Barista Nation!


Recently, our dear friend, and longtime coffee industry veteran, Anastasia Chovan—who heads up marketing for Unic—was excited to tell me about a new event for coffee professionals that Unic was helping to get off the ground: Barista Nation. Just from the name, I loved it already.

Inspired by the coffee community’s interest in smaller, more intimate and education-centric events (such as the MANE Conference and the BGA’s Camp Pull-A-Shot), Anastasia and crew wanted to create a space for learning where regional baristas, cafe owners, roasters, and other coffee professionals could go to take workshops from industry leaders (on topics including cleaning machines, per-cup brewing in the cafe, specialty drink development, and more), see the industry’s latest products, and get to know one another in an informal setting (i.e., not a big trade show).

Barista Nation provides a grass roots forum for coffee professionals to discover and develop the necessary coffee and business skills to succeed in the specialty market”—and we’re super excited for the first installment of this historic concept.

Hosted by Espresso Midwest in Minnesota, the first Barista Nation event will take place May 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., kicked off by a keynote speech from, well, me.

The organizers of Barista Nation have broken down the day into an intuitive series of educational sessions: The Discovery (10:30 to 12:30), with classes on per cup service, espresso machine care and maintenance, cleaning strategies, and understanding water for the cafe; lunch break; The Development (1:30 to 3:30), which will feature a panel discussion on what business tools are needed for today’s cafes; a session on signature drink development, and clinical labs for baristas; The Devices (3:30-5), which is a play around and exploration session where attendees can experiment with espresso machines, brewing devices, cleaning products, and allied products; and finally, The Function (5-8 p.m.), which will be a cocktail party and mingling opportunity.

I’m thrilled that Barista Nation exists and can’t wait to see how successful this first event is. If you’re in the Minneapolis area and would like to attend, please do! And if you’re a bit farther out and want to make the drive, we’d love to see you! Just contact Anastasia at, 866/295-8642.

Hope to see you there!


About the Author


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.