The February + March 2023 issue of Barista Magazine features New Zealand coffee & chef champion Sam Low on the cover. Also inside: a special section on branding, understanding trademark law, an interview with Laura Sommers, field reports from Kansas City, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, and much more.
BY KENNETH R. OLSON
We’re excited to release the February + March 2023 issue of Barista Magazine! Our writers and editors did a tremendous job to create another issue packed with great informational articles. The February + March 2023 cover features Sam Low of New Zealand, who’s not just a champion barista but also the newly crowned winner of MasterChef New Zealand. Inside we’ve got a special section on branding and rebranding, an interview with longtime specialty coffee pro Laura Sommers, field reports from across the globe, and more.
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Cover Feature: Sam Low
While the COVID-19 pandemic locked almost everyone away from the larger world, Sam Low used his time in isolation creatively, re-plating and Instagramming his meals while spending weeks in quarantine in a hotel, for example. The New Zealander had already made a name for himself as a coffee pro and barista champion, but Sam emerged from the pandemic with a new title: champion chef. Barista Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Sarah Allen, interviews Sam about his journey as a coffee expert but also a child of immigrants and a queer advocate.
Whether your business is expanding to new locations, acquiring an existing business, or is simply looking to freshen things up, a rebranding initiative can be costly and disruptive. Writer Josh Rank takes a look at what advice to take and which mistakes to avoid when creating an updated brand in “(Re)Branding: A Second First Impression.“
Special Branding Section
While we take a deep dive on rebranding in the February + March 2023 issue, we also pull back to the larger view of breaking down the basics of branding. In our special branding section, we talk to coffee professionals Julia Mayer of Dune Coffee, Sam Schroeder of Olympia Coffee, and Jess Steffy of Square One Coffee about their experiences building a brand. We also highlight common mistakes to avoid and successful steps to emulate when creating your brand.
A close companion to branding is trademarking. A trademark is not a brand but rather a piece of a brand. A trademark offers legal protections but can also come at a cost for your business. Barista Magazine’s longtime business columnist Tracy Allen of Brewed Behavior breaks down what goes into a trademark and whether or not your business should file for one in “Cashbox.“
’One on One: Laura Sommers’
Sure, she’s spent time dressed as a latte, waving customers into a café, but that just means Laura Sommers has devoted a lot of time to working in coffee. Ask her why, and she’ll say the answer is easy: the people. Since starting in specialty coffee in Seattle in the 1990s, Laura has been at the forefront of innovation and change in the industry. She talks about the growth she’s seen, her humble beginnings, and what she sees for the future of the coffee community in the February + March 2023 issue “One on One“ interview.
All of these stories and more are in our latest issue. Inside the February + March 2023 issue, you’ll also find field reports from Kansas City, Hong Kong, and Indonesia, while the “Foam“ section features articles on DIRT Coffee, trans joy, and what it’s like to work at the northernmost and southernmost cafés in the world.
Subscribe and More!
As always, you can read Barista Magazine in paper or digital format. Read the February + March 2023 issue for free with our digital edition. And for more than three years’ worth of issues, visit our digital edition archives here.