Barista Magazine

OCT-NOV 2018

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 13 of 115

Publisher Kenneth R. Olson Editor in Chief Sarah Allen Art Director Demitri Fregosi Powers Online Editor Ashley Rodriguez Copy Editors Erin Meister, Chris Ryan Photographer Mindy St. Claire Business Manager Cheryl Lueder Advertising Sales Sarah Allen 800.296.9108 Contributors Victoria Brown Ashley Elander Strandquist Andy Freivogel Stephanie Frommlet Jason "Double J" Johnson RJ Joseph Alex Lambert Erica Lewis Kennedy Josh Littlefield Phil Markel Erin Meister Ashley Rodriguez Chris Ryan Harrison Seiler Joshua Vasko Editorial Advisory Board Nora Burkey, The Chain Collaborative Anna Gutierrez, Barista 22 Hidenori Izaki, Samurai Coffee Experience Heather Kelley, Stumptown Coffee Roasters Sam Low, Da Lin Todd Mackey, Bolt Coffee Co. Mike Marquard, Blueprint Coffee Noah Namowicz, Cafe Imports Lorenzo Perkins, Fleet Coffee Sarah Richmond, Equator Coffees + Teas Craig Simon, Think Tank Coffee Jess Steffy, Square One Coffee Teresa von Fuchs, Bellwether Coffee Laila Willbur, Stumptown Coffee Roasters Barista Magazine 4345 NE 72nd Ave. Portland, OR 97218 phone: 800.296.9108 fax: 971.223.3659 email: Barista Magazine is published bimonthly by Ollen Media, LLC. Subscriptions are $30 in the United States, $45 USD in Canada, and $60 USD for the rest of the world. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Postmaster please send address corrections to: Barista Magazine, 4345 NE 72nd Ave., Portland, OR 97218. ISSN: 1944-3544 Copyright 2018 Barista Magazine. All rights reserved. BARIST A M A G A Z I N E E D I T O R L E T T E R WHEN I ARRIVED AT the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Amsterdam in June, one of the fi rst people I saw was Philly-based barista T. Benjamin Fischer. I had last seen T. Ben after his triumphant second-place fi nish at the United States Barista Champion- ship in April in Seattle—I imagined he was, deserv- edly, still riding that high. After hugging hello, I was about to ask him how he was enjoying the WBC, and wasn't it nice to be at a coffee event where he could actually relax, when he jumped right into telling me about an idea he had for a competition workshop for baristas from marginalized groups. He was super pas- sionate about his vision for it: Provide an all-ex- penses-paid training clinic for baristas headed for the competition stage who identifi ed as women, gender-nonbinary, LGBTQ+, POC, and/or physi- cally challenged. What did I think, he asked, and of course, I thought it sounded awesome. I imagined someone with T. Ben's enthusiasm and talent could maybe pull it off one day. Back in my offi ce in Portland, Ore., I heard from T. Ben again. In the week since I'd seen him, he had completed a detailed plan for the event, created a comprehensive schedule, identifi ed instructors and sponsors to contact, set a date, and was at work with a designer on a website. He was emailing to ask if I thought he should set it up as an LLC. I said I fi gured that was probably a good idea, and when he reached out to me two days later, he'd already done it. T. Ben's training clinic for baristas from margin- alized groups is called the Glitter Cat Barista Boot- camp, and it will debut this month in Philadelphia. With nothing at his disposal other than determina- tion and the willingness to spend his off hours on the project, T. Ben has secured full funding from some generous sponsors, worked with a selection committee to award scholarships to 10 deserving baristas, enlisted the services of some of the best trainers in the United States, and effectively mar- keted and promoted the event. He found industry folks who could advise him, such as the incredible Isaac Cohen from Urnex, and put in the effort to learn everything he could from them. T. Ben approached the work with hu- mility and graciousness. He was receptive to advice but thoughtful about his decisions. Less than four months since we had that initial conversation in Amsterdam, T. Ben's Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp is a reality, and one that's positioned to succeed when the inaugural event kicks off in October. Specialty coffee is hardly the only industry where there's more talk than follow-through. Knowing how smart, impassioned, and determined many baristas are, however, I'm always bummed out when the talk doesn't go anywhere. Whether it's an intention to open a shop of one's own, or a rally cry for change in industry politics, baristas today have bigger ambitions than ever, and, in my opinion, more opportunities and support to realize them than ever in our community's history. I'm writing this from a hotel room in Kansas City, Mo.—I'm tagging along on the Barista League USA Tour. (Look for extensive coverage of the whole tour in the December 2018 + January 2019 issue of Barista Magazine.) I think partici- pants are impressed by the initiative exhibited by Barista League founder Steve Moloney—himself once "just a barista"—to create and realize an internationally successful event. Last night, I chatted with longtime K.C. barista Tyler Rovenstein at his beautiful retail-roaster spot Monarch Coffee in Kansas City, Mo. He told me how, when he and his wife discovered they were ex- pecting a baby, he decided it was high time to make that dream of opening his own coffee company a reality. Now look at him. I spoke to Laura Clark, who was a barista last I saw her and now works as the manager of a suc- cessful restaurant. She told me she misses coffee, but because her dream is to open a café that serves awesome food, she thought she should get some solid experience on the food-service side of things. "I'm still working on my 10-year plan," she said. "I'm gonna get there." We chose to feature Tucker Lewis and Jennifer Park, owners of the nearly 20-year-old Diesel Café in Boston on the cover and in a feature article in this issue (see page 68), because theirs is a beauti- ful story of success. It was far from easy at the be- ginning: "We struggled to have bankers, landlords, vendors, and contractors take us seriously," they've said. "We even had one real-estate developer tell us that it was unlikely we would fi nd any place that would consider us as anything more than a liability. Fortunately we slept through the warning part of these messages, threw caution to the wind, and ultimately led with our hearts." Tucker and Jen say, "We believed in all things possible." And that's the best place for any barista with a dream to begin. following through 14 barista magazine

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