Highlights from the SCAA Conference

Now that the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual conference is over, we asked some of our staff that attended about the highlights of their weekend in Anaheim, CA. The SCAA conference welcomes thousands of coffee professionals from around the world to learn about, taste, compete with and revel in COFFEE. Here’s a selection of Top 3 Experiences at the 2010 SCAA conference.

Mike Ferguson, Business Development Director

  1. 1.     Watching Jason Dominy pull espresso shots of our Rwandan coffee at the Barista Guild coffee bar and watching people’s surprised and very positive reactions.
  2. 2.    Our own Chandler Rentz’ very professional and smooth performance as a competitor at the United States Barista Championship.
  3. 3.    Leaving 50 hats featuring our new branding in the press room and returning only 4 hours later to find they were all gone, and then seeing people wearing them in the expo hall…even some of our competitors were spotted wearing the Batdorf hat.

2010-usbc-chandler2
Chandler Rentz

Will Frith, Training & Education

  1. 1.    Sensory Judging for the US Barista Championship. At this level, everything tasted great, and I was so impressed with the camaraderie displayed in Specialty Coffee. The people who I’d already heard of had already heard of me, and the couldn’t-wait-to-meet-you vibe was mutual.
  2. 2.    On that note, meeting so many great Specialty Coffee people. I feel like the luckiest guy in the world to have these folks as peers and mentors. World Barista Champions and “celebrity baristas” who were just as interested in hearing what I have to say as I was in what they were saying, having so many coffee-centric conversations with such a broad range of folks doing a broad range of things. I was truly inspired and humbled.
  3. Still on that note, re-meeting the folks I work with and meeting the folks from the Atlanta crew. It’s not every day that we get to hang out and have casual conversations about everything and nothing. These moments showed me what a truly great group of folks I work with, both in shared and remote locations. Our conversations inspired me to always strive for excellence and to never settle for “good-enough.”
  4. 3.    Volunteering for workshops. I can’t stress how important this is for both me and the health of the Specialty Coffee industry. I learned volumes from having to teach to a standardized program and train outside of just what I think is important for students to learn. Seeing students’ improvement through the course of a few hours, recognizing their epiphany moments and being asked very good, assumption-challenging questions from quality-minded folks really forced me to look at my own assumptions and reasons for doing things the way I do. I even got the opportunity to teach a few representatives from a couple of very well-known, large Specialty Coffee companies, which further challenged my assumptions and underscored the importance of events like these.

The theme: inspired and humbled.

Heather Ringwood, Operations Director

  1. 1.     $2.10 tacos the size of your forearm and In and Out burger. Best food all weekend.
  2. 2.     Having Chandler there. It’s all new and exciting through his eyes.
  3. 3.     The Comic Con that was happening at the same time as Expo… the costumes were better than the year of the junior dance squad competition.
    Ok, seriously? The folks from B&B represented our company well within our industry – leading the espresso labs, cupping, helping at the competition and networking on the show floor.

Jason Dominy serving the masses at the Barista Guild coffee bar.
Jason Dominy behind the Barista Guild coffee bar.

Jason Dominy, Wholesale Support and Outreach

  1. 1.     Having dinner and spending time with Bob Benck, Marcus Young and Will Frith for the first time. I felt right at home, and challenged at the same time.
  2. 2.     Pulling our Rwanda Buremera on the BGA Cafe espresso machine, and serving so many people I know and respect. And seeing and hearing their reactions sealed the deal.
  3. 3.     Dinner at In-And-Out with Chandler Rentz, Will Frith, Bryan Dyer and my wife, followed up by the incredible BGA Party/Bowling. The majority of my closest friends in one place, bowling, dancing, it was a beautiful night I won’t forget. And playing pool with my hustler partner Sammy Piccolo was the cherry on top.
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5 Responses to “Highlights from the SCAA Conference”

  1. Chandler says:

    Here are my highlights:

    1 – Getting some quality time with fellow west coast B&B colleagues. I had a blast hanging out with Marcus and Will… Intelli Venice field trip and party were memorable. I’m looking forward to visiting Olympia and catching up more… musical collaboration with Will was discussed, that would be rad!

    2 – Competing; it was great to meet all these heavy-weight baristas who I’ve seen compete and read about everywhere. Everyone was really cool and helpful. Many thanks to Michael Elvin, Shawn, Ian etc… from Espressoparts for getting me a grinder and shopping for my signature drink ingredients. I was flabbergasted when Stephen Morrissey walked onto the stage to judge me and I’m surprised it didn’t make me nervous. I was overwhelmed by how positive and supportive the whole community of baristas was. I have a lot of new friends now. I learned a lot and will be ready to make to semis next year ; )

    3 – Playing on the Strada in the La Marzocco booth, meeting Roger (head tech) in person… and drooling over the Probatino in the Probat booth just thinking about how good of a year this is going to be…

    -Chandler

  2. [...] Highlights from the SCAA Conference – Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters [...]

  3. M. Case says:

    2 – Competing; it was great to meet all these heavy-weight baristas who I’ve seen compete and read about everywhere. Everyone was really cool and helpful. Many thanks to Michael Elvin, Shawn, Ian etc… from Espressoparts for getting me a grinder and shopping for my signature drink ingredients. I was flabbergasted when Stephen Morrissey walked onto the stage to judge me and I’m surprised it didn’t make me nervous. I was overwhelmed by how positive and supportive the whole community of baristas was. I have a lot of new friends now. I learned a lot and will be ready to make to semis next year ; )
    +1

  4. Jill says:

    So, about those hats… where could I get another one? I wore mine all spring and summer and now my friend wants one. If I could buy & send her a gift of coffee + hat somehow, that would be really cool.

  5. Mate, I think your travel article give me refrence to prepare my childs’s next holidays. TY.

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