PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — You might not know Morgan Eckroth — but you might know @MorganDrinksCoffee, her TikTok account that has 5.6 million followers.

Based in Portland, Morgan is also the United States Barista Champion, earning the title in April in Boston at the Specialty Coffee Association Expo. Not surprisingly, she livestreamed the experience.

“The goal this year was to kind of just be an open book about what was going on behind the scenes,” she told KOIN 6 News.

Morgan Eckroth of Portland won the United States Barista Championship in Boston in April 2022 (Courtesy: Morgan Eckroth)

It was a chance to bring a bigger audience to the event, which is more about camaraderie than bitter competition.

“It’s really exciting to see people do well,” she said. “All the competitors want to support each other. And that’s a really special thing, I think, with this competition.”

While Morgan is great at making coffee and videos, the 23-year-old has worked hard to get there. She first competed at the US Coffee Championship in 2019. Then in 2020 — the last time there was a competition — her performance really got to her.

Morgan Eckroth of Portland won the United States Barista Championship in Boston in April 2022 (Courtesy: Morgan Eckroth)

“I definitely did not do as well as I was expecting to or wanting to do. I didn’t make it to nationals,” she said. “It was a pretty tough kind of loss for me, personally.”

Morgan didn’t lose steam, though. She kept moving forward. Now she sees her popularity and new title as ways to help people from all corners of the world feel like they, too, can become baristas — or at least learn about new kinds of drinks.

“My hope is I can kind of, like, you know, join the group and kind of like the next generation of baristas and coffee enthusiasts,” Morgan said.

Her videos are not an act. Her authenticity is part of her success.

“It’s been really, really, really fun. I’ve tried to allow myself to be as authentic and genuine online as possible,” she said. “Sometimes people are, like, ‘Do you really, like, wear the black turtleneck? And do all the barista things?’ And I’m like, this is real life. That’s what you’re going to see if you run into me, like, outside of the internet.”

Morgan is getting ready for the World Barista Championship in Australia in September. But while she’s in Portland, she’s still a barista at Keeper Coffee in Southeast Portland as well as doing marketing for the Arkansas-based roasters that provide her coffee in the competitions.

And next year, Morgan can defend her US Barista title right here in Portland — April 21-23, 2023.

Morgan Eckroth of Portland (center) won the United States Barista Championship in Boston in April 2022 (Courtesy: Morgan Eckroth)