Taking place August 19-21, Coffee Fest Los Angeles offers 180 hours of educational programming, as well as competitions, new products, a sprawling exhibition hall, and more.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Coffee Fest
The Coffee Fest trade show is a hallmark of today’s coffee industry: Three times a year, attendees and exhibitors flock to a different city to take in everything the show has to offer, from booths to competitions and beyond.
One item that fits in the “beyond” category is Coffee Fest’s educational programming, which the trade show has been expanding rapidly in recent years. When Coffee Fest Los Angeles takes place August 19-21, the event will offer over 180 hours of education, including 16 free classes each day and numerous intensive workshops and seminars.
Erika Lowery, show director of Coffee Fest, says the show’s educational programming has evolved as they’ve listened to attendees’ feedback and requests. “Business owners need to know so much to succeed, and so they want to learn from experts to help them,” she says. “We aren’t the experts, but we know them—we have a great network of industry veterans who we have brought together.”
One of Coffee Fest L.A.’s goals with its educational program is to offer a wide range of content to appeal to different levels of experience. “There’s something for every range of coffee and tea business owner at Coffee Fest,” says Erika. “We have content for successful shop owners looking to expand their knowledge, as well as for people who are brand-new to the business.”
Among the courses offered at Coffee Fest L.A. will be:
- The CoffeePreneur One Day Intensive seminar, in which industry veterans Bryan Reynolds, owner of Anthem Coffee & Tea, and Joe Lloyd, owner of Durango Joe’s, share their insights for running a successful coffee business.
- The Drink Innovations Lab presented by Torani, a hands-on workshop that explains how to create multiple new drinks that will expand your menu and increase sales. Supporting sponsors include Pacific Barista Series, Maya Tea, and Klatch Coffee.
- Cold Brew 101, a one-stop shop from Friedrichs Coffee, Brewista, and Enhanced Beverage Solutions that gives attendees everything they need to know to enter the world of cold-brew and nitro coffee.
- The Food Integration Lab, a three-hour workshop designed to educate attendees about what it takes to successfully add a culinary program to their coffee shop.
- Train the Trainer, a two-hour, five-person-per trainer latte art workshop taught by experts Terika Raak of La Marzocco and Michael Ryan of Dapper & Wise. The workshop provides attendees with successful tools to train their own staff.
In addition to the educational offerings, those at Coffee Fest can check out the event’s range of competitions, which include the Latte Art World Championship Open, America’s Best Espresso, and America’s Best Cold Brew.
One thing to note about Coffee Fest L.A.: While Coffee Fest’s third show of the year typically takes place in the fall, this year’s third and final event—Coffee Fest Los Angeles—is happening in August because it’s being held in conjunction with the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and the Healthy Food Expo West. Says Erika, “The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo and Healthy Food Expo West are a great fit for us because there will be lots of restaurant people looking to launch coffee programs and meet local roasters. For the $40 pass for Coffee Fest, you can attend all three shows.”
Coffee Fest L.A. takes place August 19-21 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Head here to register for the event and classes; registration is $40 before July 20 and $60 after, but Barista Magazine readers can use the coupon code 84283 to save 50 percent.