Hey Berkeley!

What’s up, Berkeley (and larger Bay Area) coffee peeps? Got plans for this Friday night? Well, now you do!

The exterior of Local 123 in Berkeley (snagged from the very cool blog, manseekingcoffee.wordpress.com)

One of my favorite newish cafes in the Bay Area is Local 123. I went for a visit with my dad last time I was down in Berkeley visiting my parents, and I loved it. I was served one of the best shots of Verve espresso I’d ever had. That’s right: Local 123 owners Katy Wafle and Frieda Hoffman offer a selection of coffee from different specialty roasters, including Coava, Verve, Flying Goat, and others. Local 123—which I learned from this fab blog review is a name derived from the local painters’ union that used to occupy the long, airy space complete with gorgeous patio out back—is also known for its food selections, a “localicious” menu devised by Rebecca Stevens. But truly, it’s been embraced by coffee nerds from all around the Bay Area for its superb service and quality of drink preparation.

But I’m not just writing all this for the finger exercise: Local 123 is hosting a SPRO DOWN this Friday, and you’re invited! Katy emailed me, saying, “With many new cafes opening in the East Bay, there’s a vibrant and growing community of coffee geeks and baristas. We hope to start building some community with this event. I’ve spoken with many baristas who are hungry for it.”

The only thing I’m bummed about is that I can’t be in Berkeley for the event, myself. But rest assured, Barista Mag has sent plenty of magazines for freebies for all attendees, as well as one-year subscription certificates for winners in the playful competitions.

Oh yes, the details! The event will kick off at 7 p.m. at Local 123, which is at 2049 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley. Any and all coffee freaks and geeks are invited! Highlights of the evening, which is sponsored in part by Flying Goat and Verve, include:

* Latte art competition: $10 Dollar buy-in. Sign up starts at 7:30pm sharp. BYOV (bring your own vessel) for top five finalists. Winner takes all.

* Beer Tasting: a range of coffee-infused beers to taste and discuss with your Local pals.

* Pour-over jam session with Hario drippers and the new Kone from Coava Coffee Roasters.

The Kone, by Keith Gehrke of Coava

* Tasty treats from The Flying Vegan.

Katy says: “Please extend this invitation to any interested baristas. We look forward to geeking out and getting merry with you!”

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.