Barista Nation San Francisco, next month!

Doesn’t that sound nice? It certainly does to anyone trapped in the snow or cold rain of other parts of the country, as the San Francisco Bay Area is famous for its temperate winter weather. But for the coffee crowd, San Francisco shines for a whole host of reasons.

Not only can you get some of the best espresso in the country from such outfits as Ritual Coffee Roasters, Blue Bottle, 4Barrel, Equator, Verve just down the road in Santa Cruz, and Taylor Maid just north in Sebastopol, among many, many others, but in January, San Francisco will play host to the second Barista Nation to take place in this fair city, hosted graciously once again by David Rio, all day on January 19 at The Women’s Building, 3543 18th St.Taking a cue from the Good Food Awards, whose ceremony celebrating excellence in the coffee category, will take place January 18 and 19, Barista Nation has determined the theme “The Good Cafe” for this year’s one-day, free event.

Yep, we said free. Barista Nation is all about sharing information, offering cafe owners and pro baristas the opportunity to network and collaborate, and put together a roster of some of the best minds in specialty coffee speaking on various timely topics.

Barista Nation San Francisco will welcome local coffee leaders, such as Equator Coffee president Helen Russell, who will speak on the topic, “The Journey from Cup to Farm”; Verve Coffee’s Alex Littlejohn addressing the subject, “From Cafe Job to Career Barista”; Verve’s Chris Baca and Jared Truby, who will deliver the class, “Friends with Benefits: How Developing Relationships with your Customers can Grow your Coffee Culture”; and Eileen Hassi of Ritual, who will be on the panel, “Doing What You Love.”

Other speakers include 2012 United States Barista Champion Katie Carguilo, who will deliver the keynote address, “Journey From Barista To Coffee Professional.” Anne Nylander of the Specialty Coffee Association of America will host a Barista Guild of Americo roundtable discussion on standards and expectations. Jason Burton of The LAB is slated to give the seminar, “Coffee Shop Creativity: Implementing Ideas from Other Areas of the Quality Food & Beverage Industry.” And Barista Magazine publisher Kenneth R. Olson will speak on the topic, “Doing Good While Doing Good Business.”

We know you’re wondering: “How can this be free?” But it is! Not only are you encouraged to sign up and show up for all this free education, but you’ll be given a goodie bag at the door, and you’ll be fed three squares, at no charge! Oh, and when you’re not packing all this knowledge into your brain, you’ll have the chance to play on some of the newest and hottest equipment and products around.

This is why we love Barista Nation. It’s so awesome. You are encouraged to donate $10 to CARE in exchange for attending, but if that strains your budget, scholarships are available. Just email Anastasia at

And you may want to stick around San Francisco after Barista Nation is done to attend the annual Fancy Food San Francisco Show, which brings together some of the top specialty food and beverage purveyors from around the world.

To register for Barista Nation, email And do it soon! This sucker’s gonna fill up fast!

About Sarah 933 Articles
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.