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Reports From the Road
SCAA Long Beach 2007 Day 1
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: May 5, 2007
Article rating: 7.4
feedback: (17) comments | read | write

Day one at the SCAA 2007 Trade Show and Conference in Long Beach sees the opening of the trade show floor to the general public, the second day of competition in the United States Barista Championship, and of course, many of the wild, crazy parties. I predict a lot of tequila shots. Stay tuned to find out if it comes true.

Future Present: Sustainable Coffee
Posted by Cindy Taylor, 8:30am Permalink to this blog entry

I was already planning to attend at least one of the educational sessions on sustainability, but as luck would have it, my education began before I even got to the conference. By sheer coincidence, I shared a cab ride from my hotel to the convention center with two Brazilian growers who were on their way to attend the Rainforest Alliance breakfast. During the drive there, they shared their views and concerns about sustainability with me.

For them, the existence of global warming is no longer a matter for speculation; they are already seeing its impact in the form of changes to the microclimates upon which coffee depends. Areas that used to freeze in winter no longer do. Areas that customarily receive a great deal of rain are now drought stricken. Solutions cannot wait for the future, they both told me. Action is needed... now.

They described some of the efforts already in place, including a mitigation program that replaces areas of rainforest that are taken for coffee farming and increasing areas of shade grown coffee that allow the rainforest to remain in place. These programs are not the total solution to the problem, however. Global warming, rainforest preservation, and other environmental concerns are complicated problems for which there are no easy solutions - yet. Fortunately, dedicated growers like my two new friends give us cause for hope.

Future Vision: Sustainable Coffee Initiatives in Eastern Africa
Posted by Cindy Taylor, 8:45am Permalink to this blog entry

After getting oriented to the gigantic convention center, I located the session titled "Eastern African Sustainable Coffee Initiatives: Changing Farmers Lives through Coffee". The discussion echoed some of the conversation I'd had earlier with the growers from Brazil.

Moderated by Robert Nsibirwa of the Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA), the session also featured Philip Gitao and James Kibera of EAFCA as well as Justin Archer of  Sangana Commodities Ltd and Mawenzi Coffee Exporters Ltd who gave short presentations on the initiatives with which they were involved. Robert and Philip described these interesting programs:

- Taste of Harvest, a cupping competition that seeks to promote appreciation of specialty coffee among producers and traders and rewards top quality producers at regional, national, and international levels.

- Know Your Cup Road Show, a series of practical cupping sessions that introduces farmers to quality in the cup and teaches them basic techniques of roasting, brewing and tasting with equipment readily available at home.

- Limited Edition Coffee Auctions (LECA), a new auction system that helps farmers sell their coffees for the highest prices possible. The first annual LECA generated prices of up to $5 per pound for coffees that had previously sold for $1.45 per pound.

Justin Archer discussed a new role that traders could assume in the era of sustainable coffee, in which traders treat farmers as clients, moving out of the role of speculator and more into the role of project coordinator and logistics manager. As such, the traders must keep in mind that what is good for the farmer is good for trade, for the industry and for the consumer - a more holistic view.

Each of the speakers ended by offering an invitation to all to the 5th African Fine Coffee Conference & Exhibition next February in Kampala, Uganda. I'm tempted.

The Mission and Juan Valdez
Posted by Cindy Taylor, 9:15am Permalink to this blog entry

I was on the upper ballroom level, when I heard the commotion. Looking over the bannister, I saw a crowd of people pressing forward near the escalators that led down to the trade show. A voice announced the ribbon cutting, and I saw a large pair of scissors cut into the air and the rapid fire blinking of camera flashes.

And then... drums, horns, strings... it was "The Mission", the theme to the NBC Nightly News! I was galvanized! News was happening, and I was missing it! I rushed down the steps and weaved my way through the crowd to see who had cut the ribbon.

