Down time? Hardly.

We always like to think we’ll get to slow down and breathe in December, given Coffee Fest Seattle is behind us and we don’t have another coffee event to travel to until January. But for some reason, it never works out that way. Not that we’re complaining however: the coffee stuff we’ve got planned for the month of December is all fun, all interesting — we’re excited!

First up is Ken’s trip to Kentucky to visit the folks who do such a great job of printing Barista Magazine. Out there at Publishers Press in Kentucky, we have a team of specialists who work on Barista Magazine and do a slammin job. Ken will be there for just a quick 3-day trip, but I’m sure he’ll learn lots. And of course, he will be posting about the experience, complete with photos, when he returns. And maybe he’ll even meet this guy out there in Louisville…

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Just as Ken returns home from Kentucky, our pal, Brent Fortune of Crema Coffee & Bakery here in Portland will gather with friends and interested parties at the Albina Press to talk about the recent trip he and Matt Higgins (of the Press) took to Panama and show slides. Brent and Matt were down there right after Coffee Fest Seattle to train baristas so they can prepare for the first Panama Barista Championship! Here is Brent with Daniel Price and a baby geisha. Holy mother of god.

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That night — and it’s Tuesday, December 4, at 7 p.m. and all are welcome, by the way — is a big night in Portland for sure because Tegan & Sara will be here, as well!!

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Speaking of the Albina Press, by the way, I was hanging out there the other day taking some fun photos of Billy and Kevin with their cool glass-blown trophies from the NW Regional, and we were talking about the opening of the new Albina Press shop. Kevin said he’ll be getting it open by the end of the year! Hooray! I can’t wait to see this massive undertaking in which Kevin and Billy have tried to reinvent the idea of cafe design. AND I’m stoked to have an Albina Press closer to my house. This one will be on Hawthorne in SE Portland!

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And there’s even more happening in December! One of our pals from Sweden who so graciously hosted us at the Nordic Barista Cup in Gothenburg, Matts Johansson, will be visiting Portland! You may recognize Matts from the stage during the finals of the World Barista Championship in Tokyo. He was one of the judges. Matts owns two beautiful cafes in Gothenburg called da Matteo. I’m going to drive Matts around to visit cafes and ABC and coffee stuff like that in Portland and hopefully the Horse Brass after! Here’s Matts working with M’lissa at the Nordic Barista Cup last September:

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I was just checking out the da Matteo website and I linked over to the blog out of curiosity. Of course it’s all in Swedish, but this is what he says about his upcoming trip:

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På måndag ger vi oss av västerut, jag Magnus Adamsson och David Haudaard på en specialkafferesa. Vi skall besöka, Seattle o snacka med några av pionjärerna inom Specialkaffe, besöka Clover samt Diedrichfabriken. Sen tar vi en sväng till Portland och möter upp Barista magazin och tar en kaffesväng där med. Vi avslutar med microbryggerier med hjälp av Torkels bror Kåre som forskar i molikilärgenetikdelningshybryd i kemiskaprocesser i hjärnan????????? eller nåt, vi skall kolla in om man kan döda hjärnsceller med hjälp a öl efter kaffet.

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I see the words Portland and Barista magazin in there, so I guess we’re on.

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And there’s even more! For so many of us in the coffee industry, the friends and family we reach out to during the holidays includes plenty of coffee people. We’ve got some slammin Christmas parties coming up to attend, lots of making merry with our Northwest coffee pals, and good cheer wafting out to all y’all around the world that we love and care about. December’s gonna be great!

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