MANE Artisan Coffee Conference Rocks!

I’m in Providence, Rhode Island, for an event that has completely inspired and invigorated me about what’s happening in coffee on this side of the United States: the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Artisan Coffee Conference.

More than 150 coffee flks are gathered here to learn about and celebrate coffee!

This is the fourth year of this regional coffee love fest, which has previously been known as the MANE Barista Jam. But the baby’s all grown up now, and Conference—considering the amazing speakers, the large number of attendees, and the creative activities surrounding the event—is now a much more well suited title for what’s going on in gorgeous Providence this weekend.

From left: Troy of Cosmic Cup; Simon of Seven Stars; and Rik of New Harvest; taste testing the fabulous food catered to the opening reception last night.

Things kicked off with a super fun reception on Friday night, and I gave the keynote speech, which was an incredible honor. I talked about building your coffee community in the shop, as well as locally and regionally, and nationally and internationally. I always appreciate the opportunity to tell baristas just how great I hink they are, how important the work they do is, and how inspired I am by their passion and enthusiasm. So it was truly a treat for me.

Happy friends from Toddy and Barista Pro Shop, checking out the goodie bags. Both companies were generous sponsors of this event.

Ian peers through the tshirt stacks. These shirts are the coolest!!

It's impossible not to have fun with this crowd!

Baristas high five each other after the finalists in last night's Spro-Down wre announced. It was really fun competition-- thanks go to Flat Black for sponsoring!

This event is organized by Gerra Harrigan of New Harvest Coffee Company here in Rhode Island and Troy Reynard, owner of Cosmic Cup Coffee in Easton, Penn. Gerra and Troy put this event on every year for the sheer joy of it, as well as their continued belief in the coffee community out here in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. This year’s event is sold out, with around 150 people gathered for a few days of coffee education and celebrating.

During Alternative Brewing Lab time, participants got to play with a ton of different manual brewing options, such as the Aeropress and the Luminaire, as pictured here.

The instructors have been totally awesome, as well. They include Sarah Kluth of Intelligentsia, who worked with groups on how to lead cuppings with your staff; Rob Stephen of InterAmerican Coffee, who sat on a panel today that addressed how to make coffee into a lifelong career; Trish Rothgeb of Wrecking Ball Coffee, who also sat on that panel; Andrew Blythe of Royal Coffee New York, also on the panel; Phil Proteau of Counter Culture Coffee, who lectured on milk science; Jay Caragay, who led workshops on various alternative brewing techniques and applications; and more, including Amanda Byron of Joe in New Yrk, and Tommy Gallagher of Counter Culture Coffee.

Phil leads a group in a milk science discussion and hands on lab.

Participants from New Jersey discuss temperature variation and effects.

Sarah Kluth discusses how to successfully lead your staff through cuppings.

Events continue tomorrow with Barista Guild of America certification testing, and sad goodbyes. Can I say on more time how inspired I am by the wonderful work and incredible coffee people out here on the East Coast?!

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.