The event series dedicated to providing spaces for queer coffee people and friends will hold its second gathering April 28 at the Counter Culture Coffee NYC Training Center.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos by Jenn Chen
Last week, QC: Queer Coffee Events announced it will host its next event in New York City, organized by James McCarthy of Equator Coffees & Teas, Farah Khawaja of Counter Culture Coffee, and Ezra Baker of Share Coffee Roasters. “This event is dedicated to creating spaces for queer coffee people and friends to build community, collaborate, and have fun,” the Facebook page for the event reads.
The event will feature a panel discussing titled “We Out Here: Chatting About Our Experiences Navigating the Coffee Industry” that will be moderated by Ezra and feature panelists Kristina Jackson of Intelligentsia Coffee, Alexandra Zepeda of Gimme! Coffee, and Katie Bishop and Desmond Hughes-Rivera of Everyman Espresso.
In moderating the panel, Ezra says he intends to explore the perspective of queer people working in this industry. “It’s not often that we get to just talk about our normal but shared experiences in the workplace or behind the bar,” Ezra says. “That’s kind of why we gave it the name ‘We Out Here.’ I also want to talk about the stuff with SCA’s Deferred [Candidacy] Policy. You know, ‘hot topics.’”
Ezra adds that he wanted to get involved in bringing the event to New York City because of how crucial it is to provide a forum for marginalized voices in the current landscape. “Right now it’s important to let your voice be heard when you belong to a marginalized group, and if you aren’t marginalized, then you need to shut up and listen and figure out how you can help.”
QC: Queer Coffee Events was founded by San Francisco Bay Area coffee professionals RJ Joseph and Ellan Kline late last year, and they hosted their first event in December in Emeryville, Calif. “It was so great to be part of a roomful of queer and queer-supporting Bay Area coffee folks from many parts of the labor chain and of all ages,” RJ says. “I was also happy to see many people’s non-coffee friends and chosen family, because sometimes coffee events can feel really insular, and this didn’t.”
That event also featured a panel—titled “The Future of Coffee: Where We’re Going and What It Will Take to Get Us There”—moderated by RJ. “For me, the best part was getting to witness (and even participate in) my first all-queer coffee panel, which was especially amazing because we actually spent the whole hour talking about things we wanted to see in the industry and the future, rather than having to focus the panel’s content around our identities,” RJ says.
RJ says the event was always intended to travel to different communities, and New York was an easy choice. “We figured the second location should be another city with a lot of queer coffee folks that’s easy and exciting for people from the surrounding area to travel to, and NYC was the obvious choice,” she says. While Queer Coffee Events hasn’t yet decided on its third event, RJ says they’ve received interest from people in several cities and are still deciding. “If you’re reading this and you’re interested in hosting, please get in touch!” RJ says.
The New York City event takes place at 2 p.m. April 28 at the Counter Culture Coffee NYC training center. Food will be provided by Little Skips and Little Mo, and will include vegan and allergen-free options. The event is free of charge, but the organizers ask that all attendees read Queer Coffee Events’ Code of Conduct before attending. For more information, check out the Facebook page for the event here.