It was the man himself, Juan Valdez, looking very dapper, but sans burro. I guess there aren't many places to take a burro for a restroom break in the middle of Long Beach. Anyway, I raised my camera inquiringly, and Juan graciously obliged, turning to me and flashing his famous, suave smile. I snapped a shot and nodded my thanks with a grin.

As I was checking the results, I noticed in the corner of my eye a group of convention workers talking excitedly in Spanish. A woman in the group shyly sidled over to me and said, "Excuse me, but who is that?"

I hesitated for a second, wondering if she wanted his real name. I'd read it somewhere, but forgotten it. I grinned knowingly and said, "Well, it's Juan Valdez!"

"Ah," she replied. "But... who IS he?"

I mentally slapped my forehead as I saw the light. They'd never seen Juan Valdez before. They saw us all making a fuss over Sr. Valdez and wanted very much to know who this clearly very important South American man was. Who could I say Juan Valdez was?

"Er... he's a symbol," I offered lamely. "A symbol of coffee."

"Ah!" She smiled gratefully and stepped back to her friends to explain. I slunk off down the escalator, feeling vaguely as if I'd done someone an injustice. I just wasn't sure if it was to the workers, Juan Valdez, or specialty coffee.

The Intelligentsia Party
Posted by Mark Prince, 10:15am Permalink to this blog entry

I know, I know you folks voted "the social events" really low on the list, but by and large, the Intelligentsia Party in East LA on Friday night was awesome.

Intelligentsia Roasting Works officially opened their new location in East LA, their first outside of Chicago, and did so by having a huge bash on the Friday night before the official opening of the SCAA Long Beach show. Everything from a Latte Art Throwdown, to LA's best Taco Wagon was going on, and just about anyone who is anyone was there.

I had a blast - we drove from the airport straight to the event, and this was my first chance to see many, many old friends. Except for one dorky incident where one not-so-nice person pushed me from behind into someone else (hey there's all types in this biz - including the crazy ones), everyone was at their best, sharing their best, and having a great time. Even the 1 hour long wait for the taco truck line didn't bother folks.

Intelly's move into LA signals at the very least a start to the end of the wasteland of coffee that LA's been (previously) known for. The interior's setup and offerings are going to blow LaLaland minds.

Free booze. Free tacos. Some brilliant minds of coffee were there Friday night.

Here's a collage of some photos from the event - click it to get a Flickr slideshow.

Intelly Party

Visiting the TransFair Booth
Posted by Cindy Taylor, 11:00am Permalink to this blog entry

At the TransFair booth, I had the very distinct pleasure of chatting (through an interpreter) with a farmer from Rwanda. I asked him, "What has fair trade done for you?" His face lit up. "What hasn't it done for me?" he said excitedly. "I could talk to you all day about it. It has helped us build schools to educate our children, it has made it possible for me to be here, it has made it possible for us to employ many times as many people as ever before." As the farmer stepped away for a moment, the translator further explained that for some of the growers, this trip was the first time they'd been on a plane.

The farmer came back and handed me a bag of coffee from Rwanda. "I think it will be the best coffee you have ever had," he said. "I invite you to come visit us in Rwanda."

Again, I'm tempted.

LM Concept 1 of 3 - Dual GS/3 Machine
Posted by Mark Prince, 11:40am Permalink to this blog entry
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Dual GS/3 Machine
Vince Piccolo's wish list fulfilled? Could be! The paddle group is to die for. Time to start making them for real, LM!

Geezus. Now I can finally talk about this.

La Marzocco is celebrating their 80th Anniversary this year, and because of this, there was a want by the Italian side of the ocean to have some "concept" machines to really set the stage for what the company was about, is about, and where they are going. They did something similar back in 2002 and 2003 in and around their 75th Anniversary, but in that case, it was finding all the coolest antiques in Kent Bakke's basement that they could, and put them on display.

