We sit in a fun, illuminating position within Brighton coffee — working with nearly all of the specialty companies, and some chains, gleaning insight into how they operate and what Brighton coffee standards are like. Sometimes, we’re pleasantly surprised by the way coffee businesses (including one or two newcomers on the scene) take care of their staff and focus rigorously on quality. Other times, we can be appalled at the way owners care more abut optics than quality and treat baristas as disposable items.

What is the state of Brighton coffee? The Brighton Coffee Festival next weekend should be a pretty good harbinger.

We’ll be there, of course, working with two of our awesome collaborators Victoria Arduino and Small Batch Coffee. Expect to have your brain bent by some really interesting side-by-side comparisons, and a bit of hands-on stuff too.

On the VA stand, we’re working with Square Mile on a super-special coffee from Guatemala called Red de Mujeres, or “network of women.” Where civil war and a coffee crisis have left widows and abandoned families, this project seeks to support them with organic farming methods and an international market for their coffees. This particular coffee is from 50 farmers in the Huehuetenango region, and Square Mile has just roasted some and shipped it to Brighton for us. You can even try it in advance at Florence Road Market Saturday.

What are we going to do with this coffee? Well, you can taste it via two radically different espresso approaches — we’ll save the details for our festival stall. And we’ll roast a bit live as well so you can get your hands on the process. Our trainees will be involved, and you can chat with them about their experiences.

Meanwhile, we’re also working on a fun, summery component to the Small Batch stand, with details to be revealed! Meanwhile, in other stalls, you’ll be able to taste what’s going on in the Brighton coffee scene, talk to the top tier of coffee businesses about what it’s like to work for them and even check out some talks on running a cafe or latte art wizardry. Tickets are here. See you there?

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