From beer to burgers, and wings to margaritas, Memphis has a range of events that showcase the best local takes on our favorite food and drinks. Now, with the announcement of the inaugural Grind City Coffee Expo, the city’s coffee community is about to have its day in the sun.
Grind City Coffee Expo is set for Saturday, March 9th, at Memphis College of Art. The event is centered on celebrating the Bluff City’s burgeoning coffee scene and will feature samples and demos by local roasters and shops. Proceeds will benefit Protect Our Aquifer.
Organizers Daniel Lynn and Rachel Williams are not in the coffee business but are avid fans who say they’ve been hooked by the consistently outstanding experiences they’ve had, and have taken note of the growth in quality coffee options in Memphis.
“My love for coffee has evolved over the last couple of years starting with the first time I tasted Dr. Bean’s Cold Brew at Bedrock Eats & Sweets,” said Daniel. “I immediately reached out to them to find out more about it, and there I went. Off into the coffee ether.”
His curiosity about processes led him to build more relationships within the Memphis Coffee Community. Daniel says his goal with GCCE is to share his enthusiasm and connect more Memphians to the great roasters and shops the city has to offer.
“Over the past 2 to 3 years, the coffee culture in this city has grown exponentially with the addition of amazing roasters & shops,” said Daniel. “The people behind these great additions are amazing and so passionate about what they do, that I want to make sure they have their spotlight in the city.”
Daniel says his inspiration for creating an event came from attending The Science of Beer at the Pink Palace last year.
“It hit me. Let’s do this, but with coffee. From there, I took a look around the country and saw that there were a fair amount of events out there centered around coffee, and thought, why not Memphis. I reached out to a few roasters in town to judge interest, and they were all very into it. Shortly after that, I met Rachel, and everything clicked. We started figuring out what we would need to do logistically to make this happen, and here we are.”
Grind City Coffee Expo will feature 8 different coffee roasters and shops from Memphis. Vendors will explain their process from roasting beans to their preferred method of brewing their coffee. Expo attendees will be able to taste samples from each vendor’s chosen brewing method and decide for themselves what they prefer. Whether it’s a traditional pour over or through a Chemex, from espresso to cold brew, the various methods will be demoed at designated tables throughout the Expo.
GCCE is designed to be approachable and informative. “The goal is to provide the guest with the opportunity to discover which method they like the best and then learn how to brew it themselves at home,” said Lynn. “Coffee enthusiasts will also be able to “nerd out” with the extremely knowledgeable coffee professionals while enjoying the very best Memphis has to offer in the way of coffee. This will be the first time this many badass coffee professionals will be in the same place at the same time in the city of Memphis. It’s a coffee enthusiast’s dream.”
Daniel Lynn is a native Memphian who says he grew up all over the city. He graduated from the University of Memphis in 2007 with a degree in Recording Technology. He’s currently a sound engineer/studio manager for Music+Arts Studio, as well as the label manager for Archer & Blue Barrel Records. “I wear many hats. Music is my #1 passion,” said Daniel.
I truly love this city, and that love always seems to be reenforced when I visit other parts of the country and world. There is no other place like Memphis. This city has a chip on its shoulder for whatever reason you wish to get behind, but I love it. It makes you work harder. You have to stay on your hustle if you want to get things done, but there’s also no one here to tell you no if you want to try something new. Sure, you may not succeed, but that’s the chance you take, and this city is willing to give you that chance. It’s amazing. No other city like it.