Coffee News Roundup: Week Ending March 12th

An espresso cups sits on a table beside a folded newspaper. Via Unsplash

An espresso cups sits on a table beside a folded newspaper. Via Unsplash

This week marks one year since the US, and much of the world, went into various forms of lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking back on the Roundups from that time, a lot of focus seemed to be on reusable cups. Good thing we dealt with that threat.

Here in 2021, there’s not a lot of coffee news this week, but there’s one incident that hasn’t received a lot of coverage outside of social media that I’d like to begin with.

Barista Magazine And Allegations Of Transphobia

This hasn’t (as of yet) been covered by any other outlets, and has instead played out across social media over the past few days. (Full disclosure: I have written one (1) article for Barista Magazine’s online site in the past, as a favor for a friend.)

Last week Barista Magazine Online published the second in a series of stories on sobriety in the coffee industry. One of the interviewees for this piece, Kebechet Moxen, uses the neopronouns xe/xem/xyrs.

According to the allegation posted by the writer, Mark Van Streefkerk, and by Moxen on social media, the editor of Barista Magazine took issue with including these pronouns and edited them out of the piece. The editor, according to Van Streefkerk and Moxen, suggested removing Moxen from the article completely, ostensibly because the pronouns might be confusing to international readers. Another argument put forward was that Moxen’s pronouns weren’t in the AP style guide that Barista Magazine follows.

(An aside: it would have been extremely easy for the publication to just add a note to the article explaining the neopronouns; it took me literally one minute to find just a wealth of information on the subject.)

Another coffee professional got involved and the changes were reversed (and the article linked above includes Moxen’s pronouns). The next day, Van Streefkerk’s freelance contract was cancelled by the magazine’s publisher.

After a lot of criticism, Barista Magazine put out a statement (not, it should be noted, a proper apology). This led to further criticism, some weird defensiveness, and a number of coffee organizations announcing their decision to stop working with the magazine.

On Friday the magazine put out a further statement on Instagram, from the editor, that was closer to an apology—and which currently has over 100 comments underneath, some of which are truly awful and transphobic and show that the coffee industry still has so much work to do in this regard.

For what it’s worth, after reading all of this over the past few days I’ve decided that I won’t be sharing articles from Barista Magazine any more, either here or on social media. And I certainly won’t be writing for them in the future.

Specialty Coffee Association To Host Coffee Retail Summit In April - via Daily Coffee News

It’s been a tough year for the coffee retail industry. Plunging demand, lockdowns, having to stop using reusable cups—cafes have been hurting (and many have in fact closed down) over the past 12 months.

Luckily, the Specialty Coffee Association is here to help. Next month they’ve announced a virtual coffee retail “summit” to address the ongoing issues so many retail business are facing. This will take the form of “a series of discussions and live lectures focused on brand new research relevant to the retail market, tools to help make difficult business decisions, and more,” according to the website.

SCA CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos said in an announcement that this summit “represents our efforts to continue to decrease the number of barriers to access knowledge and resources within the global specialty coffee community.”

The summit, which will take place over two days and be free to attend, will be accompanied by an online library of resources for retailers to help them address their needs.

Read the full story here.

Long shot of Colombian coffee farms with mountains in the distance.

Long shot of Colombian coffee farms with mountains in the distance.

More Headlines

La Marzocco Introduces Next Generation Of Classic GB5 Espresso Machine

Fresh Coffee From Florida? Scientists Are Brewing Up The Possibility

Is Coffee Good For You?

Nothing new this week, but your coffee preference might explain your personality according to a new study.

In this study—more of a poll, really—2,000 people were asked a series of questions about coffee, pop culture, and more (as the study was commissioned by Califia Farms, alternative milk preferences was also asked).

Age and coffee preference were closely aligned, with 94% of those over 56 preferring hot coffee while younger generations preferred their caffeinated beverage iced. The older responders were also more likely to be extroverts and enjoy Schitt’s Creek, apparently.

Also according to this “study”, all coffee drinkers surveyed would “rather give up social media (22%), TV (18%), alcohol (16%), and video games (4%) than coffee.”

What I’m Drinking This Week

Although this is the first time posting about it, I’ve been drinking Espy Coffee’s natural Ethiopia Koke all week and enjoying it thoroughly.

What To Read

Contemplating The Coffee Supply Chain: A Horror Story by Pam Baker (this is an interesting article about cybersecurity threats in the coffee industry; it just has a very weird title)

Bushwick Coffee Entrepreneur Uses Her Influence To Fight Anti-Asian Violence by Jessy Edwards

Until next week, drink good coffee.

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