Milwaukee coffee roaster catches heat from Bucks fans for lending espresso grinder to Jimmy Butler

NOW: Milwaukee coffee roaster catches heat from Bucks fans for lending espresso grinder to Jimmy Butler

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A local coffee roaster is getting national attention for helping out an NBA player.

It's not a Milwaukee Bucks player though.

Ryan Hoban's been brewing coffee out of his shop, Interval, on Milwaukee's lower east side for more than four years.

So naturally, when Miami Heat basketball star and Marquette University alum, Jimmy Butler, set out to find an espresso grinder to borrow during his stay in the Brew City during games one and two of the first round of the NBA playoffs, it led him to the Hoban. 

Butler's team at Big Face, his coffee company, reached out to another barista in Milwaukee who connected the basketball star to Hoban. 

Hoban learned Butler traveled with an espresso machine and his coffee, but not a grinder. 

"We have a new shop opening in Bay View and there's an espresso grinder just sitting there waiting to be used," Hoban said.

Hoban said he wasn't sure he was going to get to meet Butler when he dropped the grinder off, but he did. 

"Jimmy Butler walks around the corner. Very sweet. He said, 'Hey man, I'm Jimmy.' Shakes my hand. Like oh, I know who you are," Hoban said.

Hoban said he's been following Big Face since the NBA bubble in 2020. This weekend they had the chance to talk about their shared passion and the playoffs. 

"As I was leaving, I go, 'Hey man, just take it easy on my Bucks tomorrow, alright.' And he goes 'Tell your Bucks to take it easy on me,'" Hoban said. "He didn't take it easy on our Bucks."

Butler led his team to victory in Game 1 on Sunday after scoring 35 points. 

Now, Hoban is catching heat for caffeinating the basketball star, even from his own kids. 

"They were like mad at me. They were like, 'This is on you Papa for getting Jimmy this grinder,'" Hoban said.

The barista told CBS 58 drinking coffee doesn't make someone a better athlete.

"Jimmy is a good basketball player with or without espresso I think," Hoban said. 

Hoban was celebrating the Bucks bouncing back in Game 2 on Wednesday night. 

"Obviously, we figured some things out to slow Jimmy down a little bit," Hoban said.

He said he's thankful for his chance to connect with another coffee lover.

"To be able to kind of see that in a star like Jimmy Butler is really fun," Hoban said.

Hoban is hoping Butler will stop by Interval to try some of their own roast when he returns to Milwaukee for Game 5.

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