Barista Magazine

FEB-MAR 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 17 of 99

Continued on page 20 PHOTO BY MARLEN MENDOZA PHOTO BY STEVEN CROMER PHOTO BY ANITA TAM The Not-So-Lone Star State Texas is known for going big (or going home), and that's absolutely true about the coffee community there: When it comes to grassroots organizing, the coffee pros of Texas have gone above and beyond, forming several different prominent groups, clubs, organizations, and regular events that somehow manage to make this giant state seem a little bit cozier and close-knit. Houston's Coffee Collective (HTXCC), for example, was established in April of 2018. Anita Tam and Kaitlin O'Brien felt there was both a "potential and need of setting out a platform for free service to serve the region," Anita says. They developed the HTXCC as a way to share job openings, event dates for workshops and other professional-development events, and as an information exchange. The HTXCC also highlights local businesses on its Instagram feed (@htxcoffeecollective), which assists in creating community rather than competition among the shops and coffee people in the Houston metro area. Dallas is in the game, too: The Dallas Coffee Collective (DCC) (aka Sprudge Managing Editor Zac Cadwalader) uses the Instagram feed @dallascoffeecollective as a way of "keeping track of the burgeoning Dallas specialty-coffee scene," as the DCC bio states. Zac shares news and updates, boosts local coffee people and places, advertises area events, and generally operates as the kind of media heartbeat for the coffee community deep in the heart of Texas. Over in Austin, there's a whole different rodeo going on: Raechel Hurd, coffee director for Epoch Coffee and cofounder of SheBrews, says of the ATX scene: "People are thirsty for events that provide a forum to voice ideas for future events." SheBrews was established in March of 2017 and has created a networking and educational forum that aims to boost women and gender non-binary/non- conforming coffee and other craft-beverage professionals in and around the state capital and beyond. (For future events and info, follow @shebrewsatx on Instagram.) There's also the Austin Coffee Society (ACS), one of the most active and organized associations we know. The ACS hosts both town-hall–style meetings and throwdowns on the regular, as well as occasional networking and socializing hangs. "The driving force of this group is consistency and constant communication via a Slack channel," Raechel says. "Everyone involved is responsible for little details." To keep things tidy, the ACS has several committees—education, outreach, events—and a board of directors, who meet monthly to brainstorm and discuss local engagement. Follow the ACS Instagram @austincoffee for details on the next event. Of course this college town also has a book club—a Barista Book Club, as a matter of fact! Started in October of 2018, the group had three monthly meetings and three books read by 2019, and even though the readers are baristas, they intend to focus on non-coffee books for their club—what a refreshing occasional relief! "It's a nice way to get together and just not think about coffee, but critically think about literature," Raechel says. If you're interested in joining, check out @baristabookclub on Instagram. The Houston Coff ee Collective has an online publication called Coff eezine, which features diff erent coff ee professionals from the area in a series called, "Behind the Bar," such as Vivian Nguyen, pictured. Volunteer James Son works a community throwdown. Baristas from across the state a ended a tea workshop hosted by Teema Teas at A 2nd Cup in Houston. 18 barista magazine

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