A NOTE FROM RHODE ISLAND…
I had an email in my inbox from a woman, Holley Badger, whom I met in Rhode Island a few weeks ago when I was attending the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast (MANE) Artisan Coffee Conference. Holley works at Blue State Coffee, right on the campus of Brown University in Providence. Jay Caragay and I were able to visit her cafe, among a few other local coffee gems, so we could see the place in action. While we noted that Holley and her fellow baristas were passionate and enthusiastic about their work, and were committed to making high quality drinks and employing the latest brewing techniques, they are, after all, located on a college campus, where a quick caffeine fix and free wi-fi are more valuable to a large percentage of customers than high quality coffee.
So when Holley forwarded me this email this morning, I couldn’t help doing a fist pump, and then sharing it here with all of you…
Thanks so much for sharing this story, Holley—and cheers to you for inspiring customers and fellow baristas alike!
STORIES FROM PERU
Barista Champion of Australia, Scottie Callaghan, was one of 10 national barista champs who traveled to Peru to participate in Let’s Talk Coffee‘s Seed to Cup Origin Adventure. For the second year in a row, Let’s Talk Coffee (organized by Sustainable Harvest as a forum for producers, roasters and baristas to meet and discuss coffee in an intimate origin setting) included this unique aspect of coffee exploration in its curriculum: champion baristas gathered together on a coffee farm to work the land, harvest microlots, roast them, and through the process, gain a completely new perspective on what it takes for the coffees they use in their cafes back home to get to them.
Scottie blogged about the experience from the kind of up-close-and-personal perspective that only an actual participant could offer. So I’m urging you to go HERE and read his entries. The Seed to Cup Origin Adventure is truly a remarkable occasion, and its success this year in bringing baristas and farmers together to discuss best practices for the promotion and betterment of coffee at source as well as in consuming countries, has ensured its continuation as an activity for baristas and producers in the future.
For more information on this year’s Let’s Talk Coffee as well as the World Barista Forum that took place in conjunction with it, see Ken Olson’s article in the upcoming December/January issue of Barista Magazine.