From the looks of it, the Arizona Barista Jam being held in Tucson is a great success. I never did a head count, but the parking lot was filled beyond capacity at The Coffee Vein and everyone I spoke to was surprised at the turnout. Where do all of these people hide?

Above: Larry Jones (Rocket Coffee), Jason Haeger (from Lubbock, Texas), and Gene A. Lemos (Vaneli’s) talk about proper espresso extraction.

The days events for Sunday included a presentation by a coffee grower, a discussion of espresso extraction (the proper way), a latte art demonstration by Reid Hickman, an expert barista from Zoka, and of course the latte art contest itself.

Reid Hickman

Above: Reid Hickman demonstrates latte art.

The days events on Sunday wrapped up with an open jam session where anybody could use the espresso machines to practice. That night the folks at Vaneli’s brought in a half dozen home espresso machines for everyone to try. A large group of the local community showed up for the evening events.

Reid Hickman

Above: Reid Hickman’s latte art.

I was pleasantly surprised by how many people had flown in to attend or be a sponsor. There were folks from Oregon, Texas, California, and other places.

I have a bunch of videos and photos to come this week. It was great to meet so many people. Leave a shout-out in the comments to say hello.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Carrie

    I was sitting here patiently waiting for photos/video as you had promised Chris – and you did not disappoint! Can’t wait to see more – and video too!

    p.s. can you get rid of that first thing – my computer took over and messed with me…..

  2. Michael

    Great art! Hope to see more pictures!

  3. Todd

    Wow – great stuff!! I wish I had been able to attend but I am still trying to get over pneumonia and was afraid of making everyone else sick. Perhaps next time!!

  4. Jim Huff

    Hey Chris thanks for posting pics. We had such a blast hosting the jam this weekend thanks to all who made it a success. Jim@the Coffee Vein

  5. Michael — Yup, I’ll have more photos posted in the next few days.

    Todd — Too bad you couldn’t make it, it was fun.

    Jim — Thanks for hosting! You did a good job.

  6. Jim,
    I wanted to email you guys but this’ll have to do.

    Thanks for hosting this thing. I had a blast. It turned out to be a GREAT thing for the AZ coffee community.

    Long live The Vein!

  7. Davney

    We, the owners of Cabin Coffee and three of our employee’s attended the Barista Jam in Tucson and I have to say it was a great opportunity for those of us who have a passion for coffee and quality to acquaint ourselves with others who have the same ideology. We wanted to network with other independent coffeeshops in Arizona to share and exchange ideas to help educate our staff and of course our valued customers about coffee.

    There were a few “newbies” that attended the seminar who were interested in opening a coffeeshop, and it was great to see them followup and visit us at our coffeeshop. One of the goals of the Barista Jam was to Network, and that we did! We love to see that kind of passion and enthusiasm.

    Oh, by the way, my manager, Jessica Olsen who is also part of the Arizona Barista Guild is the heart and soul of Cabin Coffee Espresso also won 1st place in the Latte Art Contest!

    We appreciated the EFFORT and HARD WORK put forth in organizing this event. From the awesome vendors who not only donated their time, but supplies, and equipment. to the wonderful hosts at the Coffee Vein and guest speakers. We wish everyone the best of luck in pursing their coffee dreams!

  8. Thank you to everyone that attended our first, and definately not our last, Arizona Barista Jam! The energy and enthusiasm was apparent and the thoughts and discussions being exchanged were crackling with energy. It was amazing to see so many people sharing ideas and their own personal stories!

    I want to thank Martha, Jim, Trevino and Lindsay from the Coffee Vein for the incredible amount of hard work and effort they put into making this Jam happen! Everything flowed seamlesly and people were made to feel welcome due to the Vein’s tireless efforts. Amazing job!

    A big thank you to all of our sponsors who believed in us and the growing Arizona coffee scene and wanted to be a part of and support our Jam!

    I also need to express my gratitude to the people who gave the presentations, like Edward Martinez from Finca Vista Hermosa who made the trip from Bellingham, WA to share his stories and knowledge with us!

    It was gratifiying to meet so many people who share a passion and commitment to excellence in the exciting world of coffee.

    Congrats Jessica – you ROCK!!!

  9. Hey everbuddy! I cannot say how much, as an ex-pro and an obsessed geek, how much I enjoyed the jam. And it was mostly work for me! I did have an unusual POV to observe some of teh latte’ art hotshots and the competitors from the dish sink, though. ; > It was great to be able to hang out with some of the folks that post on some of the fora, and put personality and voices to the words on the monitor. Chris, I know I musta walked past you a half-a-dozen times, minimum, I wish we had bumped into one another while we were in the same room. Next time you take the boring road to Tucson, make sure that I get to pull you a doppio.
    And as for the next Jam, I’ll probably volunteer to work that one, too. My suggestion is that you get your technical needs filled ahead of time (I’ll make slideshows into PowerPoints, and I have a ‘real’ projector and a screen; sound kit if required, including wireless mics; tables; electrical kit, carpentry kit, reg’lar tools, and the occasional Mazzer if you run short ‘o’ grinders) and I require an hour less of sleep between calls for every doppio that gets pulled in the morning!
    For those of you that I *did* get a chance to meet, I’ll see you at the next one.
    For those of you considering volunteering to clean up after these rockstar baristi in a competition, all I can say is that you’ll learn tons, and they are far more considerate than plain rockstars!