Welcome to the August + September 2020 Issue of Barista Magazine!

The August + September 2020 issue of Barista Magazine is out, featuring Shanita Nicholas + Amanda-Jane Thomas of Sip & Sonder on the cover.

Also included: ‘Resiliency and Triumph in the Black Coffee Community,’ ‘Rethink Your Drink,’ ‘Coffee + Colonialism 101,’ ‘How to be a Good Ally of Color,’ ‘Making Your Equipment Last,’ ‘One on One with Edgard Bressani,’ and much more!


As the world continues to grapple with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and this country specifically suffers with an anemic and incompetent federal response, another shockwave has flowed over the nation in the wake of another murder by the police of a Black man, George Floyd. Massive demonstrations flooded streets throughout the United States demanding justice not only for George Floyd but also Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, and so many more. The brutal killing of George Floyd, captured on cellphone video, seems to have been a tipping point, where the evidence of police brutality and cruelty was so overwhelming, and the people in the streets, our fellow Americans, so engaged and enraged, that the systemic racism in our policing, prisons, health care, and other aspects of our society must come to an end.

History, however, is rarely so neat, and justice is seldom swift, no matter how righteous or overdue. And so the authoritarian impulse of those holding concentrated power lashes out at those who seek to dethrone it. Federal forces have descended on our city of Portland, Ore., illegally engaging protestors, detaining and arresting people without charges, and subverting their oath to protect and defend the Constitution in favor of the fascistic fantasy of an overwhelmed and pitiful man.

Resistance is not futile. And whether or not you take to the streets, you can make your voice heard by voting. November 3 will be here before you know it.

In addition to the political work necessary to make the Black Lives Matter movement cause real change in our society, we can say it has impacted us here at Barista Magazine. First and foremost, though we have long sought to represent the diversity of our readership and the global coffee community in our coverage, we have not done a good enough job to make sure Black voices and talent are featured as contributors on our pages. We are endeavoring to change that, but also we recognize it is a process that we must commit to and continue with no matter how much attention the issue is getting at the moment.

Cover Feature: Shanita Nicholas and Amanda-Jane Thomas

August + September 2020 Cover Feature

Two Ivy-League educated lawyers left their positions at a law firm on the East Coast to open Sip & Sonder, a community space and café in the heart of Inglewood, Calif., in 2018. Writer Andrea K. Castillo (and regular visitor to their shop) chronicles their unlikely journey from attorneys to community advocates to baristas and roasters in the August + September 20202 issue. Photography is by the über-talented LaDonn Williams.

‘Resiliency and Triumph in the Black Coffee Community’

August + September 2020 issue Resiliency and Triumph in the Black Coffee Community

In “Resiliency and Triumph in the Black Coffee Community,” Dee Walls writes, “I was interested in discovering how different companies have responded to the unprecedented circumstances [of COVID-19 and BLM].” Specifically, Dee was interested in how Black coffee professionals were handling the unfolding situation: I spoke with each of them about how they thought coffee might play a role in the rebuilding of their particular community dynamics.” Pictured here is Bartholomew Jones, owner of CXFFEEBLACK in Memphis. Photo by Erin Kim.

Rethink Your Drink

August + September 2020 issue Rethink Your Drink

In the two-part feature “Rethink Your Drink,” we take a look at new trends in the specialty drink scene, and how you might incorporate them into your menu. As customers look for immunity-boosting beverages in the age of COVID, or seek out other options for enhancing their well-being, it’s easy to add new drinks to your cafe crafted to satiate their demands, reports Craig Batory in “In Good Health.” Meanwhile, writer Josh Rank investigates the booming CBD market and what possibilities it holds for coffee shops in “CBD for Coffee.”

Top Gear: Making Your Equipment Last

August + September 2020 Issue Top Gear

One of the easiest ways to control costs in your café is to make sure you keep your equipment in great shape by doing regular maintenance. Katrina Yentch writes about her experience as an account manager and seeing shops ignore their gear until a problem arose in “Top Gear.” She writes, “Money went toward replacing equipment that wasn’t taken care of, a problem that could’ve been avoided with preventive maintenance.”

One on One with Edgard Bressani

August + September 2020 issue One on One with Edgard Bressani

Edgard Bressani thought he would work in the foreign service when he was a student, representing Brazil internationally around the world. Although he didn’t end up in the diplomatic corps, he did end up as an ambassador of sorts for the country he loves. He has spent decades promoting the best of Brazilian coffees across the globe. He’s also, of course, been working to promote the best in specialty coffee by volunteering as a World Coffee Events judge for dozens of competitions and championships. Edgard is the focus of “One on One” by Chris Ryan in the August + September 2020 issue of Barista Magazine.

These are just some of the stories you’ll find in the August + September 2020 issue of Barista Magazine. And as always, you have your choice to read it in paper or digital format. You can order a hard copy through our online store here or start a subscription. Of course you can also read it for free online on our website or take it with you with our free app.

About Ken 263 Articles
Kenneth R. Olson (he/him) is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Huskies, and public libraries.