The festival’s second year in the City of Angels promises tasty treats and friendly competition at Coffee Masters USA.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of Gary Handley for Allegra Events
Last year, Allegra Events launched their first edition of the Los Angeles Coffee Festival with similar amusements as its other installments—endless sampling, live music, musical performances, etc. After a successful first incarnation, Allegra will be returning to the city to host the three-day event from November 8-10 in the Magic Box at The Reef in Downtown L.A.
This year, attendees will have the chance to experience the caffeinated magic of Latte Art Live, but through a much more expansive interactive experience. In addition to watching effortless pours and throwdowns by the city’s best, there will be plenty of workshops that’ll help you improve your techniques, along with panels that focus on specific techniques. Classes include “Mastering Milks: How to Steam Alternative Milk & Dairy” with Espresso State of Mind and Menottis’ Nicely Abel (multiple time slots) and “Dry Foam Technique” with World Latte Art champion Arnon Thitiprasert (also multiple times).
The Lab will host myriad industry-heavy discussions and panels. Led by well-known companies like Devoción, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Chado Tea, Intelligentsia, and others, topics will range from opening your own café to navigating the CBD craze. Check out a full list of panels over the weekend here.
Coffee Masters USA returns with another fast-paced competition that places 16 baristas in a head-to-head battle that crosses a range of coffee discipline—the format is structured by Cupping, Brewing, Latte Art, The Order, and The Signature Drink. A stellar lineup of judges and emcees include Anne Lunell (Swedish Barista Champ, longtime Coffee Masters judge), Michelle Johnson, Ben Kaminsky, and Lem Butler.
As for the promised treats, there will more than enough to eat and drink, of course. Does a workshop called “But First, Free Cookies” capture your interest? There will be the usual array of vendors serving every kind of coffee and tea drink imaginable at The Innovation Zone and The Coffee Cocktail Bar, but there will also be workshops that hope to inspire you to brew something yourself! The Tasting Lab aims to enhance your flavor experience by hosting classes like a craft tea cocktail workshop and a spice cupping with Dona Chai. The full lineup is here.
Your opportunities for entertainment in between the caffeine include cinema, art, and music installations. The Movie Room works hand-in-hand with L.A.’s rich cinematic history; attendees can submit their own production for this coffee-themed independent film festival. A hit from last year was Stumptown’s Flower of Flowers. The Coffee Music Project and Coffee Art Project speak (or sing) for themselves, so be sure to take advantage of the city’s talent while you can.
Tickets to attend the festival are still available and can be purchased here.