April 17, 2009 – 10:42 am

the strange thing about the world barista championship landing in your back yard is that it forces you to decide: how nuts am i, exactly? definitely not nuts enough to pay $1,000 for entry at the newfangled coffee “symposium,” where industry luminaries (but apparently not the working stiffs at both ends of the coffee chain) wrestle with Questions of Grave Import. it could just be this blog, but didn’t the people on the margins — the innovators — hold their high-level think-fest last fall, and for a non-punitive price?

also just barely not nuts enough to attend what was sure to have been the flowing latte art Canaan of the Year So Far. to be clear, this blog would normally be plenty nuts enough to loll on such a bar and gawk and jaw and swill all the artyness for a half-night. but that would have required ditching our own thursday night crowd, 20-deep, lined up at the home bar, drinking shots and washing cups and passing them back over people’s heads. hm. crash the bash or pour home art for thinkers and chums? it was a close call!

funny. by our watch, both of these maximal atlanta events are pretty much over by now. and yet there’s very little on these interconnected global webs to tell us how maximal they really were.

but definitely nuts enough to haul the blogfamily down for three days, gaze till we’re slack-jawed at the costumed barista practitioners from far-flung hinterlands like singapore and ukraine, pay our respects at the marriage feast of those ascendent barista zombies and maybe sniff about for exhibition floor passes. looking for where coffee and people mix well.

UPDATE FROM ATL: startlingly, the people who actually attended the aforementioned symposium seem to be uniformly raving. we’ll work on deciphering the particular things that they’re raving about.