Ben’s Brew Blog #4: SCAA The Event – 2013 Exposition Recap

What happens when you bring the top coffee professionals, incredible coffee brewing equipment, coffee farmers, baristas, and everything in between under one roof for four days in Boston? A wicked good time ensues, kid.

Accents and colloquialisms aside, the 25th Annual Speciality Coffee Association of America‘s Symposium and Exposition held this year in Boston was an incredible event. La Colombe not only participated as a sponsor of the Expo, but also contributed a pop-up coffee bar. From this bar, we were able to showcase our newest single-origin coffees from our new Alpha Dominche Steampunk machines. Not only did I have the pleasure of attending the event, I also met and served coffee to the diverse and talented attendees from the Steampunk bar, attended a SCAA skill-building workshop, as well as served as a guest barista at the La Marzocco GB5 espresso bar! It was a whirlwind experience, and I am so happy to be able to share my experience with all of you!

 SCAA badge

My home base during the Expo was, of course, the La Colombe bar. We had the most gorgeous custom built  bar and backdrop to give life to our new Steampunk array. Alongside Todd and JP, the bar was staffed by many of La Colombe’s talented and sweet sales and tech crews, as well as myself and Philly manager Gus. This experienced team was given the task of showcasing some of La Colombe’s newest single origin coffees from Panama, Kenya and Costa Rica, with a quick guest appearance from a yet to be released Guatemalan coffee. Just like working the bar back home (yeah Philly!), I got to meet a whole lot of talented people. The barista champion of El Salvador stopped by, and coffee farmers from many different coffee growing countries came to see our new brewing technology. It was a true seed-to-cup experience. In addition, I also met some really talented baristas. One of whom snapped this photo of me while brewing on the Steampunk. Thanks David!

La Colombe

It was a busy day, but day three really rocked my socks off too. On this day, I really took some time to wander the show floor and get my geek on a little bit. I checked out some new products and espresso tamps. Said hello to the Alpha Dominche crew at their outpost on the show floor. Peeked my head into the competition area with Gus for a quick round of inspiration. Then, once I was all jazzed up on some coffee, I headed over to the La Marzocco camp for my two hour guest barista spot. It was a true pleasure to be able to serve La Colombe’s Rouge organic espresso blend to folks. I was using their gorgeous GB5 espresso machine, surrounded by the entire line-up of La Marzocco espresso machines, each with a truly knowledgeable barista sharing their love of coffee. It was a lot of pressure to be around so many talented folks, but I knew after a couple repeat tasters that I was holding it down.

La Marzocco GB5 La Colombe

As always, all good things must come to an end. The final day of the expo had a very energetic, yet accomplished feel. The baristas competing in the United States Barista Championship were winding down and waiting for their scores. Vendors were making their final sales, and dishing out the last of the swag to lighten the trip home. At the La Colombe bar, people raced to get as many tastes as they could handle of our beautiful Panama Geisha. It was a great experience to be at this event, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the opportunities that La Colombe has offered me. I am so excited to keep learning and growing within the coffee world. I am also thrilled to keep sharing my journey with you, and I hope that you are enjoying reading about it too. I truly appreciate your feedback, and would love to answer any questions that you may have about coffee. As always, take care, and drink great coffee!

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