Tuesday, May 28, 2024

The December 2023 + January 2024 issue!

On the cusp of the new year, we’ve got café owners covered with advice on profiting from merch sales, distinguishing yourself with a signature coffee blend, and much more in the new issue!


How is it already the end of 2023? We love reflecting on the accomplishments of the global coffee community over the past 12 months, and looking forward to what’s ahead. Putting together the December 2023 + January 2024 issue of Barista Magazine was a treat for just this reason. And we couldn’t be more inspired for our specialty-coffee future than we are by Kris Fulton, owner of Baltimore’s Sophomore Coffee.

Cover Story: Kris Fulton

Opening spread of Sophomore's Year with Kris Fulton cover feature of the December 2023 + January 2024 issue.

Kris came onto our radar a few years ago when our friend Angela Ferrara wrote a “Field Report“ about Baltimore’s burgeoning specialty-coffee scene. Since that article was published, the city’s café culture has only grown. With a community made up of people like Kris—a longtime coffee professional who found inspiration for his company everywhere from Handsome Coffee Roasters (RIP) to high-end kitchens—it’s no wonder Baltimore was chosen as the location for a 2023 U.S. Coffee Championships qualifying event, is the home to the Baltimore Coffee Collective, and much more. Read Jaxson Schor’s profile of Kris and Sophomore Coffee in our new issue now!

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Merch Madness

Opening spread of Merch that Works article.

Seasoned coffee-retail expert Laila Ghambari deftly takes on the topic of merch for cafés in the story “Merch That Works” in this issue. Having managed retail for Stumptown Coffee, her family’s Cherry Street Coffee House, and other notable coffee businesses, Laila has a firm grasp on what works and what just won’t sell. Read Laila’s take on how you can increase not only profits but loyalty through sales of your company’s brand on T-shirts, hats, bandanas, and more.

Financial Planning

Cashbox article two-page spread from the December 2023 + January 2024 issue.

Managing your café’s finances, especially as we approach tax time in the United States, can be daunting, but Barista Magazine business columnist Tracy Allen’s breakdown of tax credits you might be missing makes digging into your café’s finances a lot more palatable. With Tracy’s advice, you won’t be leaving any money on the table this year.

’Field Reports’: Siem Reap, Cambodia; Denver; and Lancaster, Pa.

Opening spread of Siem Reap, Cambodia Field Report from the December 2023 + January 2024 issue.

We have so much fun with ’Field Reports’ because they give us up-close-and-personal explorations of big-city café culture like Denver’s, smaller-town specialty such as what’s happening in Lancaster, and far-flung coffee scenes like what’s going on in Cambodia’s increasingly trendy Siem Reap.

Though Cambodia still isn’t recognized as an official competing country in the World Coffee Championships, it soon will be, if Siem Reap’s bustling café scene is any indication.

Opening two-page spread of Field Report: Denver, Colorado.

Denver, on the other hand, is no newbie to exceptional cafés on offer, but the constantly evolving coffee map of the Mile High City shows it deserves a second, third, and even fourth look.

And then there’s Lancaster, Pa., which isn’t even among Pennsylvania’s 10 most populous cities, and yet has a specialty-coffee scene that many big cities would envy.

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Your Own Signature Blend

Two-page spread of How to Create a Signature Blend from the December 2023 + January 2024 issue.

You don’t have to be a roaster to benefit from having a signature coffee blend all your own. In this feature article by Josh Rank, we talk to roasters about how they put together special blends for everything from Pride month to the winter holidays, for themselves as well as their wholesale customers. Learn what goes into the process and how you can implement a blend all your own into your café’s offerings.

LaNisa Willams of Barista Life LA

Inclusivity in Coffee with LaNisa Williams opening spread.

LaNisa Williams shares her story in this issue’s “Inclusivity in Coffee” column, and it’s inspiring to say the least. We’ve long admired LaNisa’s work in bringing the coffee community of Los Angeles together via throwdowns, pop-ups, and inclusive gatherings, but she shares in this article that her previous incarceration motivated her to create a success story all her own. 

And Much More Inside

Also in the December 2023 + January 2024 issue, you’ll find a ”One on One” article with coffee economics expert Karl Wienhold, event reports from New Orleans, Coffee Book Club, an in-depth look at specialty robusta—and much, much more. 

Subscribe and More!

December 2023 + January 2024 Issue cover

As always, you can read Barista Magazine in paper or digital format. Read the December 2023 + January 2024 issue for free with our digital edition. And for more than three years’ worth of issues, visit our digital edition archives here.

You can order a hard copy of the magazine through our online store here, or start a subscription for one year or two.

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