They did that this time around, and when I get back to the booth tomorrow or Monday, I'll snap a lot of photos of some other interesting machines around here. But for this post, how about this beast? A dual GS/3 concept!

I said I can finally talk about it, because I knew about the plans for this one a while ago. I have a pretty comfortable relationship with La Marzocco, which has its good points and bad ones. The good ones are, I'm usually in some sort of loop on future plans and surprises, which, as a 'geek, is like, the coolest thing in the world.

The bad part? Most of the time, I'm bound to an informal confidentiality thing, which means I nearly burst at the seams with some of the stuff I find out. But I can't tell anyone - at least online - about it. I knew that Bill was asked to put this one together for the show, and so he did. Also, Bill's really the reason why the idea and concept even exists in the first place - but people like Vince Piccolo are as well.

As far back as the earliest prototype stage days, when I had one of the first GS/3s out there, Vince saw it, lusted it, and got Bill's ear at some point soon after, asking about possibly building a three unit (notice I didn't say group) version for a Caffe Artigiano. Or maybe 4 units. Or 5.

I'm not saying or implying that Vince gave Bill the idea for multigrouping the GS/3. But he did give Vince the reassurance that there may be a demand for a multi-group GS/3 out there. And since then, it's been one of the things that Crossland has been talking about, and mulling over.

There's a lot about this concept that is just that - concept. How about the concept of running this all on 120V, 15 or 20 amp power? Damn! Can you imagine - taking something like this to a Farmer's Market, running it off a Honda generator, and totally kicking the ass of any cafe within a 50 mile radius? I sure can. Can it be achieved? I don't know, but if anyone can figure it out, Bill Crossland can.

This machine had to be one of the most popular at the show. Pretty much every star Barista on the floor stepped up to it at one point or another. I got my chance, working on Bill's new LM Prototype grinder as well (ie, Concept #2, coming in a later post).

I do have a very public message for La Marzocco - specifically, everyone, from Kent Bakke to Ron Cooke, from Lorenzo to Guido, and even, bless his heart, Pierro:

La Marzocco: It's time to stop just showing off the paddle group, and start actually manufacturing it again. The tease has gone on long enough. With what I hear about Concept #3 (I'll get over to ESI's booth later today to scope it out), it's gotta happen.

Hottop's latest roaster offerings
Posted by Mark Prince, 12:20pm Permalink to this blog entry
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Randy Glass
... working the hottop booth. Good on ya Randy! It's about time one of these companies recognized what you do for the industry.
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Hottop P Panel
Shown in standby mode, there's a lot of control there for the home roaster.
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Showing features
Randy explaining some of the roaster's upgraded features.

MAN... this show is packed. The trade show floor just opened to the general public, and it is packed.

I was walking up and down the aisles before the floor opened just 30 minutes ago and it was quiet, and tense, with the vendors and booth operators all waiting for the big opening day. Now it's here, and walking the aisle is a bit harder. But what's that?

I see a familiar face over in a booth. It's Randy Glass of alt.coffee fame and Espresso My Espresso fame (site's currently down as of this typing, but I'm sure that is shortlived - but Randy, time to host that site on a real server lol!). Pretty cool! And Randy is working the Hottop USA booth! Well, I must stop in. Especially since I haven't seen the latest all digital version with the big blue panel or even the "Model D" semi-digital version.

After chatting with Randy a bit about "things" outside the scope of this article, we got down to business. I got a full product walkthrough on the latest programmable, profile-laden Model KN-8828P (it needs a sexier name). Very interesting stuff. What appealed most to me is that most of my complaints about the earlier models seem to be out of the window - no more lost roasts because the machine can't add on minutes or amp up the temperatures.

