Get Rowdy in Seattle: The Coffee Expo Party Rundown

By day, coffee folks all across the world will gather together to taste coffees and engage in discussions about the current state and future of coffee. By night, however, there will be celebrations, get-togethers, and parties all across Seattle. Here’s our current rundown of parties during Expo.


As the 2018 Specialty Coffee Expo, taking place April 19-22, gets closer, you might be making lists of all the things you want to do—all the coffee shops you want to hit in Seattle, all the booths you want to visit, and perhaps most importantly, what to do after the Expo floor has closed. Each year, various coffee companies and organizations host and throw parties; here’s a rundown of some of the parties we’re most excited about.

WHO: She’s the Roaster
WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: indi chocolate (1901 Western Ave.)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: She’s the Roaster is a network of women, gender non-conforming, gender queer, and transgender members of the roasting community. At this event, meet and network with other roasters and learn about roasting essentials from Caitlin McCarthy-García and Jen Apodaca of Royal Coffee.

WHO: Specialty Coffee Expo Official Launch Party
WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 6-9 p.m.
WHERE: Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP), 325 Fifth Ave. N
WHAT’S HAPPENING: The Expo’s opening party will feature the U.S. Latte Art Throwdown by Pacific Foods Barista Series, a performance by Expo Portrait Country China, an ’80s/’90s dance party, and much more. Attendees can ride the Seattle Monorail for free to and from MoPOP with proof of badge.

WHO: The Chocolate Barista (in partnership with Oatly)
WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 7-10 p.m.
WHERE: The Riveter (1517 12th Ave., Suite 10)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: The Chocolate Barista is a platform focused on promoting diversity and inclusion in the specialty-coffee community. At this event, meet and mingle with other coffee folks, especially people of color new to Expo. There will be free vegan ice cream courtesy of Frankie and Jo’s, beer, wine, cocktails, and chocolate Oatly milk.

WHO: Department of Brewology + Long Miles Coffee Project
WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 5-7 p.m.
WHERE: Cherry Street Public House (210 Occidental St. S)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Department of Brewology and the Long Miles Coffee Project present Filter Coffee Not People, a charitable art exhibit featuring photos of coffee farmers from Burundi, photographed by Kristy Carlson. There will be light fare, beer, wine, and live music.

WHO: Rancilio Group
WHEN: Thursday, April 19, 4-7 p.m.
WHERE: Fulcrum Coffee (4660 Ohio Ave. S.)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: The Rancilio Launch Party will be the unveiling of the Rancilio Specialty, a new espresso machine designed for the specialty-coffee shop. This is a ticketed event, so make sure to grab your ticket and enjoy light refreshments and food with the Rancilio Group.

WHO: Pacific Foods Barista Series + Barista Magazine
WHEN: Friday, April 20, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sole Repair Shop (1001 E. Pike St.)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: We at Barista Magazine are partnering up with Pacific Foods to host a happy hour to benefit Puerto Rico. There will be a free taco bar and beer and wine, and $5 piña coladas and espresso drinks, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico.

WHO: Cafe Imports + La Marzocco
WHEN: Friday, April 20, 7:45 p.m. (bracelet entrance), doors open at 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Fremont Foundry (154 N. 35th St.)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Are we 100 percent sure what a “Choose Your Own Adventure” party means? No. Are we excited? Heck yeah. Join Cafe Imports and La Marzocco as they throw a raucous party—those at last year’s Expo might remember not being able to get into the wildly fun and yet incredibly crowded LM party last year—so show up early or try to snag a bracelet if you can!

WHO: Scrumdiddlyumptious Signature Cold Brew Mocktail Event Contest
WHEN: Friday, April 20, 7-10 p.m. (finalists in the competition will compete on Saturday at Anchorhead)
WHERE: Synesso Factory (5610 Fourth Ave. S)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Synesso will be hosting a heck of a competition—there will be four rounds of competition, and the winner will walk away with an S200 espresso machine (valued at $11,000+) along with a bevy of other prizes. Entrants must pay a $20 fee; rules are listed here.

WHO: Expo Game & Pizza Party Night
WHEN: Friday, April 20, 6-9 p.m.
WHERE: Anchorhead Coffee Shop (1600 Seventh Ave., Suite 105)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: For the introverts out there, Jenn Chen and Sarah OSell are hosting a game night for folks who want a break from the party scene. The event is BYOB (must be 21+ to drink) and BYO board game. Pizza for 20 will be provided by Tanager Coffee.


WHO: Costa Rica Party at Fulcrum Coffee
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 5-10 p.m.
WHERE: Fulcrum Coffee (4660 Ohio Ave. S)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Fulcrum Coffee is teaming up with Instituto del Café de Costa Rica (ICAFE) to host a Costa Rican Coffee Cocktail party. Expect food, music, and dancing!

WHO: Coffee + Vinyl Happy Hour Throwdown at Visions Espresso
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 5-8 p.m.
WHERE: Mr. West Cafe Bar (720 Olive Way, Suite 103)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: Join Visions Espresso for a high-stakes latte art competition. First place wins a Nuova Simonelli OSCAR and G60 Grinder! There are 32 spots in the throwdown; doors open at 5 p.m. and first pour is at 5:30 p.m. The first 100 folks to register at Eventbrite will get a free drink ticket, and attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite vinyl albums to play at the party. Free beer will be provided by Stoup Brewing.

WHO: Specialty Coffee Expo After Party
WHEN: Sunday, April 22, starting at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Aston Manor Nightclub (2946 First Ave. S)
WHAT’S HAPPENING: As usual, the Barista Guild of America (BGA) is hosting the last party of Expo. The night is usually filled with dancing and good times as folks let loose and celebrate the end of Expo.

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at


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