If you want to see where coffee is headed (other than the Mission, we mean) head over to Berkeley for La Marzocco's Out of the Box event today. It's your last chance to catch workshops, classes, contests and demos on everything coffee. It's also a chance to sample some of the region's premiere roasters brewing their own beans, and check a slew of fancy equipment from La Marzocco, Hario, and others.
If you just want to come get a taste, you've still got time to sample coffees from Verve, Blue Bottle, Equator and more. but if you'd rather get smart, a selection of classes throughout the day offer choices advanced enough for a professional baristas and basic enough for the home enthusiast. (I learned something new in a class on pour over this morning, a topic I thought I was already way past familiar with.) moreover, the seminars give you a pretty good road map of where the industry is headed in 2011. Which, so far, seems to include lots of pressure profiling, even more pour-over madness, and an emphasis on gear, gear and more gear. (Hey, it's a show.)
Speaking of that, the tricked out, gleaming La Marzocco machines are certainly worth seeing. And it's not just for show: If you've ever wanted to get hands-on with a new Strada espresso machine or Uber Boiler, this is your chance. While you probably aren't going to install a brew system the price of a Honda on your home countertop, just learning how they work will help your kitchen technique. And besides, if you tried to take the reins at a cafe you'd likely get thrown in the street. Or so I'd hope. Try it now while you've got the chance.
Some of the other highlights include manual brewing contests this afternoon and evening, a La Marzocco shot brewer raffle, and a bar and closing party this evening. It's fun, come on over the bridge and enjoy.