From July 25-28, a wide variety of events in the Rose City will take place in conjunction with the release of Issue 06 of the Coffee People Zine.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Coffee People Zine
Perhaps we here at Barista Magazine are biased, but it if there’s one group that can argue that print isn’t dead, it’s coffee people. This declaration also holds true for the Coffee People Zine, a publication started by Kat Melheim in 2016 that features the creative endeavors of our fellow members outside of the coffee industry. Issue 06 comes out on Thursday, July 25, and Kat is making her way to Portland, Ore., from her home base in Denver this weekend to celebrate the issue with a tour of coffee events around the city.
Basically, think of the tour like a music festival for coffee—which might be a stretch of a comparison, but with such a stacked lineup, it’s hard not to think of this action-packed weekend in a similar context. Every event from July 25-28 features a different aspect of the industry with an artistic flair, and Coffee People Zine has partnered with local companies from the Portland area to plan it and make it happen. By hosting a tour in Portland, Kat hopes to celebrate some of the zine’s featured artists in their home areas, provide more exposure for folx who haven’t heard of Coffee People Zine yet, and connect with even more creative coffee people.
While Kat has hosted several events surrounding the zine releases in Denver, this time she was ready to branch out to a new city. “I wanted to provide the opportunity for more contributors to celebrate with the zine, even if they couldn’t come to Denver,” she explains. “I attend a variety of coffee events throughout the year (especially barista competitions and whatnot), but those only attract and cater to a certain demographic of coffee people (i.e., competitors, coaches, etc.). One main idea behind Coffee People is that ALL coffee pros should be able to connect, to share their passions, and showcase the things they do both inside and outside of coffee.”
Kat continues: “So I wanted to create a space where the events might be centered around coffee, but might not. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to participate. You don’t have to practice a routine for months to be part of it. You can just come, hang out, and have a good time. Also, I love to travel, to see new cities, and to experience the coffee scenes all around. So it’s a way for me to get out, connect with folx from other places, and experience the wider range of coffee communities out there.”
The first event, on Thursday, July 25, celebrates the official release date of the zine with a good ol’ fashioned party at the Buckman Coffee Factory, complete with a DJ, karaoke, and treats. A raffle, in addition to sales from the zine, will benefit the p:ear barista school, a program of the p:ear mentor nonprofit that offers a 10-week specialty-coffee training course for homeless and transitional youths.
The “festival” officially begins on Friday, July 26, with a DIY bagel bar and coffee crawl through downtown Portland cohosted by Sustainable Harvest—because how else are you going to handle the weekend without your caffeine fix? Other highlights include a discussion at Either/Or on labor rights by Coffee at Large, with snacks provided by yours truly at Barista Magazine, and a product photoshoot by Umeshiso and Morgan Eckroth.
Saturday (July 27) gets artsy with a playful “Drink and Draw” in the afternoon, hosted by Stumptown Coffee and one of their own coffee people-artists Jess Ackerman. There’s also a chance to problem solve some issues you may be having at work with Barista Behind the Bar and Black Rabbit Service Co. The evening features an art showcase by Junior’s Roasted Coffee at their café called “Ask Me About the Cost of Production,” which will include art and film from baristas, roasters, and customers on the topic.
Things wrap up on Sunday, July 28, with a B.Y.O. cupping at the Proud Mary café. Presented with #shestheroaster, Proud Mary, Oatly, and Roast Magazine, the event encourages women of all walks to bring something new and sparkling to the table to taste. Otherwise, Sunday is still an open book. Follow the Coffee People Zine on Instagram for additional event updates, and order your copy of the latest issue on their website.