Americans love their coffee. Visiting and inhabiting coffee shops represents a traditional American pastime. Business meetings, clubs, and first dates all do well with coffee in hand. Americans love their coffee so much that they dedicated events towards the love of coffee, such as at CoffeeCon LA 2017. Taking place at The Reef in Los Angeles this past weekend, this java-themed event featured all things coffee, from various types of coffee to coffee edibles to coffee equipment and more. Dozens of vendors sampled their brews, both hot and cold, while a handful of other vendors exhibited their coffee complements, such as candy, desserts, and other food. Many other vendors exhibited coffee equipment, such as machines or presses used to brew coffee. Throughout the day, seminars would take place detailing various topics about coffee, from the origins of certain types of coffee to how to utilize coffee in the culinary sense.
Following up on last year’s overwhelming attendance, CoffeeCon made some changes this year to accommodate attendees. They expanded CoffeeCon from one day to both Saturday and Sunday. Last year’s CoffeeCon took place in the basement of The Reef, a small, tight, and compact space. This year’s CoffeeCon moved to the second floor of The Reef, a significantly larger space. I have strolled through the second floor here for multiple events, and this huge space provided more than enough room for attendees to roam freely without worry of bumping into other people. While the second floor provided more walking space, I feel that the organizers could have spaced out the vendors a bit further apart, as some of the aisles felt really cramped in the middle of the afternoon when the most amount of people showed up and got into unorganized lines at booths. But most importantly, CoffeeCon got rid of all the non-coffee vendors that felt out-of-place last year, such as vendors selling t-shirts or coffee accessories. While this year’s CoffeeCon delivered a largely fresh batch of vendors, I still saw Bona Fide Craft Draft that I remember from last year as a mobile coffee vendor. They essentially rent or staff coffee taps for special events, similar to food trucks, but they come with the option of filling the taps with whatever the client chooses, as well as the option to allows patrons to self themselves.
It looks like with these improvements, CoffeeCon has found a way to cement themselves into the Los Angeles event market mainstay. My only complaint revolves around the entrance line, as it took too long for them to scan tickets, and the line to enter stretched outside the building. Consider that it rained on Sunday morning through the early afternoon, so that dampened some attendees’ spirits. As long as they fix that for next year, I believe they will have a winning formula to keep people coming back. For more information regarding future CoffeeCon events, check them out on Facebook and Twitter for further updates.