I bring you the Twin Cities, where we find Gordon Bellaver. Gordon was a barista in a shop that split. He went on to a new café that sprang from the old. However, after this experience he began to feel a breech between himself and the baristas in the old café. He felt confused as to how to bridge that gap. He then realized that there were varying levels of connect/disconnect between baristas at a lot of the shops in the area. So, he decided to do something about it. After trial and error with a few different ideas, he finally felt inclined to start a barista community website, and grow it into what he has dubbed the “Twin Cities Coffee Guild”. Is this a chapter of the BGA? No. Is it a branch of the BGA? No. Is it a group of baristas, some of whom are BGA members, some of whom are not, all of whom are of the mind of sharing ideas, building community, making great coffee and furthering our profession? YES! This is what the BGA is made of; smaller communities of baristas who are gathering in different pockets around the country, building excitement and bridges shop to shop, roaster to roaster, city to city, region to region across the U.S.
Out of this desire for community have sprung some community events; the next of which is to take place on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 4:00pm. This event will span not only the Twin Cities, but Chicago as well! “A Tale of Two Cities” Latte Art Throwdown will take place in Chicago at the Counter Culture Training Facility 177 North Ada (60607) and in The Twin Cities at The Blue Ox Coffee Company 3740 Chicago Ave. South, Minneapolis (55407). You can find out more information here: http://twincitiescoffeeguild.com/upcoming-events/sunday-funday
The future of the guild, in my opinion, is not that we get bigger, but that we get smaller. We exist to support you, the barista. We work hard to add support and value to you as a barista and the barista community at large. By being plugged into the guild, your events and happenings are put into a larger context. We are simply baristas supporting baristas. Being proactive in your area and shaking things up will bring value out of your relationship with and membership to the guild.
So, thank you Gordon! Thank you Twin Cities, for being an example of how the Barista Community should work. Thank you Chicago and Counter Culture for being the other end of that bridge for this event. I look forward to seeing the results from this next event, and many events to come.
The What: A Latte Art Throwdown between the Twin Cities & Chicago with each city hosting their respective throwdown and then using Twitter to determine the winning city. A relaxed atmosphere throwdown with Bloody Marys and Mimosas.
The When: Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 @ 4pm CST
The Who: Anyone and everyone that wants to compete/participate/attend. Kid Friendly!
Chicago – Counter Culture Training Facility
177 North Ada
Chicago, IL 60607
Twin Cities – Blue Ox Coffee Company
3740 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55407
The Why: An effort to strengthen existing bonds between the Twin Cities and the Second City and build new relationships within the Midwest coffee community through healthy competition.
At 4pm each city will host their own respective Throwdown. No buy-in, everyone is asked to participate, and all shops/companies requested to provide a t-shirt to swap with the other location.
First round is round-robin, top 8 competitors will then go head-to-head to determine each location’s 3 “champions.”
Communicating with each location, the Throwdown then turns to Twitter. @TCvChiThrowdown.
Round 1 competitors pour. Designated person in Chicago/TC then upload the photo to @TCvChiThrowdown with the tag:
“Round 1: Chicago: [barista name, shop]”
The 3 Twitter judges (Seth Lester, Mike Phillips (I think), and one other) reply to the Tweet with which photo they prefer. Their tweet will be:
“Round 1: Chicago OR TC”
Best 2 out of 3. Winning city dances on the bar. Everyone goes home and prepares for Monday.
Sponsored by: Counter Culture Coffee, Blue Ox Coffee Co & The Twin Cities Coffee Guild.