We’re reporting to you live from Providence, Rhode Island at the 2012 Mid-Atlantic / Northeast Coffee Conference (actually, we’re in Pawtucket, so go ahead with the Pawtucket Patriot Beer jokes). Today’s full slate of programming has been thrilling, chilling, and now we’re all swilling beer, waiting for 2007 WBC Champion James Hoffmann to give his eagerly-awaited Keynote Address. Watch Sprudge.com all weekend long for live tweets (@sprudge) and exclusive content from #MANE2012 – we’re not the only media sponsors, but we’re the only media sponsors who bothered to show up!
Today’s big highlights included hands-on latte art classes taught by Ryan Soeder (Counter Culture Boston) and Teresa von Fuchs (Irving Farm Coffee), as well as Brant Curtis and his hilariously on-point and occasionally controversial lecture on batch brewing, and Jay Caragay‘s freewheeling soliloquy, “Breaking Bad: Challenging Convention and Authority in Specialty Coffee.” But standing out amongst them all was a panel discussion of baristas and roasters entitled “(Don’t Come) To The Dark Side”, featuring folks like Scout Rose (Joe NYC), Amber Sather (Toby’s Estate), and the papa patriarch of modern specialty coffee, the one, the only Mr. George Howell (of his own eponymous George Howell Coffee Company).
We yield the floor to Mr. Howell, as he takes us all on a 30 Minute Pleasure Trip: