Here we sit back in the office in Springfield, IL. Although we are a long way from Anaheim, the memories, inspiration and ideas taken from SCAA will resonate for quite a while. For example, the conclusion saw a wonderful early morning Saturday breakfast honoring the efforts of the International Women in Coffee Alliance
and an announcement about the opportunity for members to travel to El Salvador in January during harvest season. Immediate and excited whispers filled the room. I suspect because so many in the industry indicate that a trip to origin totally changes even seasoned veterans of the coffee industry, and I'm sure the prospect of visiting during harvest was an added bonus. So, I add yet another note to the "MUST DO WHEN RETURN" sidebar on my notepad. And thanks to the committee members
for providing a Bodum French Press to one lucky winner per table. I was delighted to be the winner at our table. Even though, honestly, my first inclination was to give it away to another attendee so I didnt have to get it through airport security. I quickly re-thought that when a fellow guest said, Who cant use a good French Press? Of course, she was right and it reminded me that I need to start my coffee newbie observations in an attempt to chronicle what I hope is a long-lived journey in the coffee industry.
After the breakfast, Saturdays social media panel presentation that Nichole expertly moderated was standing room only! Once again my thoughts on starting coffee newbie observations were validated after some thought-provoking yet basic questions were posed about how to jump onto the social media trapeze. Hint: the catch net is not as far away as you think.
Saturdays walk through the area devoted to the Barista Championship also prompted me to make a mental note to return on Sunday to see the Finals. And, so I did. Congratulations to all of the participants and to winner Michael Phillips. It was fun to see an Illinois native win, and interesting to see the theme of connection to origin repeated in such illustrative ways.
I really wanted to study the verbage and how it can help us talk with baristas in a non-corporate way. The USBC
gave me that and more.
Sunday did not see a slow-down in traffic around the BUNN booth areas. I was proud to see our hard work on the 2010 product catalog come to fruition as numerous copies left the booth with attendees flipping its pages. There was also some lively conversation on the cover design. What do you think?
We would be lying if we didnt say we were highly interested in this years Best New Products award ceremony at the Inside Information Stage in the early afternoon. While we werent recognized, it wont deter the excitement we feel about our product offerings this year. Congratulations to Diedrich for their profile lab roaster in the commercial category and to all others.
Then it is finished. The lights dim and the final announcement proclaims: Ladies and Gentleman, the Exhibit Floor is now closed. I quickly retrieve my bag from our meeting room lest it be quickly wrapped up in a cargo box by our efficient Brew Crew. My bag seems noticeably heavier after my rounds on the show floor today14 pages of notes, 100 business cards and 5 pounds of literature. Looks like I will be paying the airline an additional fee to check my luggage, but happily so this time.
Only 22 more days to our next trade show experience at NRA in Chicago
. I'm told it promises to deliver a polar opposite view of our position in the beverage industry. How great is that? Hope to see you there!