Zakiya Mason has been a coffee professional for more than 12 years and has had the opportunity to work for a few of Los Angeles’ most renowned coffee companies. She spent years as a barista at Handsome Coffee Roasters and Cognoscenti Coffee, and she managed all things coffee at Go Get Em Tiger, including green buying, quality control and menu development.
A former dancer and digital animator, Zakiya still practices her love for art with traditional and digital illustrations and anatomical studies. After graduating from the University of Southern California and working as a freelance animator, she sought out her first job as a barista so she could get away from a screen and connect with people in her neighborhood. While making art will always be a necessary creative outlet, her favorite thing about a delicious coffee is the relationships built while sharing it.
Currently based in Los Angeles, Zakiya will join the Neumann Gruppe USA team in Hoboken, N.J.
First concert? Al Greene!
A random fact about you is: I love animation, and I’ve made a short animated film that was accepted into a small film festival in Los Angeles.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a dancer in either Dance Theatre of Harlem or the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Your best coffee memory? My first trip the Santa Barbara mountains in Honduras was life changing. I had incredible hosts at Beneficio San Vicente who introduced me to the culture — food, traditions, coffee and producers — in a way that still inspires me.