The "P" model, as they call it in short form, features an auto mode, much like the D and original models before it, but also you can store up to 9 user-programmable profiles, with up to 8 programmable steps per profile. And it doesn't stop there. You can program three variables per step - temperature, time, and fan speed. Randy says they worked on the machine's usability too - allowing you to change any step easily without losing the rest of your programming. This is all kind of a stab against the iRoast and iRoast2, the first profile programmable roaster on the market, which is a kudo, but that roaster has absolutely horrible UI - everytime I use it, I have to refer back to the manual to remember how to program things, and it's not intuitive. From the looks of this new P model of the Hottop, this one is.

Randy walked me through other features, which included a much beefed up airflow system, additional safety and usability features like how you cannot roast again until the machine senses the chaff tray has been removed (for emptying) and replaced, how the panel changes colour completely to indicate different stages or programming states. The chaff tray is also much bigger now and better engineered.

Hottop also offers a retrofit kit for older hottop users to "upgrade" to this version. Basically, you get a control board, display panel and other goodies to swap with the old guts of your roaster.

And the manual? Damn. Randy Glass wrote it, and it's available online here. Randy's understandably proud of it, and at 44 pages, it's more like a small book than a user manual. Great stuff.

The Hottop already sets the industry standard for cooling ability on a home roaster - nothing comes close. All these new features mean nothing but great news for the home roaster. It does come with a price, but all in all, it was very impressive.

Elektra's New Grinder
Posted by Mark Prince, 12:40pm Permalink to this blog entry
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So here's the first sorta scoop for the 2007 SCAA - and no, it's not La Marzocco's GS3 prototype (hey, I'll get to that soon). I say sorta because in a way, a Brit and an Irishman got to see it long before I did.

Elektra. Not the first name you may think of when it comes to grinders. After all, their current lineup of grinders are mainly rebadged or custom made for them by Macap (no small deal that - Macap grinders rock).

I should preface something here - one of the missions I set this year for SCAA Long Beach for myself was to talk to as many grinder manufacturers as I could about where I hope grinders will be going in the near future.

That said, some time ago I remember having a short conversation with Dr. Fregnan, owner of Elektra SRL, about grinders and various barista "needs" for changes in the technology. He said "can you wait until the SCAA? - you may be pleasantly surprised!" And since then, James Hoffman and Steve Morrissey, who both visited Elektra outside of Venice a few months back contacted me raving about this new grinder Elektra had.

So I was excited! And one of my first stops on the show floor was Elektra's booth - and there it was. I didn't catch the grinder's name (I'll try to get it tomorrow), but I did catch many of its standout features.

First, the doser. There is none as you can see. It's a chute design, but not like any I've seen before. The chute is actually open to the air on the top side - so it's like a long piece of metal formed into a slide. Second, you may notice no "kicker" knob or bar - the kind of thing normally found on some chute grinders to kick out the remaining grinds. Why? Because it doesn't need one.

This grinder has several patents - some which apply to the transfer of coffee from the conical burrs inside, spinning at only 500 rpms. Some apply to another kick ass feature - a built in automated fan hooked up to temperature sensors to keep the motor almost frigid (I couldn't hear the fan, but felt its vibrations). The key patents involve one key thing - no coffee left behind. The chute is like glass for coffee - it just slides - no residue, no clumping, no oily stuff gumming up the works. Serious work into static, "anti static", and making coffee move along metal as if it were a puck going along ice... all of this went into the engineering of this grinder. And it works.

Next up - distribution. You may notice the swing out tamper built into this thing. Normally, a 3rd waver would tuh tuh this thing. In the case of this grinder, it actually is useful. Why? Because coffee is distributed near perfectly into the portafilter's basket. I was doing it repeatedly. Perfect central cone of coffee in the basket.No need for manual distribution of the coffee grounds.

Third - the no coffee left behind mentality? Normally, a big problem with grinders is clumped up grounds under and around the burrs - happens with the first grind, and continues to happen with additional grinds. You end up with a near brick-like remains of coffee inside the grinder.

This grinder? Almost eliminated.

