Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 23 of 103

Glitter Cat Is Back "Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp was started to provide access and training to folks who self-identify as a member of a marginalized community," wrote GCBB founder T. Ben Fischer in a recap of the first-ever round of Glitter Cat competition-prep events and subsequent competitive performances by bootcamp participants. "The moment the lights came on in the training space on [the first GCBB] opening day [in late 2018], I was shook from the support from the coffee community." Not only did nearly 20 corporate sponsors donate time, space, money, or wares to the effort, but myriad coffee professionals also came out to teach, coach, and inspire the first group of Glitter Cats, while much of the greater specialty-coffee community at large looked on and cheered. "The support from sponsors, volunteers, best friends, my boyfriend, and strangers was incredible," says T. Ben. "Every time I turned around, there was someone waiting with a hammer, extension cord, or bag of coffee we needed to dial-in and nail down flavor notes." Turns out all the hard work and glitter paid off: Five of the participating baristas went on to achieve great marks in the 2019 U.S. Barista Championship, including T. Ben himself (third place) and Emily Orendorff (sixth place). To capitalize on this incredible result and to expand the program in the wake of the amazing response and show of support, Glitter Cat is coming back strong, with five bootcamps this year—one each for the major coffee competitions, including Barista, Brewers Cup, and one program for judges. If you self-identify as a coffee professional from a marginalized community and are interested in competing in 2020, now's the perfect time to consider applying for one of the upcoming GCBBs. We can't think of a better way to fill the coffee world with more glitter, less bitter, and more diversity on the winner's podiums in the coming years. Good Deeds Fueled By Decaf Swiss Water isn't just a way to wipe delicious coffees clean of caffeine: It's also a company dedicated to doing good, tidy deeds elsewhere as well. This past April, just in time for Earth Day, Swiss Water and friends—including the company's supply-chain endeavor called Seaforth, and like- minded friends from Portland, Ore.'s Pacific Foods—hosted a pair of events designed to give back a little to the community. Dale Harris, 2017 World Barista Champion from the U.K., added a little star power, as well: He cashed in his WBC prize of a visit to the Swiss Water facilities in British Columbia, Canada, during the two outings, and cheerfully spent his time pitching in for the good causes. First, the companies joined forces to support Pacific Foods' Nourish Every Body project, and spent time packing up more than 320 food boxes to be sent to a Vancouver school. (Parents of the students who received the boxes were probably relieved to see there wasn't any coffee—not even decaf!— included in the packages.) While that huge effort would be good enough for many, it wasn't the end of the work for this big-hearted crew: They followed up by heading out to the Port of Vancouver, where they collected and disposed of nine huge trash bags of discarded plastic, packaging, and other debris found around the waterway. Naturally, the former WBC champ wasn't just on clean- up duty: Dale was also invited to share his knowledge and passion for a group of coffee lovers at a public event at Revolver, a local coffee shop known for its obsessive quality. All in all, the event and Dale's visit proved that Swiss Water is more than just delicious no-caff coffee— it's also a company dedicated to supporting a global awakening about businesses and the industry at large engaging with local communities in order to make real change and leave a lasting impact. PHOTO BY ROOSEVELT NGUYEN A er the Specialty Coff ee Expo in Boston, 2017 World Barista Champion Dale Harris of the U.K. took a detour en route back to his home country to Swiss Water Decaff einated Coff ee Inc. in Vancouver, BC, for the event, "Clean Up and Conversation with Dale." "For the last fi ve years, Swiss Water has provided a trip to the WBC winner to come to Vancouver, visit our facility, and get to know our process and our people," says Swiss Water's Andrea Piccolo. "This year we wanted to make an impact with the event beyond what we had done before." Activities during Dale's visit included packing up food kits with Pacifi c Foods and distributing them to food-insecure families, and cleaning up a local park by the Port of Vancouver with an army of Vancouver coff ee-community members. Former United States Barista Champion Laila Ghambari (second from right) volunteered as an instructor at the inaugural Gli er Cat Barista Bootcamp. Pictured here also are campers (from le ) Joseph Gonzalez, Kara Huckabone, Anthony Ragler, and Rodrigo Vargas at far right. Continued from page 22 Continued on page 26 24 barista magazine

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