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1st NOLA Coffee Festival in September

NOLA Coffee Festival Features Southern Coffee Experts.

NEW ORLEANS – The NOLA Coffee Festival is designed to be a celebration of all things coffee in one of America’s most historic coffee cities. Coffee education is the focal point of this two day event that combines industry trade show classes with a consumer coffee festival atmosphere.

“We’re seeking to bring together coffee industry professionals and coffee enthusiasts alike under one roof for learning, collaboration and good times. We expect the outcome to be a stronger regional coffee scene”, explains co-founder Kevin Richards. “Our focus in building the coffee education platform has been to solicit speakers who as southern coffee subject matter experts. In New Orleans alone, our city is estimated to serve 20 million cups of coffee annually. We can double that number for consumption across the Gulf South region.”

Richards points out that New Orleans is a natural location for a serious coffee industry event: “By most counts, the Port of New Orleans is the single largest point of entry for green coffee in the U.S. Accordingly, we have more than a thousand industrial coffee jobs here. Folgers/Smuckers roasts all their coffee here. Community Coffee, PJs Coffee and Reily Foods all roast here as well. Those are industrial coffee giants and all that imported green coffee passes through the Port of New Orleans. Our city of a natural leader in coffee.”

NOLA Coffee Festival Speaker Highlights:

  • Andrea Allen, Onyx Coffee Owner and national barista champion, will talk about her recent documentary and lead a barista class on “How to be Effective in Barista Competition Events”.

  • Chris Kornman, Green coffee expert and Education Director for Royal Coffee, will lead classes on Arabica Coffee Cultivar and the coffee flavor wheel.

  • Rhiannon Enlil, NOLA cocktail expert, will lead an exploration of cocktail innovation using coffee as the key flavor ingredient.

  • Poppy Tooker, Louisiana food writer and food historian, will explain the significance of African American calas cakes and their use by 19th century enslaved women to purchase their freedom

  • Trey Malone, co-owner of Common Co-Labs and Northshore Specialty Coffee in MS, will lead discussion on cold coffee extraction method and RTD cold coffee product trends.

  • Noah Namowicz, SVP of Café Imports, will lead a geopolitical discussion of the current global coffee landscape.

  • Liz Williams, NOLA food historian and founder of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, will lead talks on the coffee heritage of New Orleans and the importance of the Port of New Orleans.

  • Suzanne Stone, book author and docent at the Historic New Orleans Collection, will lead a review of historical and current female coffee leaders in New Orleans

  • Bob Arceneaux, owner of Orleans Coffee and regional coffee leader, will explore modern coffee blend strategies.

  • Lauren Fink, owner of Cherry Coffee a and NOLA coffee leader, will lead roaster roundtable discussions.

  • Felton Jones, Chief Roast master for PJs coffee, will lead a roaster best practices roundtable.

  • Miguel Gomez, Phd candidate at University of Houston, will introduce his new research to reveal why Robusta is now in position as a “first to market value driver in the U.S. market.

  • Eric Brenner, Asst-Director of Center for Coffee Research at Texas A&M, will lead a review of rust resistance data in Central America and provide action items for farmers there to convert their arabica varieties.

  • Anna Guiterrez, Director of Brand Development at Barista 22, will lead classes on coffee shop menu development and innovating signature coffee drinks.

  • Melissa Dixon, a lead educator at La Marzocco, will lead a session on foundational espresso tasting and brewing development.

  • Deniseea Taylor, social media blogger for Chicken and Champagne, will relate new coffee and cocktail creations to the black heritage roots that inspired them.

  • Zella Palmer, Director of the Ray Charles African American Program at Dillard University, will air her award-winning documentary “The Black Hand Stirs the Pot” and discuss impact of creole cooking in New Orleans cuisine.

  • Prince De’Araujo Lobo, Creative Director at Addis Nola Ethiopian Restaurant, will deliver a daily Ethiopian coffee blessing for the exhibit hall and in the classrooms.

“Coffee education is a key need in our region,” added co-founder Jim Currie. “Of the 3,500 coffee shops located in LA, MS and AL, very, very few have ever attended a national coffee conference or training event. We want to flip that around and make great coffee education easily accessible for the thousands of baristas, coffee shop owners/managers and green coffee roasters that work in the gulf south. We believe that better networking and better classroom discussion will directly lead to new coffee innovations. Southern chefs have always been national trendsetters and culinary flavor leaders. It is no different for our work in coffee.”

Richards added: “Visitors to the NOLA Coffee Festival can expect to taste over 25 coffees from our regional roaster community, take part in over 60 hours of free coffee education, interface with companies from across the coffee industry, hear talks from New Orleans’ finest historians about the roots of coffee in New Orleans, watch exciting barista competitions, experiment with home and

commercial coffee equipment, explore artwork from our coffee community, meet coffee farmers from Central and South America, and more. And, of course, you be able to find a fantastic cup of chicory coffee.”

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