Morgan Eckroth spends her workday making coffee art, and her free time posting it online. With over 530,000 followers on social platforms, Eckroth has started building her brand on TikTok while studying marketing.
Eckroth is going into her fourth year at Oregon State University and has been working at Tried and True Coffee since spring term of her first year. She is currently the social media manager for Tried and True, and has learned many of her media marketing tools from her personal profile’s success.
“Like everyone else, I downloaded TikTok ironically and just watched content,” Eckroth said. “I made a few random videos of me doing everyday things that started getting big, and that’s when I started uploading coffee content.”
Before TikTok, Eckroth mostly did coffee-art photography on Instagram. Once she became recognized on both platforms, she used videos of herself creating coffee art to build her account.
“It was cool to be a trailblazer, because there weren’t a lot of coffee videos on that platform yet,” Eckroth said.
Since working at Tried and True, Eckroth has won multiple latte-art competitions, called “throwdowns,” and has competed in United States Barista Championships. She first learned how to make basic latte art during her barista training at Tried and True.
“Latte art speaks so many layers into a baristas abilities,” Ann Schneider, owner of Tried and True Coffee, said via email. “From understanding milk texture and its marriage with espresso, the concept of milk temperature and the role it plays, to the final display that shows the barista’s skill level. It’s a sign that we take what we do seriously and are continually striving to give our customers our personal best.”
Schneider described Eckroth’s work ethic as ambitious, diligent, goofy and high-caliber. “People are drawn to Morgan because she is genuine and an all-around good person. Who you see online is who she is in real life.”
Lorelei Booher, Eckroth’s manager at Tried and True, has been working alongside her for almost three years. Booher describes Eckroth as driven and precise.
“When she wants to achieve something, she does it. I've seen her go after so many things in the time that I've known her, and I'm so proud of her drive and ambition,” Booher said via email. “She is incredibly humble and aware of those around her, and makes sure that her friends and coworkers feel seen and loved, whether she's on or off shift.”
Eckroth saw her first throwdown shortly after starting at Tried and True when the shop hosted a competition. After realizing it was something she wanted to do, she went to a throwdown in Portland and earned 4th place. Recently, she has been doing more behind-the-scenes work judging for throwdowns, and has set a focus on the U.S. Barista Championships.
U.S. Barista Championships are based around 15 minute presentations that include three rounds of coffee drinks served by each barista. Presentations can have themes regarding any topic.
Eckroth wants to stay in the specialty coffee industry for a bit after graduation, but hopes to move to marketing in the coffee industry later on. Working on the creative side of social and digital media is very important to her, and she has developed her online presence by making a brand for herself via photography and videography. Eckroth is currently learning graphic design outside of OSU with the help of a friend from high school. The two are working together to develop a merchandise line for her brand.