Our Rundown on Coffee Fest PNW

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Photos: Coffee Fest

[W]e’re back! The inaugural Coffee Fest PNW took off with many not sure how it would feel to have a smaller-scale event compared to past Coffee Fests. However, the two-day trade show didn’t disappoint, and we’re already looking forward to what next year will bring. 

Coffee Fest invites coffee and restaurant professionals to meet each other and attend educational workshops and information sessions, as well as see the newest products on the scene and companies from all around the world. After a quick drive to Tacoma from Fresh Cup’s home in Portland, Oregon, our team met many local roasters, new and upcoming brands, and soon-to-be café owners at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center near the Puget Sound. 

Oat was a popular milk alternative choice to serve samples with at several booths as the interest for plant-based beverages continues to grow. A significant amount of tea companies joined in this show as well, showing that Coffee Fest wasn’t strictly for coffee enthusiasts. 

Fresh Cup’s (from left) Jan Wegiel, Corinne Hindes, Janae Easlon, and Caitlin Peterkin.

Other highlights included latte art throwdowns with several local and national competitors, and an “Ask the Barista” question-and-answer session on the last day, which featured many key players in the Pacific Northwest, including Erica Escalante, owner of The Arrow Coffeehouse; Efrem Fesaha, owner of Boon Boona Coffee; Laila Ghambari with Stumptown Coffee Roasters; Ian Williams, owner of Deadstock Coffee; and Sam Spillman with Dillanos Coffee Roasters. The audience asked questions with topics ranging from customer service and advice on starting out in the industry, to how to stay motivated. 

See you in New York in March, Coffee Fest 2020! We hope to see fresh and familiar faces there. 

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