Lastly, the timer functions. It's a timer driven grinder. But it's timers on steroids. Extremely precise controls, all digital, and with variable settings. Extremely easy to change for different ambient temperature and humidity variables. Dr. Fregnan's engineers have been putting their brains to work, and this grinder is the result.

It's a shame that many people here at the show don't know about the grinder. I just ran into Instaurator from Michel's Espresso before sitting down to write this, and he had no clue - but he headed over with some of 49th Parallel coffee to try it out. I am curious as to what he thinks.

Much of the show's grinder "buzz" is around the La Marzocco concept grinder, and deservedly so - but Elektra deserves a serious look. If any top shelf pro cafe owner wants to give this a spin, let me know - I'll try to make the connection with Federico Fregnan at Elektra and you, and you be the judge if this is a grinder that will make all the difference.

BTW - I'll try to get more deets tomorrow on this amazing product.

A visit to the Zojirushi booth
Posted by Beata Siwinski, 1:10pm Permalink to this blog entry
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While walking at the exhibition floor one of the booths that caught my eye was the Zojirushi booth. The reason for it is that at home we have in the kitchen one of their electric dispensing pots, specifically the superior micom electric dispensing pot, and use it everyday for making press pot coffee and tea.

I spoke to Peter Durant, one of the Zojirushi representatives, who answered some of my questions. I have never really seen any of their products in Vancouver, and Peter explained to me that Zojirushi was a fairly new company in North America. Also Zojirushi makes a lot of their products for other companies, so most likely I have seen their product before but it was just branded under a different name.

The newest Zojirushi product is the hybrid water boiler and warmer. It has a micro computerized temperature control system, displays actual water temperature and has multiple temperature settings. It looks like an updated version of the product we currently have at home.

The booth featured many other products but I was mainly interested in their hot water dispensing pot.

Bodum Scoop and new products
Posted by Mark Prince, 1:50pm Permalink to this blog entry

Hey, I have another sorta scoop for you.

Bodum is introducing a new product in August that has a ton of possibilities outside of what the company may just initially be thinking for it. It's their brand new Bistro Mug Press.

What is it? It's a self-contained press pot, that you can insert into almost any container.And key: you can remove it once you're done brewing. I had my first look at it, at this show not 20 minutes ago, and I was wowed.

I think the thing that impressed me the most is that it's such a deceptively simple piece of engineering and design. It has essentially four parts. There's a round tube shaped steel and mesh container for your ground coffee. There's a clamp that is designed to fit a wide variety of cups and containers. There's a plunger, for pushing down coffee, but more importantly, removing coffee from the brewing water as you remove the entire device from the cup. And there's a resting "cup" to put the finished brewer into before drinking your coffee.

Seems simple, right? But there's the potential for huge things for this new design. I see this as a great way for restaurants to serve up clean, easy pressed coffee, one cup at a time (though perhaps the design will have to change to accommodate restaurants). I see this as a better way to brew press coffee and have a cleaner cup that isn't drawing anything more off the pressed grounds. In August, this should be available across North America, and we'll see if this is a hit or not for Bodum. But on Monday, I get to take one home and put it through some hands on testing. Can't wait!

In other news, I got my first really good look at the double walled Chambord press. But I also got some good news from Jeff Malkasian on that front - I'm paranoid about buying a double-wall glass press pot, just because I know how many Bodum Pavina cups I've broken in the past. Breaking a $4 cup is one thing. Breaking a $75-$100 press is another. But get this - Bodum is competitively pricing the replacement glass for the double walled Chambord -  under $35, if I recall correctly. That's great news.

And now for one more scoop. Sort of. They are sort of available now, but it was the first I heard of them. Bodum's got a new Pavina size! Pavina is one of my favourite espresso cups, but the next size up from espresso was 8+ ounces - a tad large for a traditional cappuccino or americano. I remember way back when I first saw the Pavinas, and wrote Jeff at Bodum asking, no, begging for a 5 or 6 ounce version.

