Global Specialty Coffee Expo was a hit this year. With over 13,000 domestic and international attendees, the show was just as packed as ever – yet somehow it was impossible not to run into someone you knew wherever you walked. Familiar and new faces alike, it was great to meet you there!
This year, Royal Coffee had a very full schedule including booths on the main show floor and in the Roaster Village (near the competitions stages upstairs). We also participated in events, lectures, and exchange cuppings, all of which were very well attended. Max spoke on a panel about utilizing social media for the benefit of producers, Richard spoke about thoughtful cafe design, and Jen was on two panels regarding decaf and the best way to roast for espresso. Caitlin and Jen also organized a very well attended #shestheroaster event at Indi Chocolates before the show opened. We are committed to continuing our involvement with the coffee industry and the perpetually lively discussions that surround our life and work. This year’s event gave us plenty of opportunity to get involved.
At the main booth, we featured the producers of the coffee we import. Attendees were able to taste their coffees, and meet the producers in person. This was a perfect opportunity to solidify or build a relationship with your producer, while drinking the very coffee they brought to market. I was lucky enough to get a shot of some of our friends from Colombia and Indonesia:
Handily, Grounds for Health had a booth located right next to ours, where you were able to meet Ellen Starr, the new Executive Director. Bob picked up their new shirt, and we all got to catch up over coffee. They are doing amazing work at origin, and have screened over 92,000 women for cervical cancer! Definitely give their website a visit at the links above – they recently won NCA’s Origin Charity of the Year and are doing more work in Kenya and Ethiopia every day.
The Roaster Village was spearheaded by Sandra this year, and included numerous experiments featuring two coffees, the Colombia Finca La Ilusion Natural (available soon as a Crown Jewel) and the Rwanda Dukunde Kawa Musasa Ruli (CJ1175).Tasting the difference between traditional and bypass brewing was particularly enlightening, and we were able to work with fancy Acaia, Fellow, and Saint Anthony Industries equipment. Traders were also in attendance to field your purchasing questions.
Our Exchange Cupping sessions featured currently available coffees, and it’s an understatement to say that we experienced a fair amount of interest. We cupped coffees ranging from Mexico to Ethiopia. If you were in attendance and would like a copy of the offerings we cupped, please do get a hold of us as these were all available lots.
Of course, what would the Expo be without a few parties? We decided to satisfy our end of the bargain early, on the first night of the show. This year we opted for a larger space at the same venue (MAKERS), as well as more food and more cheer. As expected, attendance was decent and spirits were high. What I’m saying is that we had a blast, and the place was packed.
Perhaps the most enthusiastic response was to our info session on how to sell to Royal Coffee. Quite a few producers were interested in learning the best way to sell green coffee to us, and this session was standing room only, with a line of eager faces out the door. We plan to get a bit more room for this event next year. Again, I must be the king of understatement … but I do work for Royal Coffee after all. We were happy to be able to address everyone’s questions so that we can communicate more effectively with producers worldwide, and we think this is the start of a great tradition.
What more can I say? A picture is worth a thousand words. I tried to get a few photos of this event, and I think I got one of the best views available at the time:
Of course we are all looking forward to next year, and seeing you in person any chance we get, but we had a fantastic time in Seattle this year. Until next time, we remain faithfully yours.