Presenter of sustainable, accessible events, The Barista League plans to hold 12 competitions in 10 countries in the months ahead.
BY J. MARIE CARLAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of The Barista League
The Barista League has officially announced its event roster for the next year.
Last year saw 10 Barista League events worldwide, and the 2023-24 calendar is even more extensive, promising 12 events in 10 countries with more to be announced! (See the bottom of this article for the full list of events.)
The Barista League has committed to tracking each event’s environmental impact, and the reports are published on the website so they’re visible to the public. Part of the ticket price also includes an offset for carbon emissions. Eimear Nelson-Nilehn, director of communications for The Barista League, says, “We’ve been measuring our wastage and CO2 emissions for the past three years. Tracking has also been important as a means of holding ourselves accountable, and we’ve always hoped that our transparency will encourage other coffee events, or just events in general, to be equally forthcoming.”
The Barista League is furthering its commitment to environmental responsibility in 2023. “We are constantly re-evaluating ways to reduce waste, cut emissions, and create more positive effects from our events,” Eimear continues. “We are developing a new sustainability platform with new, more ambitious goals—so stay tuned for more on this over the course of 2023!” Their primary goal is to create barista events that are not just carbon-neutral but net-positive.
Accessibility for All
For each event, The Barista League’s website has info about wheelchair ramps, lights, noise, and other factors that affect accessibility. Organizers also consider the cost; tickets to the events are purposely inexpensive so that baristas on a budget can attend. (For example, an early bird ticket to the Los Angeles event is only $6, and the full-price ticket is $12.)
Steve Moloney, The Barista League’s founder, describes his inspiration for the organization on the website: “Working as a barista I was seeing the origin trips, the travel, super expensive training labs, the restaurant collaborations, and just thinking: What barista working on minimum wage gets to do any of this?” Since its inception, The Barista League has maintained that every person who wants to attend one of their events should have the opportunity.
Eimear states further, “We are currently developing an accessibility policy which will help us to ensure that we’re not just hot air when we talk about The Barista League being for everybody. We want to ensure that where somebody wants to attend one of our competitions, we have processes in place that will help us to listen to the needs of that individual person and do everything we can to make sure they are welcome and safe at our event.”
New Advisory Board
The Barista League has also shaken things up by creating an advisory board to further build on their goals. “The purpose of the advisory board, which comprises around 10 coffee professionals from various locations across the globe and with a variety of experiences to bring to the table, is to ensure that we remain in contact with the industry,” Eimear says. “In listening to the advice and questions raised by the board, we hope to continue to be relevant and valuable to the baristas and coffee professionals we serve.”
The Barista League: Upcoming Events
Oslo, February 18
Mexico City, March 5
Hamburg, Germany, March 25
Brno, Czech Republic, May 26
Toronto, June 17
Los Angeles, August 5
Bristol, U.K., September 9
Melbourne, Australia, September 22
Spain, October 1
Milwaukee, Wis., October 21
Atlanta, December 2
Dubai, January 11
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. Marie Carlan (she/they) is the online editor for Barista Magazine. She’s been a barista for over a decade and writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. When she’s not behind the espresso bar or toiling over content, you can find her perusing record stores, collecting bric-a-brac, writing poetry, and trying to keep the plants alive in her Denver apartment. She occasionally updates her blog.