Well my begging didn't do a heckuva lot, but someone else's demands did. At the booth, Jeff goes "oh, you're going to like this" and he shows me a new 5 ounce cup size for the Pavina - and supposedly currently available! (but I didn't see it on Amazon's site or Bodum's site yet). It wasn't my begging that made it happen either - it was the demand of a very large-order Japanese customer who wanted the Pavina in a traditional 'tea" size.

Us espressoheads are just the lucky bystanders in all of this.

But the bottom line is - there's a new Pavina in town, and it's size is 150mls, or 5 ounces to the rim. Nice!

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Bodum Bistro Mug Press
New product - potential to rock!
Mug Press in Action
Sitting in the new *handled* bodum double wall coffee mug.
There's the new pavina size - 150mls (5oz) sitting in the middle. 8-9oz on the right, 2oz espresso on the left
Coffee Cart Biz
Posted by Beata Siwinski, 2:25pm Permalink to this blog entry

The Coffee Cart Biz booth caught my eye as it was in the centre of the Convention Centre and was also one of our previous advertisers. I met one of their consultants, Stephanie Garden.

I found out that Coffee Cart Biz not only can set you up for running a small coffee business but also sells a variety of espresso machines and supplies. They are a fairly new company and are based out of California. Stephanie explained to me that they can help with each set of setting up the coffee kiosk, and even provide training.

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Panama Rocks
Posted by Mark Prince, 2:45pm Permalink to this blog entry

I love this show.

This woman is from one of the Panama booths, and is wearing a traditional Panamanian outfit, called a Pollera. Beautiful!

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La Pavoni
Posted by Beata Siwinski, 3:00pm Permalink to this blog entry

A very interesting looking espresso machine - la Pavoni Cellini - brought me to the European Gift & Houseware booth where I met Angelo Forzano. He is the president of the official United States distributor and importer of Italian made La Pavoni espresso machines and coffee grinders. This company is based out of New York and has been in business for twenty years.

With body made of chrome steel Cellini uses cutting edge technology with two pressure gauges monitoring the espresso and cappuccino output and a quiet ULKA pump (producing 16 bars of pressure). Very futuristic look!

At the booth on display there was assortment of all the different products available from the company, such as lever machines, pump machines, burr and mill grinders, coffee accessories, cups. On their website they also carry an assortment of gourmet housewares, such as pasta equipment.

I found out that they service their machines in 24 states and sell their products through such big name stores as Williams & Sonoma and Costco. Check out their website for more details.

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Scoopage! Ditting's New Grinder!
Posted by Mark Prince, 3:05pm Permalink to this blog entry
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Ditting. Now with less screws!
Check out the interior munching area of the latest Ditting grinder, the replacement for the 804 series.

How's this for something cool at the show?

Okay - you're looking at the "guts", at least on the cutting side, of the latest Ditting Grinder, and their replacement for the 804 series.

So look very closely. Notice anything different? Maybe something missing? Maybe something you're not quite sure is right about this picture? Let me help you out a bit.

There's no mounting screws on the burr stack! These burrs are held in place by rare earth magnets! Like, holy crap! And that's not all. Where the 804 series of Ditting grinders, including my own KF I use for cuppings, used pressed burrs to do their chopping, this one has milled burrs, and a lot of attention paid to the pattern and milling of these super hardened steel cutters.

So why is this all a big deal? Well, I'm not quite sure exactly - never before have I given much thought to the "dead zones" inside the burr discs where the screws are normally found - you can see this on your grinder - every flat burr grinder has burrs with 3 or 4 mounting screws set into the burr design. These are cutting "dead zones" where beans do not get cut. But they may be damaged.... or so the theory goes... when entering into these zones at high speeds.

