Our friend Jesse Plevel of Colter Coffee in lovely Kalispell, Montana, wrote to tell us about an awesome coffee get-together that recently took place in her town, organized by Colter. It sounded so fun we wanted to share it with our readers in hopes that it inspires you as much as it inspired us. (Be sure to keep us posted about jams, throwdowns, gatherings, slide shows, cuppings, and every other coffee activity taking place in your area, so we can share with the other zillion readers of the Barista Magazine blog! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday, May 19, marked Kalispell, Montana’s first ever Sassy Hipster Coffee Party organized by Colter Coffee in collaboration with Montana Coffee Traders and 5 Sparrows Cafe Products. The barista jam was designed to bring together as many of the coffee minded gurus in this little corner of the world as possible.
The group started the afternoon by geeking out around two pour-over bars brewing single origin microlots such as El Salvador San Emilio and Guatemalan Huehuetango. After the pour-over magic, baristas took their pick of a latte art station where they could compare their tulips and crema, or making beer floats with Flathead Lake Brewing Company’s Coffee Stout—made with Colter Coffee—topped off with a scoop of local delight, Sweet Peaks Madagascar Vanilla ice cream.
The main event of the day was the Latte Art Throwdown open to any brave soul willing to throw in some cash money. With $150 on the line along with gobs of swag, baristas from Colter Coffee, Montana Coffee Traders and other area shops competed against one another, winner take all.
Determined to not let anyone leave empty handed, competitor or not, everyone was encouraged to pull something from the grab bag—”grab bag” being the cardboard box by the front door.
Without the generosity of Espresso Parts guests would have only been able to grab fancies such as broken portafilter baskets, a fishing bobber, an old edition of US Weekly, some Almond Roca, or a pack of gum. Thanks to Espresso Parts though, the grab bag included legit items to fight over and attendees left with some seriously cool gear.
All in all the Sassy Hipster Coffee Party was a terrific event and succeeded in its mission to bring coffee people together, give them a place to relax, play, and socialize, and create excitement around the beverage we love so much in beautiful northwest Montana.