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Paul Schlader is a co-founder and owner of Birch Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster and stores in New York City.  Paul fell in love with specialty coffee at a convention in D.C. and never looked back. In 2009 he partnered with his friend, Jeremy Lyman, to create the Birch brand.  Before the 2020 pandemic, Birch had 13 stores around NYC.  Paul is a coffee roaster as well as a certified Q Grader, which gives him the qualification to grade coffees based on a specific set of standards. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur Paul worked in the food and beverage industry. He graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and majored in theater.


  • What sets Birch Coffee apart from other coffee shops (2:05)
  • How Paul and Jared first got into the coffee industry (4:18)
  • What defines a “specialty” coffee (6:54/8:14)
  • What goes into the coffee roasting process (10:12)
  • What it takes to become a Q Grader (13:17)
  • How/why the coffee industry needs to change (18:34)
  • How Birch Coffee was able to adapt during the pandemic, and how it’s continuing to evolve (26:43)
  • Why it’s important to be able to pivot in your career and in life (30:20)

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