These dead zones are, admittedly, designed in burrs to be at the widest point of entry for a coffee bean - the interior portion of the disc. As the bean gets ground up and chopped, it moves to the outer portion of the burrs, where it gets sliced finer, until it finally spits out into the vane system, which itself spits out the ground coffee through a chute or other delivery channel to your portafilter, press pot, or other receptacle. So one could argue these dead zones are moot - the bean's still almost whole when it gets into these areas, and isn't affected.

But we'll soon see. These new magnet-held burrs have full cutting surfaces. I wonder if it'll make a difference!

Ahh grinders. Gotta love it when companies at least start moving forward!

Busy Busy Busy!
Posted by Anthony Tiarro, 3:40pm Permalink to this blog entry

Wow, this show is jam packed. Mark asked me to snap some pictures of the crowd. Not very hard this task is. People are everywhere! This looks like a good year for the SCAA show if this is any indication.

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Finca Malacara, El Salvador
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:40pm Permalink to this blog entry
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Maria and Guillermo Alvarez, Finca Malacara
The brother sister combo that owns Finca Malacara in El Salvador

I had the good fortune to meet Guillermo Alvarez Prunera and Maria Alverez de Murray, a brother / sister team that owns Finca Malacara, a farm from El Salvador. They were at the Intelligentsia booth. They are the current 4th generation owners of a 27 hectare farm, that provide some of the coffees used in Intelligentsia's Los Inmortales microblend, as well as some of Intelly's Single Origin offerings.

We talked quite a bit about their farm, the way they strive to improve the quality of their coffee, and how a really first rate Director of Coffee like Geoff Watts makes a big difference to them, especially in terms of imrproving the quality, year by year.

As an example, even though their family has been growing and cultivating coffee for decades now, Geoff got involved with them a few years ago, and showed them hands on new ways to pick and sort the coffees to really maximize the flavours. He also spends a lot of time onsite wit them teaching them how their coffees are used in various brewing methods, which both brother and sister said lead to big improvements in how they grow and handle their coffee.

I was especially happy to hear the improvements to the lives of their workers that Maria and Guillermo seem especially passionate about.

They have ten "permanent" families that work their farm year round, and they hire an additional 20 families during picking season. They have recently done a major upgrade to the living facilities for their worker farmers, and they've been adding to the local school that both their workers and the local community uses. They have also done some work introducing and upgrading a local health care facility for the same reason.

Part of what made this possible is the partnership they have with Intelligentsia Coffee, and the fact that now, they're getting multiple dollars per pound of coffee in some cases, whereas in the past, it was a fraction of that. These ethical farmers, who also work very hard on good growing techniques, are really giving back to their community and working with their employees to better the lives of all. It's a great story, and we hope to have even more in a future article on the CoffeeGeek site at some point.

Jon Lewis Prelims at the 2007 USBC
Posted by Mark Prince, 4:45pm Permalink to this blog entry

My sentimental fave, and someone who I've known for a long time in the coffee biz, going back to 2001, has to be Jon Lewis.

He was up on Saturday, and once again, he brought his usual atmosphere of a unique espresso experience. Centre stage in past years were things like shells used as saucers; grinder parts used as a fountain. Hand mills brought to the judges' table for grinding not coffee, but barley.

And this time around, we had something new from the ever open thinking Jon Lewis - a still.

I have a set of photos up on a new flickr account, and want to present them just a bit different in this post. Go from oldest to newest to see Jon practicing before his round, setting up, and walking the judges through. Always an experience. I hope he makes the finals. Click the image for a slideshow, or go view all photos tagged for this performance.

Jon Lewis at the SCAA

Jay Carragay, the man, the myth.
Posted by Mark Prince, 9:20pm Permalink to this blog entry
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Jay rocked the house

Though he didn't make it into the semi finals, it was obvious that Jay Carragay was a serious fan favourite at this year's USBC. He went last out of all the first round competitors, and right after pressing his timer button to start his fifteen minutes, he started by pumping the crowd up - standing right at the edge of the barrier between performance area and the audience, and talking up what fun it is to make good coffee, how he runs off the crowd energy, and how everyone needs to help out by pumping up and setting him off through the starting gate.

