FEBRUARY 21ST, 2018
Uppers & Downers aims to educate brewers and beer fans on the diversity of flavors and aromas that craft coffee provides as an agricultural ingredient.On the Wednesday before our 2018 fest, we held two events to help teach people more about the origins of coffee, process of roasting, and the resulting products—espresso, brewed coffee, and coffee beers!
In the early afternoon, we helped to host the team from La Marzocco for a hands-on demo using their home espresso machines. Guests were invited down to Revival Food Hall to learn how to pull a proper shot. Our friends from Counter Culture Coffee were on hand to share their Hologram blend and to help teach these barista skills.
Following the demo, we headed over to the Fulton Market area of Chicago for roaster tours with Oatly. Guests started at Metric Coffee, where we got an introduction to Metric’s approach to coffee and were also treated to preview of their U&D collab beer with Maplewood Brewery, an insanely unique graham cracker golden ale with cinnamon and Peruvian coffee. Metric sent guests along to the next stop with a take-home bag of Uppers & Downers Blend coffee. At Passion House the assembled crew got to tour their operations and check out their set-up—including their antique roaster. The group then made their way to Intelligentsia, where we were served some new crop Rayos del Sol Peru and had an informal meet-and-greet with Jose Rivera, a 3rd generation coffee farmer, cousin of Percy Pintado who grew the previously mentiond coffee, and the exporter that helped Intelli put the project together. A walk through the Roasting Works, followed by some Goose Island Bourbon County, rounded out the visit.
The last stop was Counter Culture Coffee’s Chicago Training center. If you aren’t overly familiar with them, CCC is largely a wholesaler. In lieu of having a series of coffee shops around the country, they have training centers—each regional training center is designed to be a hub that fosters coffee education. These facilities are homebase to CCC’s regional support teams, and also a place for our exclusive wholesale partners to train, practice, and explore the potential of coffee and equipment. Each training center is open to the public every Friday from 10–11 a.m. for a free public coffee tasting. The tour ended with some more education on brewing and preparing coffee, along with some beers from Brewery Bhavana and Burial Beer Co.—CCC’s collaboration partners for this year’s U&D fest.
Photos from the 2108 Chicago festival
photos by Stephanie Byce