Food & Beverage

Coffee Hounds

Why Coffee is the New Black

Pour-over coffee on the trade-show floor at Content Marketing World in Cleveland. Not pictured: A long, mostly patient lines.

If I hadn’t seen it, I might not have believed it.  Four dozen or more conference attendees standing in line at 8 a.m., waiting for 15 minutes or more for a single cup of coffee being brewed by hand, painstakingly, in Chemex decanters. Meanwhile, there was no waiting at a nearby phalanx of five-gallon containers of conventionally brewed coffee.

It’s possible that many of those standing in line were patient because we were waiting for our second cup of coffee of the morning. But all of us were fans — or curious about — coffee made by the pour-over method and were willing to invest a little time to get it.

It underlined two things for me:

One, it pays to swim against the stream. News Cred, which sponsored the booth at Content Marketing World,  was one of the most visible and talked-about booths on the trade-show floor. Overheard from one coffee drinker, walking away with a steaming cup: “This is the best thing about the conference!” It’s hard to argue with quality.

Columbus Coffee Trail stop, photo courtesy Experience Columbus
Columbus Coffee Trail stop, photo courtesy Experience Columbus

And two, the artisanal segment of the coffee market has gone wild. Like craft beer, micro-roasted coffee is spreading across the country and gaining converts all along the way. That means that serving great coffee is a good move, and helping visitors find their way to a good local cup of coffee is a no-brainer.

Next Monday, Sept. 29, is National Coffee Day and also marks the day that Columbus, Ohio, unveils a new Coffee Trail.  More will be revealed when Experience Columbus launches a website on Monday, but the Coffee Trail include stops at eight local coffee shops, leading visitors through the city’s flourishing coffee culture. There are a dozen local craft coffee roasters (most of them roasting single-origin beans) and even more specialty coffee shops, according to Experience Columbus.

Drink up.

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.