In light of coffee event cancelations across the globe, industry pros are coming together to speak on livestream video panels—free of charge.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of the Virtual Coffee Festival
For many of us in the coffee industry, events and expos are the highlight of the year. They’re among the rare times you can reconnect with your coffee friends from around the world, as well as an opportunity to learn about upcoming trends and further your education with endless workshops and panels. Although nearly all of these events have been canceled or postponed (SCA, World of Coffee, Re:co, etc.), there’s still a chance to connect and learn at the Virtual Coffee Festival this Sunday, March 29, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central European Time.
Alex Kitain, founder of The Coffeevine and Freshdrip in Amsterdam, is leading these efforts, and assembled the list of topics and speakers who will be presenting them. “My aim is to send positive vibes to an industry currently in crisis, and a message of encouragement saying, ‘Yes, we can get through this together,’” says Alex. “I would love the Virtual Coffee Festival to become a new recurring event—a great addition to the annual coffee festival calendar.”
The festival will feature an impressive list of notable international coffee professionals coming together to give their take on subjects like water for coffee brewing and making a killer AeroPress. Speakers and workshops include:
- Ronny Billemon (Belgium) – Author of Equilibrium in Water and Coffee: Find the Perfect Water for Coffee Brewing
- Joe McTaggart (Germany) – Comandante Grinders: Precision Grinding for Every Brew Method
- Talor Browne (Australia) – Founder of Talormade Coffee & Donuts: On Choosing Unique Coffees and Giving Them Characters
- Matt Winton (Australia/Sweden) – Swedish Barista Champion & Swiss Brewers Cup Champion: Basics for Brewing Incredible Coffees
- Wendelien van Bunnik (Netherlands) – Dutch Barista Champion & World AeroPress Champion: Making the Best Coffee Ever with Your AeroPress
“The topics were inspired by a recently conducted survey amongst Coffeevine subscribers where we asked them to share their biggest frustrations, fears and feel-good moments with regards to brewing coffee at home,” explains Alex when asked about the curation of these subjects. “This survey was the first of its kind that took a deep dive into peoples’ personal ambitions and struggles to figure out what topics need addressing in the form of more education. I also wanted to make sure that the various workshops would be engaging and by doing a live AeroPress workshop led by the current World AeroPress Champion seemed like the perfect way to close.”
The format of these panels will be Q&A-style. Each session will be a 25-minute presentation, followed by a 20-minute Q&A discussion. During this time, the hashtag #virtualcoffeefestival will be utilized by participants to connect and share how others are enjoying the festival. You can stream the Virtual Coffee Festival on YouTube, Facebook, and other video conference platforms. To get updates on where and when to stream, you can sign up here.
While chances to connect and high-five IRL are not available, the festival still lowers the barrier to entry by offering these workshops free of charge. However, you can donate any amount of money you choose to donate to Doctors Without Borders to aid coronavirus relief efforts before, during, and after the coffee festival here.