All the while, Metallica's "Enter Sandman" was pumping through the sound system. And as soon as it hit its crescendo early on, Jay had the crowd cheering so loud, he was drowned out, so he headed to his espresso machine, and started his performance.

Jay's 'spro looked tight to my eyes, but his capps were pretty messy. Who cares - the guy's a killer barista, and I'd walk 10 miles just to get him to make me a shot. The entire performance was geared to entertaining and serving up coffee, and that's how it should be. Finishing off with a Snoop song was icing on the iced cake.

Click the link below to see some photos of Jay's performance.

CoffeeGeek's Jay Carragay 2007 photoset CoffeeGeek's Jay Carragay 2007 photoset

Article rating: 7.4
Author: Mark Prince
Posted: May 5, 2007
feedback: (17) comments | read | write
Reports From the Road Column Archives  
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One of the more popular pieces of content on the CoffeeGeek website are the reports from major trade shows. We cover shows like no other media source does - giving first hand intimate and frank reports that give you the real scoop on what's going on, from a consumer and a coffee lover's true perspective.

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SCAA 2015 Preview
Behmor Roaster and Brewer - SCAA 2014
Orphan Espresso & Lido 2 - SCAA 2014
Slayer and the One Group - SCAA 2014
La Marzocco At Home - SCAA 2014
Alpha Dominche Steampunk 2014
Blossom One - SCAA 2014
SCAA Boston 2013 Preview
Look Back at SCAA 2012
SCAA Houston Wrapup
SCAA Houston 2011 Part 1
SCAA 2011 Preview
Rancilio Factory Tour
Officina Rancilio Museum
Coffee Tea Expo Day 2
Coffee Tea Expo Day 1
Portland 2010
WRCNBC 2009 Competition
2008 Australian Barista Championship
SCAA 2008 Day 3
SCAA 2008 Day 2
SCAA 2008 DAy 1
SCAA 2008 Day 0
SF Cafe Crawl: Spring 2008
SCAA 2008 Preview
Chasing the Geisha
Let's Talk Coffee
2007 CNBC
Canadian Coffee & Tea Show
WBC Tokyo Day 2
WBC 2007 Day 1
WBC 2007 Day 0
2007 US Barista Competition
2007 SCAA Personalities
SCAA LB 2007 Day 3
SCAA LB 2007 Day 2
SCAA LB 2007 Day 1
Midwest Regional Barista Jam
WBC 2006 Finals
World of Coffee, WBC Part 1
Gearing up for the WBC
Bern and Coffee Culture
SCAA Charlotte Last Thoughts
SCAA 2006 Charlotte Final Day
SCAA 2006 Charlotte Day 2
SCAA 2006 Day 1 Reports
SCAA Day 0 Report
SCAA 2006 - Day -01 Blog
SCAA 2006 Charlotte Preview
SERBC Barista Competition
SCAA 2005 Consumers
SCAA 2005 Day 2
SCAA 2005 Day 1
SCAA Seattle Day 0
SCAA 2005 Preview
USBC Day 2 & Semis
2005 USBC Certification
Photos: CBC Finals
Photos - Canadian Coffee Expo
Photos - Judging
Photos - USBC
Photos - Show Floor
Photos - Personalities
Photos - Barista Setups
Day 3 from SCAA
Day 2: SCAA
Day 1: SCAA
Day 0 from SCAA
CoffeeFest 2003 Seattle
SCAA Boston Day Three
SCAA Boston Day 2
SCAA Day 1
SCAA 2003 Day 0
Midwest Baristas, Day 1
Day Two at the Jam
NW Barista Jam
NASCORE 2002 Report
Last Day, WBC
Day One, WBC
SCAA Anaheim Day 3
SCAA Anaheim Day 2
SCAA Anaheim PreShow
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