After the announcement of the SCA’s controversial new Deferred Candidacy policy on Thursday—whereby national champions can seek to defer to enter world coffee competitions due to “nationality, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity/orientation, health, bereavement, or force majeure”—many in the coffee industry were left with more questions than answers. Some feel hurt and betrayed; others don't see what the big deal is. Several would-be coffee competitors are wondering—in private conversation and in public social media posts—if they should move forward with their competition plans given the new policy. Member companies and individuals are publicly considering dropping their SCA membership entirely, the Canadian national body has moved to pull their competitors from the global tournaments, and mainstream media outlets are picking up the story.
It’s safe to say that this is a critical moment in the SCA’s short history.
To help figure out how to move forward—or to at the very least, talk through it—coffee communities around the world are holding local “town hall” events to discuss the SCA's new policy and its effects. All locally organized and unaffiliated with one another, the first of the events (that we are aware of) takes place tonight in Seattle, followed by events in New York, London, Portland, and Washington, D.C. Details for each event can be found below (all times local):
Saturday, November 18th
Oklahoma City: Leaf + Bean (321 N Oklahoma Ave), 7:00pm
Chicago: New Gotham Coffee (2837 W. Fullerton Ave), 5:00pm
Sunday, November 19th
Dallas: Cultivar Coffee (313 W. Jefferson Blvd), 8:00pm
Monday, November 20th
Philadelphia: Joe Coffee, (1845 Walnut St.), 7:00pm
Los Angeles: Cuties Coffee (710 N. Heliotrope Dr), 7:00pm
Austin: Spokesman Coffee (440 E. St. Elmo A-2), 7:00pm
San Diego: Bird Rock Coffee (1270 Morena Blvd), 7:00pm
New York: Counter Culture Coffee NY Training Center, (376 Broome Street), 7:00pm
Emeryville: Counter Culture Coffee Emeryville Training Center, (1329 64th Street), 7:00PM
Is there a coffee town hall happening near you? Let us know about it in the comments below and we’ll add it to the list.
*top image from Scenes From The Bloom Coffee Event In Los Angeles by Elizabeth Chai.