Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 25 of 103

Focus On The Fight Against Racism In Specialty Coffee This past March not only saw the finals of the U.S. Coffee Championships in Kansas City, Mo., but also another kind of gathering with a firm and very necessary mission: On Saturday, March 16, Jaime Rovenstine of Monarch Coffee and equity consultant Cecilia Belser-Patton of Just Systems and The Open Table held a coffee-focused anti- racism workshop during the competition events cycle, offering white and non-Black people of color a chance to sit uncomfortably together, challenge their perceptions and behaviors, and come to a more real understanding of the very present issues of race discrimination and inequality that exist in our industry sector. Attendees grabbed a snack and a drink before heading into a session where Cecilia and Jaime led a reading by a Black barista (originally from The Chocolate Barista blog) and then asked participants what they thought the definition of racism is, including suggestions like "structural," "minimizing," "profit," and "marginalization." The leaders followed up by offering the definition they most closely align with racism, as quoted by attendee and Barista Magazine correspondent Umeko Motoyoshi in a write-up for Barista Magazine Online: "Race prejudice combined with misuse and abuse of systemic and/or institutional power." There is often a lot of pushback about the idea that the specialty-coffee industry could be touched by racism, and much of that pushback comes from relatively widespread misunderstanding or confusion about what forms racism takes. The seminar helpfully addressed that by touching on relatable concepts such as hiring and promoting staff, the way certain common coffee-shop environments can feel alienating to non-white people, and much, much more—after all, this aspect of the conversation is really only just beginning. "Built as a conversation starter, the workshop laid a clear and cohesive foundation for attendees wanting to grow in their anti-racist practice," Umeko wrote, and we hope to see it continue boldly and with more and more momentum going forward. A Perfect Matcha Matcha is the espresso of the tea world. No, wait, hear us out: It's a thick, concentrated, and bittersweet form of green tea, it's typically consumed in a shot-like volume, there's a whole ceremony involved in its preparation, and, well, you can make lattes out of it. It's also one of the hottest non- coffee trends to hit specialty coffee in a long time. For the tea uninitiated, matcha is a very fine powder made from Japanese green tea, which is vigorously whisked with a small amount of hot water to make a small but mighty gulp of warm, antioxidant-rich, and complex liquid. One big difference between matcha and espresso is that the former is so pulverized that it fully dissolves into the liquid, offering more nutritional and healthful qualities than coffee, from which water can dissolve some solids but not all that constitute a coffee bean. (In other words, unless you're brewing instant coffee, there's always grounds left over in the filter, portafilter, or press pot.) Don't call matcha the yerba maté of the 2010s, though. (You youngin's might not remember the very second-wave '90s trend of maté lattes and it shows.) This tea isn't just for health-conscious hippies: Its nutty flavor tastes truly great in steamed milk, especially nondairy milk, and skilled baristas can pour the most striking green-and-white latte art with it, ready-made for Insta-fame. "Matcha produces stunning latte art and vibrant colors in other beverages while offering unique benefits," says Matthew Moseley of Barista Pro Shop, which offers a range of matcha products to café owners. "Couple that with an increased consumption of tea in younger generations, and it's arguably a menu addition that's here to stay for a while." Matcha powder is widely available from tea sellers and barista supply shops such as Barista Pro Shop ( ), so ask your vendor now. What are you taking away from our awesome coffee world right now? Let us know about cool trends, fun gear, killer drinks, events, places, peopleÑyou get the idea! Email Cecilia Belser-Pa on (standing) and Jaime Rovenstine (seated at table) led a coff ee-focused anti-racism workshop at Monarch Coff ee in Kansas City during the U.S. Coff eeChamps event. PHOTO BY UMEKO MOTOYOSHI PHOTO COURTESY OF BARISTA PRO SHOP Continued from page 24 26 barista magazine

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