SCAA 2012 Reports

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
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#1: Post by another_jim »

Thursday April 19

The Expo center is a perfect size for the SCAA convention, and has some nice I.M Pei-ish architectural chops

This is the second time I've attended as press. Four years ago, it was "there's an SCAA category for French Press operators?". This year, there's a press room, with press kits, flash drives filled with background info, and instant registration. Very sweet.

The new professionalism also found its way to a very slickly stage opening ceremony. Here's the latest Boyd of Boyd's coffee, a century old Portland roaster and the major sponsor of the ceremony

Here's Peter Guiliano of Counter Culture

And here's a Honduran Salsa band who's playing transitioned us from the speeches to the booze. Honduras is the official sponsoring country this year (did I mention professional?)

The reception is the biggest social gathering of the convention. People use it to meet up with old friends, catch up on news, and plan their stay. Here's Barry Jarrrett and Marshall's Fuss's wife Joan

More tomorrow.
Jim Schulman

Bak Ta Lo

#2: Post by Bak Ta Lo »

Thanks Jim, Just home from work, wishing I was in Portland to see the show, appreciate you helping us attend vicariously. :)
LMWDP #371


#3: Post by chang00 »

Received an e-mail regarding this item from Behmor called the BraZen Coffee Brewer. Booth 3102.

Has anyone seen it in action?


#4: Post by jonny »

Is this where we should all be reporting? Or is this Jim's thread? I don't want to unintentionally hijack!

Crazy day though. Just feeling it out at this point. SOOOOO much to see. Highly caffeinated right now.
Best news I've heard today from Jason Prefontaine of Slayer Espresso. I asked him if a single group, more home-friendly platform was in the future. He said, "I can't share any details since it's all 'in my head' but yes." I have no idea what something like that will cost but that will be incredible!

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#5: Post by Chert »

It's a generic thread title; Go for it, Jonny. Curious espresso freaks want to know!
LMWDP #198

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another_jim (original poster)
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#6: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

chang00 wrote:Received an e-mail regarding this item from Behmor called the BraZen Coffee Brewer. Booth 3102.

Has anyone seen it in action?
I saw it, but haven't caught a demo yet. Not quite the sex appeal of Bill Crossland's robot arm brewer; but perhaps more practical.
Jim Schulman

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another_jim (original poster)
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#7: Post by another_jim (original poster) »

jonny wrote:Is this where we should all be reporting? Or is this Jim's thread? I don't want to unintentionally hijack!
Post away.
Jim Schulman

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#8: Post by yakster »

Got in late last night after driving up and hitting Wandering Goat in Eugene (recommended).

A group of us hit Stumptown at the Ace Hotel (they were pretty busy) and Coava Coffee which has a beautiful location. Had some great coffees.

We then grabbed a bit and hit the show for a bit before a few of us attended the Cupping for Defects Class. I have to say that I count myself luck that I have not encountered all of these defects in the green coffee that I've bought and roasted, we have it pretty good in the specialty coffee side of things. The defects we cupped were Moldy, Ferment, a very nasty Phenolic, Unripe which was mixed in with a bunch of other defects (including Phenolic again) since it was just density sorted triage coffee, and baggy coffee.

It was a worthwhile class and I'm glad that I attended, but it left little time for the show. We did stop by the Behmor booth and took a look at the Brazen, it looks like an excellent design with the water being heated above the filter and dropping down to avoid losing temp on a trip north. Here's a picture of Joe after a long day of drinking coffee. We were all pretty toasted on coffee at this point.


LMWDP # 272

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#9: Post by doubleOsoul »

Got in at 5:20. Yeah, that's PM. The border crossing was all the traits of green defects: phenolic and foul. Impeded traffic for like forever. Anyway, I'll be there bright and shiny tomorrow and excited to blog and meet folks. Would like to meet up with who ever made it here. I'll be the red headed girl with the caffeine buzz on by 11:04 am



#10: Post by jonny »

Thursday 4/19
I arrived at the convention center early on thursday to find not a whole lot happening. I watched a couple barista competitors perform and tasted a few really nice coffees from Equal Exchange (pulled by barista competitor Matt Scott of Lemonjello in Michigan) and Portland's own Public Domain. I went home for a bit and came back later for the Opening Ceremonies and Welcome Reception. It was an honor to hear the president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, speak on behalf of the country, though the translated subtitles were terrible. I did catch that the government is doing everything they can to improve their coffee for the specialty coffee industry. President Sosa says, "my office door is always open and whatever projects you have we can help you. Whatever concerns or doubts you have, we can clarify them."

