Bloom comes to San Francisco this week, with a lineup of innovative speakers, presentations, and events to spark conversations within the barista community.
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of SCA
The third iteration of Bloom comes to San Francisco this week, featuring a lineup of speakers, presentations, and events to engage the barista community. Bloom is no one thing—it’s not a collection of talks, nor is it entirely coffee-focused. Instead, Bloom—an event hosted by the Barista Guild of America—invites visionaries from all realms to share their expertise and push the coffee community to think critically about the work we do and the industry we’ve built. “Bloom brings together some of the best minds in coffee, creating a unique opportunity for deeper discussion and engagement for attendees,” the website shares. “Bloom’s mission is to ignite a national conversation and make noticeable the ideas that emerge as a result.”
In the past, speakers and presentations have focused on topics such as carving out a career in coffee, how coffee quality is an ever-changing goal, and turning toward other industries, like beer and hospitality, to speak to the intangible qualities that unite coffee to the larger service world. This version of Bloom features some of the most progressive topics yet, including a panel on fast-service coffee moderated by Nick Cho of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, a talk from Mokhtar Alkhanshali of Port of Mokha Coffee on tying the roots of coffee to how we currently understand it, and a tasting of natural coffees from winemaker Martha Stoumen of Martha Stoumen Wines. (Disclosure: I will be giving a talk and leading a presentation on behalf of my podcast called “Exploring Your Privilege with Boss Barista & the BGA.”)
Bloom kicks off Wednesday night with a launch party and panel at the Intelligentsia Roast Works. “We hope to give a brief introduction to the world of natural wine and coffee by hosting a brief tasting from wine producer Martha Stoumen and also showcasing a natural coffee from the Gesha Village project,” shares Jesse Raub, education and events manager for Intelligentsia. “This will be a great preview for the Bloom event on Thursday, and give people a chance to socialize with the other attendees as well.” Bloom continues through Thursday and Friday with a variety of events and speakers scattered throughout the greater Bay Area. Events will not just be limited to the venue where speakers and panels will be held, but will be scattered throughout the city, encouraging baristas and coffee professionals to engage with their host city and experience the unique coffee culture of each area. The event will come to a close with an event hosted by Andytown Coffee Roasters, in collaboration with the Bay Area Coffee Community, called the Taste Fair, where attendees will get to try goods from four different artisans in San Francisco and learn more about how these products are made.
Bloom is not only about exploring the host city and highlighting local speakers, but it’s about bringing together the coffee community across the nation. If you can’t attend Bloom, a number of satellite events will be taking place across the United States, broadcasting the presentations, bringing in their own speakers, and organizing their own events.
Bloom is also about exchanging ideas, and participants will have plenty of time throughout the event to have one-on-one conversations with presenters and bounce thoughts off their fellow baristas. There are still tickets available for the event at the Bloom website, and anyone is welcome to attend the kick-off event and the Taste Fair.