Barista Nation Enriches Coffee Culture

A sampling of beans, from light to dark, help to illustrate the gradual flavor changes the bean goes through as it is roasted. (Photo by Finny Philip)

A sampling of beans, from light to dark, help to illustrate the gradual flavor changes the bean goes through as it is roasted. (Photo by Finny Philip)

Coffee cognoscenti gathered at Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters on Monday for a full day of seminars, tastings and collaboration at Barista Nation.

Baristas, roasters, importers and the curious and initiated came out to learn about such things as the collaboration between farmers and roasters, how to mix coffee and alcohol, and troubleshooting brews.

Brent Hall of S&D Coffee in North Carolina took attendees through the chemical reactions that happen during the roasting process. He pulled beans out of a roaster in one minute increments for 23 minutes, setting up a line of glasses progressing from green beans to brown coffee. Allowing participants to slurp a spoonful from each glass gave them a chance to taste how flavor develops over time in a roaster.

Christina Furr, lead barista at Avoca Coffee in Ft. Worth, had a unique method of fostering community at the event. Her booth was set up as a conversational setting to photograph and interview fellow baristas whom she will feature on her coffee blog, A Cup of Texas.

Anastasia Chovan, founder of Barista Nation, has done seven other events in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Tokyo over the past two years. “A lot of times baristas don’t have the resources to go to tradeshows because it’s expensive,” she said. “This is free; they just have to do a $10 donation to Care, which is an organization that we support as Barista Nation. Everything else is free; it’s put on by sponsors.”

For over six hours of coffee education that will help enrich coffee culture in Dallas, free was a good price to pay.

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