Rwanda COE Begins, Starbucks Gun Event Shut Out In Newtown, Billy Announces 4th Cafe, and Baristas Could be Replaced by Robots?

This photos is kind of funny until you realize someone thinks it's a really good, viable idea.

Lots of coffee stuff is going in our universe today! Here are some of the most interesting headlines…

COE RWANDA INTERNATION JURY READIES FOR JUDGING: I was excited to see this photo on Facebook from our friend Johanna “Joey” Wechselberger today. Joey—who runs the Vienna School of Coffee—is in Kigali, Rwanda, with some of the world’s top cuppers to evaluate lots that have reached the international jury level as part of the international jury for the Rwanda Cup of Excellence. Stay tuned for more news from this very special coffee event.

Cup of Excellence's international jury members for the Rwanda judging this week in Kigali.

Cup of Excellence’s international jury members for the Rwanda judging this week in Kigali.

ROBOT BARISTAS?  Austin-based start-up Briggo wants in on the widespread coffeehouse culture popularity in the United States, and aims to do it with this automated kiosk. Yep, a robot barista, called Coffee Haus. According to a story on the Austinist, “Briggo also touts their direct-trade beans, fresh milk, and gourmet syrups to help compete with “‘third wave’ boutique roasters.” The machine’s robotics “emulate the motions of a champion barista,” according to their site, so Austin’s barista community should maybe think about unionizing.” There’s already one of these contraptions on the University of Texas campus, where customers use a touchscreen or the Briggo smartphone app to place their order. You can actually pre-order your coffee with the app so it’s waiting for you as you rush from your dorm to Bio 101.

This photos is kind of funny until you realize someone thinks it's a really good, viable idea.

This photos is kind of funny until you realize someone thinks it’s a really good, viable idea.

• STILL REELING FROM SANDY HOOK, NEWTOWN COMMUNITY VOTES NO ON GUN ADVOCATES’ STARBUCKS APPRECIATION DAY: Gun owners across the United States showed up by the tens of thousands yesterday at Starbucks locations nationwide to proudly display their holstered guns on what they determined to be “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to make a statement in favor of gun rights and Starbucks policies. However, those who wanted to make that statement at the Starbucks in Newtown, Conn.—located close to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 children and teachers were killed in December—were disappointed when they arrived to see a sign on the door reading “Out of respect for Newtown and everything our community has been through, we have decided to close our store early today.” Still, citizens on both sides of the gun divide stood in the pouring rain outside of the Starbucks to assert their position throughout the afternoon.
It wasn't just the specialty coffee community who was up in arms about the Starbucks Appreciation Day gun advocacy going on yesterday; the public had strong opinions across the country about it.

It wasn’t just the specialty coffee community who was up in arms about the Starbucks Appreciation Day gun advocacy going on yesterday; the public had strong opinions across the country about it.

CELEBRATED BARISTA TO OPEN FOURTH SHOW IN PORTLAND, ORE.: It’s hard to say whether Billy Wilson is known more for his impressive barista competition record (he won the Northwest Regional three times, and placed second, third, fourth, and fifth, at the United States Barista Championship over the years), or for his pioneering the multiple roaster concept in his Portland cafes called Barista. Now Billy is set to open a fourth location, less than a year after opening his third shop in Southwest Portland. The new space will be located at 823 NW 23rd, in the vibrant Pearl District.
Billy Wilson back in his competition days. Currently, Billy spends all his time on his popular cafes in Portland, Ore.; he will open a fourth location in the fall.

Billy Wilson back in his competition days. Currently, Billy spends all his time on his popular cafes in Portland, Ore.; he will open a fourth location in the fall.

 

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.