Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 33 of 103

P U L L : E V E N T S COFFEE, CAMPING, AND COMMUNITY IN BEAUTIFUL WESTERN COLORADO The Grand Valley of Colorado is a hidden gem of adventure and opportunity for those willing to make the trek. Encompassing a large area that includes the towns of Grand Junction, Clifton, Palisade, and Fruita, Grand Valley offers world-class mountain biking, rafting, hik- ing, four-wheeling, and rock climbing, not to mention endless camping opportunities. On top of that, the Grand Valley has been deemed its own unique American Viticulture Area, or A.V.A., and was named one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world by Wine Spectator magazine in 2018. As if that wasn't enough, the Grand Valley is per- haps best known for its sprawling fruit orchards that produce some of the juiciest peaches, cherries, pears, and plums you'll ever taste. If there ever was a place that came close to paradise in the high desert, Grand Valley might be it. In the past few years, the area has added another accolade to its profi le: coffee destination. The specialty-coffee industry in the valley has been expanding at a rapid rate, pushing the envelope as far as what to expect from small-town coffee shops. It's impossible not to notice all the great new cafés and roasters popping up on the Western Slope (the larger region encompassing Grand Valley), even for those along the Colorado Front Range four hours away. The Rocky Mountain Craft Coffee Alliance (RMCCA), a group "focused on developing community among coffee enthusiasts—both consumer and professional—through education, collaboration, events, and networking all through the Rocky Mountain region," according to the RMCCA website, couldn't help but notice when its 2019 board elections resulted in the appointment of a coffee-business owner from the little town of Montrose. This spurred the develop- ment of a new remote chapter of the RMCCA focusing on commu- nity-building and educational events on the Western Slope, and is headed by Sara Doehrman of Cimarron Coffee Roasters. Cimarron consists of two cafés, a bookstore, and a roastery in the towns of Montrose and Ridgway, and is truly on the forefront of coffee-com- munity-building in Western Colorado. Over the last weekend in March, the Western Slope chapter of the RMCCA hosted its fi rst event: the Western Slope Coffee Jamboree. The two-day gathering was packed with activities and drew attendees from as far away as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Boulder. The event kicked off at Kiln Coffee Bar in Grand Junction with a panel discussion hosted by Kristyn Wade, 2019 executive chairperson of the RMCCA, and went deep on topics ranging from personal educa- Top photo: The Grand Valley in Western Colorado extends all the way into Utah—but the focus of the Rocky Mountain Cra Coff ee Alliance's recent Western Slope Coff ee Jamboree was decidedly in the stunning region encompassing a few small cities such as Grand Junction. The two-day event drew a endees from around the state for both educational events and discussions, as well as activities designed for the sole purpose of celebrating coff ee, This included spending the night under the stars in this vast, spectacular landscape. Below: The top three in the la e art throwdown portion of the Jamboree: from le , Sara Doehrman and Eric Palumbo, both of Cimarron Coff ee Roasters in Montrose, took fi rst and second, and Alexandra Li leJohn of Ozo Coff ee in Boulder won third-place honors. 34 barista magazine

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