SCA Expo 2017 Preview

Despite the last couple of months of prep for this week, it’s still been down to the wire for Seattle. I’m heading to SCA Expo and am quite excited to see my other 12,000 best friends in coffee. Okay, I lied, I’m super introverted and will be just as excited to make 20 new friends.

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In Review: SCAA Expo 2016

Another Expo over with and I’m only just now feeling back to my regular self.

Collaboration appeared to be the main theme for me this week. Over and over again, I found myself collaborating with others or finding inspiration through other collaborations. I’ll give you a couple of examples:

  • The Baratza Sette 270W grinder is a collaborative effort between Baratza, Etzinger burrs & Acaia. It won Best New Product!
  • Emily McIntyre and I have been working on our lecture for months now & it was a huge success!

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How to create your own coffee community

Communities are difficult to build & difficult to maintain. With a solid foundation & the right people believing in the same vision, you have a higher chance of succeeding. In Chicago, the New Gotham Coffee Community is a strong network of individuals who wanted to create a community of coffee professionals. When a board was first established, I served as their Web & Social Director. Unless you have all the time & resources in the world, you will want a board. Talya Strader, the founder of New Gotham, wrote about her experience for the BGA blog.

I’m going to go into more detail on how you & others can start your own community. These are not in a particular order.

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#SEApdxsfo: SCAA in Seattle

In April, I embarked on my first vacation in two years. I happened to have a free ticket to SCAA Expo, courtesy of Coffee Kind, so I decided to extend it to a week and half of vacation time. I prepped for this vacation like most of my vacations of late- a few hours of research and places to stay. Since SCAA Expo is such an enormous conference, I made sure to study and plan my lecture schedules, while leaving time to explore Seattle.

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In review: Chicago Roasters Jam

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending an event that was the first of its kind in Chicago. The Chicago Roaster Jam brought together roasters all in one room in a roundtable discussion, which was then followed by a blind cupping. The jam was organized by Miss Shannon Steele-Knuckles of Passion House Coffee, Andrea Otte (Otter) of HalfWit Coffee and was part of the New Gotham Coffee Community list of events. Hosted at Counter Culture Coffee‘s training lab, a large group of coffee professionals and coffee enthusiasts gathered to hear [aggregated] decades of experience opinionated in one short span of time.Read More

Coffee trip across Michigan: One dozen shops

Last week, I journeyed across Michigan in quite possibly my biggest coffee crawl drive yet. In 3 days, I hit up a dozen shops and met an unbelievable amount of passionate coffee people. As a side note, I’m probably not the best person to travel with if you’re the itinerary type: I didn’t know I was going until three days beforehand, had only my sleep spots figured out, no real time tables, & meetups with people were either planned the day before or an hour before via Twitter.Read More

Importance of barista competitions

This post was meant to be posted on Thursday (I wrote myself an editorial calendar. Will probably take two months for me to actually transition to it). But it doesn’t matter, it’s still timely and the past weekend’s Big Central has only reinforced my opinion below.

Three years ago, I was embarrassed to admit that I streamed barista competitions on my computer.  Now, I proudly shout it out:




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Coffee Chemistry

Note: These are my thoughts & notes from a coffee event. Facts stated do not have linkable sources, but were talked about in the lab. If I made any errors, I apologize. Please let me know what they are.

I’ve been attending a lot of coffee events lately and forgetting to write up my thoughts on them. Last Wednesday, Counter Culture Chicago hosted 20 coffee professionals for an organic acid lab. The event was free and open to the public. I guess only coffee pros attended, because the phrase “organic acids” might scare off.. pretty much everyone. The lab was put together by Lydia Iannetti from the Durham training center. The first part consisted of simple, easy-to-grasp slides while the second part was all about tasting the acids.Read More


Jenn is a San Francisco-based coffee marketer: digital strategist, writer & photographer. On the side, she munches on donuts & thinks of new ways to make you look stunning online. You can reach her here or on Twitter @thejennchen.

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This site operates with WordPress with the theme, Oshine, heavily customized by me. Hosted by Dreamhost. All photos were taken by Jenn Chen, unless otherwise noted, & under full copyright. Do not use copy or photos without prior permission. Fonts used: Playfair Display, Open Sans, Lato. Logos designed by Hannah Ellen. Portraits of me by Tory Putnam Photography.