Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 21 of 119

UF Coffee Research Symposium This coming fall, there will be a meeting of the caffeinated minds in Gainesville, Fla., at the University of Florida Coffee Research Symposium from October 17–19. The three- day event aims to gather a wide range of coffee-minded folks across disciplines and with various levels of experience thinking critically and conducting analysis on coffee from a health, economic, agriculture, or marketing perspective. "I thought this was a great way to show how one commodity can bring together so many people," says conference organizer Christopher LeClere. "For example, I have someone from the history department talking about the connection between coffee and slavery, a business person talking about coffee as an economic indicator, and a cardiologist who is talking about his research into the effects of natural caffeine versus synthetic caffeine." This kind of open sharing of research, theories, and cross-industry conversation is thankfully increasing throughout specialty coffee, as our professional community realizes that united we rise: While any individual company might have resources and a focus in one specific direction, that scope can broaden and strengthen exponentially when combined with others who are looking elsewhere. At Barista Magazine, we believe strongly in the need for pre-competitive gatherings and events like this, and can't wait to see how the program fleshes out for the UF Coffee Research Symposium! Registration opened for attendees in March, and the organizers are accepting panel topics as well as presentation proposals now. Boot Coffee Promotes Inclusivity Through Scholarships The conversation about inclusivity and diversity in the specialty-coffee industry continues, and now more than ever coffee companies are putting their money (and their support) where their mouths are. One of the best recent examples is from Boot Coffee, a coffee-roasting education powerhouse and longtime consultancy headed by Willem Boot. Noting the financial barrier to entry that most professional coffee education poses for folks from many different communities, this year Boot Coffee Campus debuted a scholarship program designed to provide "underrepresented or under-resourced" class hopefuls with a full-tuition break to be applied to Boot programs or SCA Coffee Skills courses, as well as covering the cost of registration, materials, exams, certificate fees, and even daily lunch for one weeklong training. The scholarships touched on several communities who have historically experienced imbalance in professional specialty-coffee training and education programs due to cost or other obstacles, including women and gender minorities, coffee producers and individuals from producing countries, and social-enterprise companies that offer training and support to disadvantaged people such as the formerly homeless, incarcerated, or new refugee communities. While there were qualifications specific to each scholarship, the credentials necessary to apply were broad and clearly well-thought- out, and the application prompts were designed to display passion, commitment, and determination. Applications were due in late February (the time of this writing) and scholarships awarded in early March. "The response has been amazing!" says Marcus Young, Boot Coffee's campus director and senior consultant. "We will definitely make this an ongoing program. I'm so excited by the coffee community's support and will likely offer additional scholarships this year based on the positive reception of this first round." If you're interested in future scholarship opportunities with Boot Coffee, be sure to visit the campus's website for more information, specifics about the applications, and to generally get amped on the possibility of studying with some of the best in the biz. What are you taking away from our awesome coffee world right now? Let us know about cool trends, fun gear, killer drinks, events, places, people— you get the idea! Email takeaway@ 22 barista magazine

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