a weekend with fellow coffee snobs.

I am a self-proclaimed coffee snob/nerd/crazy.  It’s one thing I just can’t get away from since I first started working in coffee in 2008.  I’ve worked in all kinds of coffee shops (yes, even chains unfortunately) but I am happiest in specialty coffee (obviously).

Every time I begin to think I know a lot about coffee, I am blown away by the knowledge of others.  I’ve had the opportunity to go to places like Guatemala to learn about the “other side” of coffee and also learn from colleagues who are much more knowledgeable than me.

That’s why it is so great to get to spend time with people are are even more obsessed, and perhaps anal, about coffee and being a barista.

Last weekend was spent in Chicago at the Big Central Barista Competition.  Although I didn’t compete, I got to be surrounded by the coffee community for 3 days straight.  The coffee community is small and relatively community focused, which I absolutely love.  Everyone knows that there really is no money in coffee.  People do it because they are passionate about what coffee means. We know how many lives it affects from the farmers in 3rd world countries to that cup of coffee that keeps us awake throughout the day.  It’s a wonderful little industry.

Here’s some photos I wanted to share from the weekend!

The competition was held in a cool little place called at the Ravenswood Event Center.

Before it was an event center, it was a place where neon signs were manufactured.  And there was over $5 million dollars in sports cars lining the room…

Allie and Sara practicing for competition

Allie getting ready to go.

Sara explaining her espresso to the judges.

Brewers Cup (competing to make the best tasting hand brewed coffee)

Self serve brew bar (basically free unlimited coffee the whole weekend as long as you made it for yourself.  Dream come true.)

Gianni, our favorite Italian and Nuova Simonelli rep

What would I do without them?

It was quite the wonderful weekend surrounded by great people.  I can’t wait until next month when we travel to Portland to attend the Specialty Coffee Association of American (SCAA) convention!

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