What to Expect at CoffeeCon LA

Secrets of a CoffeeCon First-Timer

“I thought instead of going out to a bar normally on the weekend, why not try a new activity like a coffee conference?

-CoffeeCon LA Participant

CoffeeCon just had its 4th annual consumer conference in LA. For those who aren’t familiar with this event, think of it like the University of Java. With classes in latte art, brewing methods and tons of coffee tastings on the exhibition floor, participants are able to see how a perfect cup of coffee comes to life.

Cramming in as much as I could during the weekend, I’ve hammered down some basic tips for the newbies (like myself) on how to easily navigate this conference. Hint: You do not have to be a coffee expert to go. You just have to enjoy coffee.

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Here are some basic Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind:

1)    Do try lots and lots different java on the tasting floor

There are tons of different roasters and coffee makers that are featured, who can teach you about the various flavors and complexities of coffee. So try as much as you can. Even just watching the experts make the coffee is a treat onto itself. That being said…

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2)    Don’t forget to eat

Wow, we had A LOT of coffee. We chewed on some KIND bars that were being given out at the event, but that simply wasn’t enough. As the day wore on, friend reminded me, “I think we need to eat. I feel like I’m actually drunk on coffee.” So remember to eat.

3)    Do check out the classes

As much fun as the tastings are, the classes are a super interesting and interactive experience. I took classes in latte art by Heather Perry and pour-over methods taught by Chuck Herrera (owner of Good People Coffee). There is an actual espresso bar that gets rolled to the front of the classroom for this. Oh did I mention that as the lecture goes on, baristas are also making and handing out drinks for the audience? Yeah. Be sure to check out the schedule of classes online in advance and get to the classroom early … or be ready for standing room only.

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4)    Do meet other people

I met tons of coffee enthusiasts, shop owners, and baristas that are passionate about their trade. While coffee was the main topic, we also connected on other important questions - like why is parking in LA so expensive and where can we go get some grub?? 

5)    Don’t be shy about asking questions

You may be intimidated by all the experts, but at the end of the day, it’s just people coming together to enjoy good coffee. Ask all the questions you ever wanted to know about how to brew the perfect coffee. Then you can be the cool coffee expert when your guests come over.

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6)    Do stay for the prize drawing if you can

If you have not crashed from your caffeine high, make sure to stay for the prize drawings at the end, which includes top-of-the-line coffee makers.

Also read our spotlight story about how Kevin Sinnott founded CoffeeCon. Don’t worry, if you missed the conference in LA, this coffee caravan will also hit New York, Seattle and Chicago this year. Make it a good excuse to go couch surfing and visit a friend. 

Tickets for purchase at http://www.coffee-con.com/

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