There’s so much happening in specialty coffee in Los Angeles these days. I know I said that exact same thing last year when I was blogging about Barista Nation L.A., but the area is just getting more and more magical by the day.
I was hanging out with some friends who are in the process of opening a roastery in L.A. the other day, and they were talking about how exciting the vibe is around cafe culture and small roasteries. The area’s huge, so it’s a challenge for baristas to hang out together the way posses in Portland and NYC do, but they’re getting there.
Hopefully Barista Nation Los Angeles—which will take place September 28 at the Wilbur Curtis HQ in Montebello—will help with that. I mean, it will help with that. Barista Nations are always successful about bringing the coffee community together. The free (yes, FREE!) opportunity to hear lectures from industry experts and trend-setters, participate in hands-on workshops with the coolest new equipment on the specialty coffee market, and explore emerging philosophies about coffee and how we work with it everyday is a total treat! Throw in provided (and again, FREE) meals, a great big party, and a Latte Art Throwdown with some serious prizes, and you can understand why Barista Nation is the industry’s most popular and fastest growing barista event.
Barista Nation mama-bear Anastasia Chovan has been busting her butt assembling an incredible line-up of speakers who will address topics around the theme of myth-busting, coffee style.
On behalf of the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association, Andrew Hetzel will operate a brew bar featuring some of Brazil’s finest lots from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Attendees are welcome to hang out at the brew bar tasting coffees and talking Brazilians with Andrew as long as they want, or they can just come grab a coffee to take with them to one of the three awesome sessions taking place in the first part of the day:
None other than Kenneth R. Olson, publisher and co-founder and owner of Barista Magazine, will take to the podium to talk about what he’s learned from studying the Oregon wine industry, which has achieved an extraordinary level of success by reinventing the way it markets itself: rather than individual wineries and vineyards competing against each other, they’ve banded together for the good of the region, and as a result they’ve made Oregon a destination wine area revered around the world. Ken’s class, “How Local Coffee Companies Can Work Together for Everyone’s Benefit,” will offer retailers and baristas easy to use tips about how to market as a unit and achieve individual success at the same time.
Our friend Mike Perry, owner of Klatch Coffee, will join with Martin Diedrich of Kean Coffee to teach the class, “Roasting Light Versus Dark.” At the same time, Kris Fulton of Los Angeles’ La Mill Coffee and Jodet Paloma Ghougassian of David Rio will address the topic, “Why is Tea an Afterthought?”
These morning sessions will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., and attendees are more than welcome to wander from one to the other.
After a short coffee break, attendees will choose from another set of three classes, one of which I would especially love to see: coffee power ladies Heather Perry of Klatch Coffee, and Alex LittleJohn of Verve Coffee will lead the discussion, “Careers in Coffee: Is It Harder for Women?”
There are loads of classes taking place in this jam-packed day, but here are the ones we think will be especially interesting and applicable:
• “The Dreaded Single Shot” with the amazing and talented barista trainer, Sauro Dall Aglio
And plenty more!
But one of the most highly anticipated aspects of Barista Nation Los Angeles is the keynote address, which will be delivered by none other than the owners of G&B Coffee and Go Get ‘Em Tiger, Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski.
So sign up already—registration is open, people! Oh, and it would be awesome if you would donate $10 to CARE and email the receipt to Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org.