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Barista Nation Los Angeles – known far and wide on various social media platforms as #BNLA – went down this past weekend in Montebello, California, and was by all rights a smashing success for all involved. Your Sprudge Editors were on hand to address the crowd as featured presenters, but in reality, we were just one small part of a day jam-packed full of educational lectures, cuppings, tastings, demos, and networking for specialty coffee enthusiasts from across the American Southwest.

As hosted by Wilbur Curtis Co. and presented by UNIC, this event brought together passionate thought leaders and curious newcomers alike, all in an enormous converted warehouse space due east of Los Angeles proper. The highlights were many – so many, in fact, that we spent much of our recovery time post-#BNLA scouring through the remarkable treasure trove of photographic content published under the auspices that very active hashtag. Here’s a look at some of our favorite moments from Barista Nation Los Angeles; some of them we shot ourselves, others we pulled from the event’s top social photo contributors, but all are meant to give you a flavor for what went down last weekend in LA, and to archive this remarkable event for all eternity here on Sprudge. Here’s our 25 favorite moments from one of the hottest coffee parties LA has ever seen.

1. This incredible massive #BNLA hashtag awaited visitors to the Wilbur Curtis Co. HQ, home of Barista Nation LA. (Photo by @WilburCurtisCo)

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2. The weather was perfect, the setting was memorable – a working factory transformed into a coffee playground for one day only. Kudos to Wilbur Curtis Co. for pulling off an event like this at their busy HQ production facility. (Photo by @LiftCoffeeRoasters)

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3. Kicking things off with an intro from Brant Curtis, the third generation scion of the Wilbur Curtis Co. brand. This photo gives you a sense of scale; the main floor of the warehouse was huge! (Photo by @GetGoodDrinks)

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4. Mike Perry (Klatch Roasting) and Martin Diedrich (Kean Coffee) led an engaging talk on roast profiling. With decades of combined roasting experience between them, this was a chance to learn from some of the real architects of hospecialtyty coffee is roasted. (Photo by @Bean_Genius)

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5. Onlookers at the Mike Perry and Martin Diedrich roast profile talk. (Photo by @DharmaBrian)

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6. We enjoyed some highly delicious coffees from Brazil, presented by Andrew Hetzel of Cafemakers. (Photo by @Sprudge)

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7. Place settings for the very well received “Intro to Cupping” course at #BNLA, taught by Richard Sandlin of Fair Trade USA. (Photo by @GallagherStar)

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8. Our own Zachary Carlsen lead a class on how to make high quality blended coffee drinks, which included a crash course in the history of the modern Frappuccino as we know it today. The results, friends, were delicious. (Photo by @RSandlin)

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9. For lunch, it was a smorgasbord of highly delicious tacos, with a side serving of sunshine. (Photo by @Sprudge)

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10. Back in the warehouse after lunch, here’s a very cool top-down reflective view of the main floor action at #BNLA. (Photo by @TheLittleBlackCoffeeCup)

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11. Our own Jordan Michelman presented on the do’s and do not’s of modern coffee journalism. Do pay your writers! Don’t underestimate your own worth as a contributor! You’ll see stories sourced at #BNLA turned into Sprudge features soon. (Photo by @Sprudge)

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12. UNIC mastermind Sauro Dall’Aglio presented on his newest project: single shot baskets with a concave shape. Here’s a look at the basket, alongside some catchy promotional material. “Being single is cool again.” (Photo by @Sprudge)

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13. Here’s another look at that stunning new concave single shot filter basket. (Photo by @Sprudge)

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14. Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski (of G&B Coffee and Go Get Em Tiger) delivered the #BNLA keynote address, in which they blew up a whole heap of preconceived notions about espresso preparation, including that old standby, “you must grind fresh.” (Photo by @Sprudge)

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15. Here’s another look at our keynote speakers, Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski. (Photo by @HelloBACC)

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16. KeepCup was on hand (LA is their brand new North American home base), hooking #BNLA attendees up with free swag and showing off their fall colors. These two certainly looked stoked. (Photo by @Weavtown)


17. There was tons of sweet Verve Coffee Roasters swag as well, including those California bear mugs you’ve heard us raving about. (Photo by @RavenSpeaking)

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18. USBC champ Heather Perry (Klatch Roasting) and SW Brewers Cup champ Alex Littlejohn (Verve) got real on the topic of Women In Coffee. (Photo by @Sprudge)

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19. We got our grind out at #BNLA, and it looks like OptiPure Water did the same. Their cup runneth over with that which to grind. (Photo posted by @OptiPure, originally taken by @LACoffeeClub)


20. Our friends at the Bay Area Coffee Community brought their signature throwdown organizational skills to the presentation of this event. Take a sticky note, put down your name, and get on that bracket. (Photo by @HelloBACC)

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21. Here’s another look at that #BNLA throwdown bracketology. (Photo by @FrankXedge)


22. While folks awaited the throwdown, a game of pickup hoops got underway out in the courtyard (it’s something of a #BNLA tradition). In this photo, keynote speaker Charles Babinski can be seen putting in work down low, as his competitors look on in slack-jawed amazement. (Photo by @Sprudge)


23. Things got heated at the throwdown, which took place on a custom outfitted Barista Nation UNIC espresso machine. (Photo by @DharmaBrian)


24. As the sun went down, an epic #BNLA backsplash lit up the night sky. (Photo by @SufficientNature)


25. In the end, all that was left were some spilled beans and an empty bottle of booze. Thanks Barista Nation LA and Wilbur Curtis Co! (Photo by @WilburCurtis)

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 Read more – much more – Barista Nation coverage here on Sprudge.

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