Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 34 of 103

tion and career-building, to getting started in coffee competitions. Kiln Coffee is one of the bigger names in the Grand Valley coffee scene and is run by twin brothers David and Jonathan Foster. Panel participants Alexandra LittleJohn of Ozo Coffee, Nicholai Elkins of Switchback Coffee Roasters, and yours truly, Josh Taves, shared their experience and perspective based on a collective 35 years in the specialty-coffee industry. The excitement in the audience and the endless thoughtful questions proved the attendees to be eager and enthusiastic about the Jamboree sessions to follow. After the panel, folks headed across town to Copeka Coffee for a latte art throwdown. Copeka has a warm, homey vibe with a heavy focus on family history, all while serving awesome drinks with coffee from Cat and Cloud Coffee in Santa Cruz, Calif. Competi- tion was as fun as it was fi erce, beer fl owed freely, and raffl e prizes abounded. Everyone enjoyed the shenanigans as Sara Doehrman and Eric Palumbo, both of Cimarron, went head-to-head in the fi nals with Sara emerg- ing victorious. The night still wasn't over: In true jamboree fashion, the RMCCA secured two campsites in the nearby town of Fruita for participants to continue the camaraderie and community-building in the dirt-on-your-face kind of way that only sleeping close to others on the ground can accomplish. Campfi res, jokes, ghost stories, and more beer rounded out a very late night for those who braved the elements. The following morning, campers packed out and headed to Bestslope Coffee Company in Fruita for delicious espresso, coffee, and breakfast burritos to recharge. Bestslope does an awesome job in a small town, and it was really cool to see their roastery made out of converted shipping containers out in back of the café. Bestslope has emerged as one of the hottest coffee destinations in Grand Valley. Their sister company, Hot Tomato, serves up delicious pizza and stromboli right next door. Bestslope was the fi rst stop on the Grand Valley coffee crawl organized and led by Sara Doehrman. Participants then headed to the eastern side of the valley to check out a new addition to the coffee scene, Pressed Coffee and Wine Bar in the town of Palisade. This beautiful new café provided amazing coffee (roasted by Bestslope), toasts, and Bloody Marys for crawl participants. Pressed has some unique offerings for the area including a pretty extensive CBD menu, a sophisticated bar drink catalog, and even house-made dog treats. Kiln Coffee Bar and Copeka Coffee also participated in the crawl with drink discounts for RMCCA members throughout the morning. If the Western Slope Coffee Jamboree was designed to connect the larger Colorado coffee community, and celebrate the excellence in specialty coffee that is distinguishing the region, then it couldn't have been more successful. The RMCCA is excited to expand its reach and continue to realize its vision of providing communi- ty-building and educational events throughout the Rocky Mountain time zone. The Western Slope Coffee Jamboree weekend was a giant step in that direction. —Josh Taves 35

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