More than a year into this alternative reality world, many of us have learned various coping mechanisms, adopted new hobbies, and/or found new ways to connect with community members. In the beginning, online hangouts and Zoom parties were aplenty. But as the months trudged on, Zoom fatigue took over and organizing anything takes work. So if you’re feeling social again or want to check back into the specialty coffee community, here are a few groups to join.
Coffee Break Group began a year ago and at one point, had multiple groups and hosts dispersed in various US cities. Today, things are a little simpler: the group meets daily at 9 am PST for the West coast and 1 pm EST for the East coast over Zoom. There’s no structure to the 40-min hangs and all industry folks are welcome. Co-organizer Jessica Caisse says, “One year later, it almost resembles an actual neighborhood cafe where you can almost always count on seeing some people, and have occasional surprise drop-ins from familiar faces.” Join through the links on Coffee Break’s site.
The Kore Directive, a London-based “coffee community of feministic diversity allies,” hosts a Zoom discussion every Monday. Scheduled in the GMT time zone (2 am Pacific), past topics have covered gender equity at work, mental wellbeing, and the ethics of opening in a topic. Some discussions are guided while others feature guest speakers. To enhance the experience, join the Discord server (DM on Instagram for the invite) to talk about the weekly topics. Follow @thekoredirective on Instagram to keep up on the weekly topic and direct links, and read our longer feature on Kore's work.
There are a few special mentions here, too. On Clubhouse, an invite-only iOS app, a few coffee groups exist. Industry clubs include The Specialty Coffee Club and the BLK Coffee Club, which is there to “highlight, support and broadcast the voices of Black and Brown Folks.” Country-specific clubs have also been created for local support. When available to members, events are posted within these groups. For home espresso geeks, the Espresso Discord server is open to all, from hobbyists to professionals. A community initiatives channel is available for anyone to post group activities, including a weekly Quiplash game.
We're always looking for more recurring coffee gatherings online, and would love to update this article with more events. If you're hosting one or know of one, send us a note and we’ll add you to the list!