critical thinking and writing. I loved the department. The professors were incredibly accessible . . . people with doctorates from Columbia University, Brown . . . people who had been advisers to the White House. It was wonderful to hear their firsthand experiences," Beals recalls.

"Julie's a fireball," says friend and co-worker David Drouin, art director at Fresh Cup. "She doesn't do things half-way, and when she finally makes a decision she goes for it with everything she has, and with grace. Whatever she does, she'll be a success, and laugh about her mistakes along the way." –Holly Johnson