A Field Guide To SCAA Boston
The 2013 Specialty Coffee Association of America Event is a six-headed hydra of coffee excess. A social smorgasbord of networking, get-working, and booth-gawking. A carnivàle cornucopia of caffeinated utopia. And with so much stuff going on, we thought it might be helpful to compile some must-see highlights for the weekend ahead. Here’s what’s happening each day at SCAA, with plenty more going on beyond the boundaries of our humble guide. Something worth seeing that we’re leaving out? Comment in the comments, yo.
Need to, want to, got to party down? Here’s pretty much all the parties happening this weekend.
We’ll be exhaustively covering every last moment of the 2013 United States Barista Championship. Watch Sprudge.com for daily recaps and photographs of all 39 competitors, and follow @SprudgeLive on Twitter for the very best in play-by-play from Boston.
Opening Day of the United States Barista Competition kicks off at 9:15 AM with “Dr. Man Candy” himself, Mike Morgenstern of Joe NYC, a top 6 finisher at the NERBC. The Cup Tasters Championship kicks off later in the day, beginning at noon with Jordan Barber (Intelligentsia), Jon Ferguson (Dogwood Coffee Company), and Samuel Demisse (Keffa Coffee). The Brewers Cup will be going on all day on Thursday as well, beginning at 9:05am and presented in “silent auction” style. All three of these events are happening in the Boston Convention Center Activities Hall.
That evening is the SCAA’s official Opening Ceremonies, and Welcome Reception, as well as the 25th anniversary party for Coffee Kids – all three of these events happen at the Convention Center itself, beginning at 5:30. Later the evening is the sure-to-be-excellent Boston TNT Party hosted by Espresso Parts. This might be a good night to go out to dinner somewhere fun after the parties, before the weekend starts and the restaurants get packed. Peruse your options here.
Day Two action from Round One at the USBC kicks off at 10:15 AM with Josh Taves of Dogwood Coffee Company. Brewers Cup & Cup Tasters action continue on as well. USBC Semi-Finalists, Cup Tasters Finalists, and Brewers Cup finalists will be announced around 5pm that evening, after all the competitions conclude. Follow @SprudgeLive on Twitter for play-by-play of who’s advancing!
Friday is also opening day at the SCAA Event. Highlights – and there are many highlights – include a host of lectures, educational opportunities, and certifications, loads of cuppings and coffee evaluations, plus the glories of the showroom floor, including but not limited to a brand new Mythos grinder at the Nuova Simonelli booth (featuring coffee service from Stumptown, Portola Coffee Lab, Equator, Barefoot, Counter Culture & Klatch), a massive new custom-built Espresso Parts booth, non-stop demos and edutainment moments, and the launch of La Marzocco’s new Linea PB. Check out the products, drink great coffee, see it all, be it all, and make it happen.
The folks at Barista Nation are hosting a great big series of talks & lectures out front of the Convention Center, along with coffee service from some of the best in the biz. Read all about it here, and look for coverage from Cristina Furr of Cup of Texas throughout the event.
Friday night is an embarrassment of riches on the party front. We’ll be DJ’ing and hanging out at the Counter Culture Coffee, Prima Coffee, and La Marzocco shindig in Somerville (374 Somerville Ave, Somerville) from 7pm til 11. Equal Exchange & Harpoon Brewery are throwing a big beer & brew bash at the Harpoon Brewery site (306 Northern Avenue), starting at 6pm. And Equator Coffees & Teas are hosting the Coffee Soiree at the new South End Buttery location at 37 Clarendon. Between these three, you’ve no excuse for staying home.
USBC Semi-Finals kick off at 10:15AM, and Brewers Cup Finals begin at noon. A full day of high-level competition leads up to a big set of announcements at around 4:30PM, when we’ll learn the top 6 baristas in the United States and the 2013 Brewers Cup Champ!
Saturday evening is the La Marzocco, Cafe Imports, Barismo & George Howell super-party, happening at Space With A Soul (281 Summer Street, 7th Floor) starting at 5pm. Everyone you know will be there, so you should go too.
It’s all been leading up to this: the 2013 USBC Finals happen live on Sunday, April 13th. We don’t have times yet, but we’ll update this post as soon as we do. To the winner goes the spoils: flights & accommodations at the 2013 World Barista Championship in Melbourne, plus fame, fortunes untold, and future adulation from the barista masses.
Sunday night is Natvia’s Sweet Spot Party, a speakeasy-style bacchanal sure to go down in the annals of history for those who can remember it. This party starts at 7pm at The EpiCenter (100 West 2nd Street) and you should dress nice and go. Have fun!