Coffee Fest Louisville 2023 Recap

We Love Coffee Education!

Here at Carabello Coffee we really value ongoing education and training for our baristas, production team, and other staff! We've been able to take employees on trips to countries like Nicaragua, Honduras, and Costa Rica to meet coffee producers and learn more about the process coffee goes through to get all the way to us in Newport, Kentucky. There are also great professional development opportunities across the U.S. and closer to home, such as Coffee Fest.

Coffee Fest is a specialty coffee industry event that happens in different locations around the country. It's set up like a trade show featuring top-selling brands, suppliers, roasters, educators, and other coffee experts. There are also options for breakout seminars on specific topics for more in-depth coffee learning.

This year, a Coffee Fest location was going to be coming very close to home and setting up shop in Louisville on June 2nd and 3rd. So we decided to send Sarah Wells, one of our awesome baristas and production team members, Preston Tucker, a crucial part of our production team who takes care of our wholesale customers, and one of our newest employees (myself!), our Web Store Manager Sarah Cooney.

Sarah, Preston, and Sarah had a great time meeting some of the vendors we currently work with, talking with fellow Cincinnati coffee friends who also made the journey south but as vendors at the show, making new coffee friends in the Louisville area, and gifting small bags of Carabello Coffee to whoever we could along the way! We all went to extra education sessions relevant to our roles at Carabello and we’re excited to apply what we learned. 

Some Fest Highlights from Our Attendees

Sarah Wells: Sarah loved talking to David Gaines at La Terza, a Cincinnati-based coffee roaster about sustainable entrepreneurship. She felt like she gained new context for the coffee business. She attended a seminar called "Creating Signature Drinks" that helped her understand why we do what we do in the cafe when it comes to creating drinks and confirmed that we're already doing some things that are ahead of the curve, like with our Analog Bar. Sarah loved sampling an innovative cold soup from Earnest Eats.

Preston Tucker: Preston was impressed by a new social media platform for coffee enthusiasts and coffee professionals developed by Prima and well as some of the new custom brewing gear we got to see at the Miir booth. He went to a seminar called "Taste the Roast Profile" hosted by Mill City Roasting. Their quality team talked through cupping and Preston appreciated how they brought education without pretension to tasting the bean. He also went to a cupping hosted by Cafe Imports where he tried a Natural from Sumatra for the first time!

Sarah Cooney: Sarah had the job of handing out 4 oz bags of coffee to certain vendors we work with and to others who took the time to talk with us--everyone who received a bag of coffee was very excited by it. She enjoyed connecting with Deeper Roots Coffee (local Cincinnati coffee friends) and talking to the Earnest Eats team, which is where we get the oatmeal we sell in the cafe. Their team was super personable and excited to talk to us. Sarah was surprised by how much she enjoyed talking to the Lotus Energy team as the only "energy" drink she usually drinks is coffee. Sarah went to a couple seminars, but her biggest takeaway insight was what relationship can look like with our competitors and how we can have a friendly, non-competitive spirit.

Wrapping it Up

At Coffee Fest itself, all three agreed that the best thing they tasted was the Peach Fermented Coffee Soda at the Quills Coffee booth. They loved it so much they decided to make a trip to a Quills location to see what other fun drinks were on offer. Preston, Sarah, and Sarah had a chance to visit a few other local Louisville shops like Sunergos Coffee, Please & Thank You, Merle's Whiskey Kitchen (for Friday night dinner), and Butchertown Grocery Bakery...which they highly recommend for lunch.

It was a great first Carabello professional development trip for these three and we hope there are many more to come!