I am writing this from a patio at a Berlin airport. It’s the day after World of Coffee and I need a few days to process the event but my initial thoughts probably aren’t going to change. It was my first time fully attending WoC & I was also working in a booth the whole weekend. It basically felt like another Expo. Much like Expo, there were thousands of attendees but more prevalent was the mashup of so many different cultures.Read More
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.
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!
The countdown to SCAA Expo is 7 days and I’m just now getting to posting my photos from Kansas City USBC and USBrC regionals in February. I met some wonderful new people! The coffee community is a fun one and it was nice to go with no real intention except to work and hang out with coffee people!
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.
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.
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
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
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:
I WATCH BARISTA COMPETITIONS.
ON MY COMPUTER.