Newaukeean of the Week

Christian Ott

A Director of "Coffee Education" learns the city isn't dangerous.

By - Mar 25th, 2013 03:02 pm
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Christian Ott

Christian Ott

How long have you lived in Milwaukee and why did you choose to move here?  
I moved to Milwaukee in 2008 for Post-Graduate work on a master’s degree in philosophy (insert liberal arts meets coffee job joke).  It was never my intention to stay here for the long term – I had this early conception of Milwaukee as a large and dangerous city (from my days growing up about an hour to the north); that changed after living here for about a month.  There are so many different neighborhoods for someone new to explore – and, in reality, this city is not so big that you get lost.  There are so many things to do and see that it took hold of me.  I also ended up working with a great company (Stone Creek Coffee Roasters), and there’s nothing better than looking forward to going into work everyday

What about Milwaukee makes it a city you want to work and play? 

I love the different neighborhoods in Milwaukee – it always makes me want to go and explore.  If I’m craving awesome food, I tend to head over to the Walker’s Point.  If I’m meeting friends out, I’m usually down in Bay View grabbing a craft beer.  And I wander into places like West Allis, Wauwatosa, Greenfield, and so forth when I’m looking for something a little different – and often leave having some awesome food.  There is just such a rich culture of neighborhoods that it just makes someone want to go out and be part of it.  Look at all of the neighborhood festivals – it’s an awesome thing.

What is your favorite Milwaukee event?
I’m a sucker for music events.  Summerfest comes to mind first – the dynamic of city almost changes for that week.  Tourists in, people are out and about, the city comes alive.  The music is good too.  Also, when you realize how much awesome culture is around – we have so many great venues to see live music and have interesting performers come to this city.  It’s a huge opportunity that is often overlooked.  I am often asking myself “Why don’t I get out to see more shows?”

What is one thing about Milwaukee you’d like to see change?  
I am a fan of cities that have a well-developed system of public transportation.  I see many Milwaukee people too reliant on their own cars.  For me, it is not just an ecological thing, but also a community thing.  If you’re battling traffic on the highway, odds are you’re in a position against someone versus traveling with other people.  It’s less stressful.  It’s reliable.  Moreover, it would give people an easier ability to be out and to explore if they can quickly and efficiently hop on a rail to another part of town.

What do you do?  
My official title is Director of Coffee and Coffee Education.  It sounds really formal – but in truth, I’m just a coffee slinging barista and coffee geek who gets to do a few more things on the side (at least that’s how I see it).  I have the opportunity to work with amazing coffee, visit origin countries, develop roast profiles, create awesome products, and help develop coffee culture with my coworkers.

  • Laura Gramann

    Laura Gramann

    "Milwaukee is walkable, which allows for heads to turn up and gaze at a plethora of structures donning beautiful architecture."

  • Alex Lasry

    Alex Lasry

    "Marc, Wes, Jamie and the Bucks are determined to help rejuvenate the city."

  • Maurice Thomas

    Maurice Thomas

    "I believe we can change the life outcomes for students in our community..."

  • Sarah Dollhausen

    I have struggled over the years to stay in Milwaukee. With the line of work I am in (youth and community work, running a nonprofit) there are many times I feel hopeless and overwhelmed with the issues we face; unemployment, lack of opportunities for youth, #1 segregated/institutionalized racism, and wanting to explore other opportunities but at the end of the day, this is my home and Milwaukee needs invested individuals to stay here to work through the issues we face.

    "Milwaukee needs invested individuals to stay here to work through the issues we face."

  • Lizzi Weasler

    Kickstart my heart to Harley Davidson Fest... Seeing all of Milwaukee turn into a sea of leather fringe and bedazzled back pocket jeans warms any fashion girl’s heart.

    "The best bonus of Harley Fest is being sung to sleep by thousands of motorcycles revving their engines throughout the streets of good ol’ Miltown."

  • Jonathan Brostoff

    Without a doubt, some big investors are betting on Milwaukee's future, and as a resident of this city, I naturally think they're very wise to do so and would encourage more to follow suit. This sort of growth can have very positive effects on our community, so long as we’re planning in a way that enhances the city as a whole.

    "Without a doubt, some big investors are betting on Milwaukee’s future..."

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