David C. Schomer
|Born||1956 (age 62–63)|
|Occupation||USAF electronics technician, Boeing meteorologist, coffee roaster|
|Years active||Since 1988|
|Known for||Latte art, cafe entrepreneur|
|Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques|
|Spouse(s)||Geneva Sullivan (~1986/1988–September 9, 2008)|
David Schomer is a co-founder of Espresso Vivace. Schomer became known within the coffee industry for his innovations, such as how he customizes his grinders and espresso machines to achieve a more constant water temperature, which ultimately leads to a quality cup of coffee. The Seattle Times said “Schomer is as influential in the gourmet coffee world as Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is in the mainstream coffee industry.” His methods have influenced latte making at Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters, New York’s Ninth Street Espresso, and Los Angeles’ Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea. Ninth Street’s Kenneth Nye said Schomer’s work developing his techniques, “was light-years ahead of the conversation at the time”. Schomer thought that when he opened Vivace in 1988, he had “missed the peak” of the espresso explosion, when in fact his scientific exploration of extraction methods was not happening elsewhere.
Besides training hundreds of baristas who went on to influence coffee shops across the country, Schomer self published a book on espresso techniques in 1994, while also writing columns for Café Ole magazine in the 1990s. Mark Pendergrast said that Schomer inherited the title of “world’s most passionate espresso engineer” upon the death of Italian food chemist Ernesto Illy in 2008. Schomer’s 1996 Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques has been described as “the industry bible”.
Schomer credits Espresso Vivace‘s survival in a competitive market to his own “absolute fidelity” to the goal of “making a better cup”, along with the equally important business skills of Sullivan in managing costs, maintaining the books and tax records, and avoiding the financial pitfalls that often plague small business entrepreneurs. Espresso Vivaces’s first incarnation was a coffee cart at 5th and Union, serving mainly financial industry workers, whom Schomer says did not consistently frequent the same cafes or pay close attention to quality.
- Bonné, Jon (May 9, 2003). “Meet espresso’s exacting master — Food Inc”. NBC News, MSNBC. Archived from the original on July 30, 2016.
- Washington State Divorce Indexes, 1969-2014, Olympia, Washington: Washington State Archives
- Romano, Tricia (October 22, 2015), “Vivace’s David Schomer — not Starbucks — ‘made coffee huge in Seattle‘“, The Seattle Times
- Geiger, Grace (December 31, 2009), “Seattle Coffee Guide: The Personalities; The people behind Seattle’s coffee culture”, Seattle Magazine, archived from the original on October 30, 2013
- BW Smallbiz Gurus (Winter 2007). “Higher Grounds”. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved November 27, 2011.
- Pendergrast, Mark, Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, p. 360
- Schwaner, Oliver (2008-12-09). “Brewing Up Gifts for Coffee Lovers”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-05.
- Tricia Romano (October 22, 2015), Vivace’s David Schomer — not Starbucks — ‘made coffee huge in Seattle’
- Richardson, John; Gilmartin, Hugh (December 17, 2015), Wake Up and Sell More Coffee: Fresh Ways to Make Money from Your Coffee Business, Little, Brown Book Group, pp. 131–135, ISBN 9781472135971
- Media related to David Schomer at Wikimedia Commons
- The Culinary Art of Coffee, David Schomer, TEDx Seattle