Student Life

keyon Purite at Michigan Coffee Conference

The history, science and art of coffee were the areas of focus at the Michigan Coffee Conference hosted by University Unions at Pierpont Commons on May 10-11, 2012. About a dozen University Unions Food Service staff and several student staff from the coffee cafes, including Bert’s and Beanster’s, also attended the conference to sharpen their barista skills.

The two-day event included national and local coffee expert presenters and hands-on workshops covering such topics as trends in specialty drinks, roasting, fair trade, marketing, coffee cupping protocol, espresso preparations and latte art.

One highlight of the conference was the “Motown Throwdown” which featured local coffee café baristas in a specialty drink competition.  Several University Unions employees competed including Susan Carl, assistant manager at Bert’s, Kelly O’Mara manager at Beanster’s (Michigan League) and U-M student baristas, Andrew Ginnard, Keyon Purite, Cory Inger and Amy Selewski. Becky MacLean, manager at Beanster’s (Pierpont Commons) helped organize the conference and served as one of the judges of the competition.

Darren Meyer, University Unions Associate Food Service Director, was excited to have the coffee conference on campus. “This conference provided a great opportunity for our café employees to learn new skills, and gather and exchange ideas from other regional coffee cafes,” said Meyer. “As a result, the campus community can look forward to some new flavors and product offerings coming soon to our cafes!”

More information about the conference, including photos and a video, will soon be available at