The Barista League Offers Up High Density 2023

Next week, The Barista League will once again host High Density, a coffee conference for everyone, free on YouTube.


Photos courtesy of The Barista League

After two successful years, The Barista League is returning with the third High Density, a free conference that has something for everyone in the coffee sphere.

High Density is a digital conference that will stream live on YouTube on Thursday, November 16, beginning at 15:00 Central European Time (10 a.m. Eastern Standard Time). Twenty-one speakers are scheduled; each will address a different aspect of the conference’s theme.

Dr. Sabine Parrish of Centre for Food Policy, University of London, U.K., will be among those presenting on November 16.

Not Just Origin

This year’s theme is “Not Just Origin,“ which seeks to help us reconsider what we mean when we say the word “origin.“ How is that term used? How can it perpetuate a system that works against producers? Does it reduce multiple peoples and nations into the same category?

In a press release, The Barista League explains the idea behind the theme. “The theme of High Density 2023—NOT JUST ORIGIN—has been carefully curated to celebrate the unique cultures, challenges, expertise and people that get ignored when we lump so many things into one box, defined by the production of one crop. This theme will be explored throughout the program with session titles such as ’Power asymmetry in the coffee chain: Sources, manifestations, and remedies’ (Karl Wienhold); ’Kenya coffee and the British Empire: Behind a broken value chain” (Philip Magowan); and, ’Who gets to claim terroir? A cautionary tale from France’ (Lucia Solis).“

Xavier Alexander will present the topic “Exploring full spectrum equity: How a roaster can add value in the entire chain.“

The program is curated by High Density 2023 Creative Producer Ana Luiza Pellicer. Ana was born into a family of coffee producers from Monte Santo de Minas, Brazil, and is the COO for International Business at their coffee company Mió. “The use of the term ‘origin’ in the context of coffee doesn’t accurately capture the entire truth but rather reduces a third of the globe, with all its complexities, into one single concept or entity which serves to push apart those who consume coffee from those who grow it,” Ana says. ”Where we should be cherishing the differences, it offers only uniformity,” Ana says.

The Lineup at High Density ’23

Speakers will address topics such as power asymmetry in the coffee chain, ethical coffee sourcing in locales experiencing conflict, traceability, brewing, social media engagement, and more. High Density’s speakers hail from the world over and will discuss the concept of origin from many different sides. Their goal is to improve understanding of where our coffee comes from and how we as global purveyors and consumers can contribute to shifting the narrative.

Keynote speakers include Mikael Jasin of So So Good Coffee Company in Indonesia; Morgan Eckroth of Morgan Drinks Coffee and Onyx Coffee Lab, USA; Smayah Uwajeneza of Elevate Through Coffee Initiative, Rwanda; Mario Fernández of the SCA, Mexico; and many others.

Keynote speaker Sara Morrocchi of Vuna Origin Consulting will present on ethical sourcing.

The Details

Proceeds collected through an optional donation during registration will benefit Grounds for Health, a nonprofit organization focused on providing cervical cancer prevention in coffee-producing countries.

The conference‘s full schedule is available to view online on the High Density website. The High Density program will also have multiple language subtitles.

Binny Varghese is a coffee lover, Q Processor, educator, and consultant who works along the coffee chain (often on a motorcycle).

Registration is also totally free! When you register, you’ll be able to stay up to date with conference happenings, and will automatically be entered into a drawing to win prizes from some of this year’s High Density official partners.

Don’t miss out! Register here to join in the conference on November 16!


J. Marie Carlan (she/they) is the online editor for Barista Magazine. She’s been a barista for 15 years 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.


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