If you had to boil Barista Nation down to a one-word description, it would be innovative; the relatively young coffee event, which started in May of 2011 in Minneapolis has established itself as one of the most innovative events in our specialty coffee industry. It’s a free, one-day workshop for coffee professionals. It goes to different cities all over the world (Tokyo, Paris, San Francisco among them). It brings together some of the brightest, most forward thinking minds in coffee to deliver seminars and host discussions about topics that are relevant as our industry grows and develops. And it offers baristas and cafe owners a chance to try out new equipment and products. Perhaps most important to the Barista Nation model: it’s a chance to connect with your peers. It’s about community and sharing, and it works.
Back to the innovative part: in the past, Barista Nation has been a one (big) day event of speakers, hands-on workshops, team-building exercises, and geeking out the way baristas do best. But Barista Nation founder Anastasia Chovan had a wild hair to try something different in conjunction with the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual conference and expo, which takes place in Boston in April this year. She created the Barista Nation Satellite Cafe.
It works like this: as you enter the Boston Convention Center for the SCAA show April 12, 13, and 14, you’ll be met by the pop-up Barista Nation event. On one side, it’ll be a cafe where attendees are welcome to stop by for a coffee (all coffees being served will be from the coffee roasters who have supported Barista Nation events from the start, including Early Bird Coffee Roasters, Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters, and Salt Spring Coffee).
On the other side will be the workshop area, affectionately being refereed to as Barista Nation Talks. Such experts as Helen Russell from Equator Coffee, Heather Perry from Klatch Coffee, Philip Fralix from Mavea, and others will teach classes on such subjects as “Cup to Farm,” “Creativity in the Beverage World,” “Water for Coffee,” and much more.
It’s gonna be epic! So plan to spend some time at the Barista Nation Satellite Cafe during the SCAA show—you can relax with a cup of coffee, sit in on a class, meet new friends, or all of the above. Barista Nation is all about openness, sharing, learning, and having fun, and the Staellite Cafe will be no exception.