After the ceremony, I headed off to the reception to grab some food and drink. I briefly ran into Jim but became lost in the crowd as I sniffed out some grub. There was no short supply here.

After I ate, I booked it across the river to Southwest Alder and Broadway to partake in the Thursday Night Latte Art Throwdown hosted by Espresso Parts at Public Domain. I don't think you will find another cafe running a Synesso and a Slayer literally back to back.

No practice was allowed. Competitors would just walk up to a machine and do their best. I was nervous, having never used a Synesso and only using a commercial machine a couple times. The Synesso was amazingly easy to use, though. I could definitely get used to that! I poured a decent "vine and heart" but not being able to top a perfectly poured rosetta, I did not proceed past the first round. It was good times at Public Domain with free beer and bumpin' jams. Clarissa poured the winning cup and the top three will receive prizes from Espresso Parts.

After walking around downtown for twenty minutes because I couldn't remember where I parked, I finally found my car and headed home to hit the pillow.

Friday 4/20
I arrived back at the Convention Center this morning and began browsing the show floor. Man, this place in overwhelming! I grabbed a delicious cup pulled from a three group Bosco a la Caffe Vita to kick off the caffeine. I left for lunch after a couple hours of aimless wandering. By all the commercial coffee roasters, you'd think this is a convention specifically for such machines. I did see some beautiful sample roasters that I covet.
From Proaster:

From Joper:

I'm sure either of these machines demand a very pretty penny.
Speaking of roasters, a brand new company out of Korea called BTC (Bean to Coffee) unveiled a very cool roaster today called the Mason. This machine looks solid. A thick door on the front opens to reveal a vertical drum reminiscent of a cooling tray. Pull it out and you see a propeller like object in the middle that mates to a motor when the drum is placed inside the roaster. Mason comes in 250 g and 500 g versions. It is 'carbon heated.' I am not familiar with that but maybe others are. They offer 6 preset roast profiles (no programming, unfortunately) and zero smoke. I didn't even realize they were roasting until they opened the door and pulled out a steamy drum of beans. I am not sure how cooling works, whether it runs a cooling cycle or a separate cooling device is needed. Retail for the 250 g model will be around $1400. The 500 g model is TBD. Release date in the United States is set to be around June or July. This could be a very interesting product for the home roaster.

Oh you know, just your typical Faema President sittin' pretty. At the Nuova Ricambi booth.

They are also selling a new tamper called the Cobra. It looks pretty cool and comes in 58 mm and 49 mm sizes. One grips the Cobra between the fingers.

I was surprised at how small the Ditting KR805/Mahlkoenig Tanzania is! It looks like it's about the same height as a Super Jolly with short hopper and leaner around the waist. If I had the money I'd be shelling out to pimp my brew setup!

Here is Otfes' interesting auto pour-over machine. They nozzle moves around during different stages in the cycle. Pretty nifty!

Espresso Parts was showing off some of their custom paint jobs they are offering on Mazzers. Here is the shnazziest robur I've ever seen!

That Robur was actually feeding Jason Prefontaine's Slayer. I had a chance to talk to Jason about the Slayer and hopes for home baristas. I asked specifically whether or not a single group in a smaller platform would be offered. He gave me a solid 'yes.' He says, "I really need a machine for my home! I can't give you any details right now since it's mostly ideas in my head, but I can say yes." He offered to email me some of the ideas he is dreaming up for this prospective machine. I emailed him and now I await his reply. It was so refreshing to hear such a responsive reply in contrast to Mazzer's solid 'no' about more home friendly grinders such as a conical mini.
Goodnight, all. I'll be on my way to another long day at the convention tomorrow. I also plan on watching Coava's Devin Chapman compete in the semi finals for the USBC. I had an interview with him earlier this week but it is taking me quite some time to write up. Hopefully I can get it done very soon. He had a lot of intriguing words to say. Also if you see anything here that you would like to hear more about, have specific questions, or still other products you really want to see, just let me know and I will hunt it down.