Dudes! Rating this a 7???!!!! Come on, give us a chance to post the rest of the day's highlights!
Okay so, the ribbon cutting for the convention floor just happened. The crowd is huge. The Barista competition is going full bore. I'm finding it entirely way too hot in HOTlanta.
Had a long, fruitful talk with Tone, one of the senior folks with the Word Barista Championships. Basically comparing Norway to Canada, and while in Norway, espresso excellence in the cafe is the norm, and expected, in Canada, it's very much the exception, and a rare exception at that. Tone said it was a variety of factors that lead to it, including much higher consumer awareness of what a quality coffee is supposed to be, and a general lack of "marketing" by beeeeg companies (like Sara Lee, etc) that does go on in Canada and the US (for instance, the Big Four like to call their sugar powder coffees "speciality" or "gourmet" coffees, which does much to confuse the consumer over what true specialty coffee is all about).
Well, the ribbon was just cut... David Griswold and other senior SCAA people are speaking. I'm not in a great place to hear it though. But here's a crowd foto!