Editors note: In late July we sent our Bay Area staff writer Leif Haven to CoffeeCon in San Francisco. During his time there, he tweeted:
I feel like my heart might explode covering @CoffeeConEvent for @sprudge
— leif (@leifhaven) July 26, 2014
This is his recap.
20. George Howell talked for two and a half hours.
Some highlights and bits of wisdom from his talk included: “The longer I’ve been in coffee, the more I feel it’s about the farmer. If we don’t treat the farmers like equal partners we are going to lose the great coffees that we’re enjoying now, and possibly even greater coffees in the future.” Also, when talking about the Huehuetenango mountain range in Guatemala he got poetic, describing “tumbling mountains that look like drunken waves in an insane ocean.”
19. AeroPress inventor Alan Adler talked about the AeroPress.
For some reason Adler had another larger video version of himself projected on the screen to his left so it looked like he was talking to himself the whole time. Highlights included the following quotes: “This may seem really silly to show you a picture of our Christmas party but there’s a method to my madness” and “If you know me then you know I’m always telling people to press gently,” which should be on a t-shirt.
18. Helen Russell talked founding Equator Coffee, owning a coffee farm in Panama, and the difference between a B Corporation and a regular corporation.
She also told a heart-wrenching story about providing medical care for the coffee farming families that Equator partners with and said that, “Profitability is an important part of sustainability.”
17. Coffee was brewed by these fine folks.
They’re from Sightglass Coffee.
16. I tried a Chemex brewed by a Sprudgie Award winner.
Blue Bottle Coffee‘s Stephen Vick was the first-ever Sprudgie Award winner for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence, all the way back in 2010.
15. Hey, these folks represent a Sprudgie Award winner as well.
Verve Coffee Roasters won for “Notable Roaster” in 2011.
14. Sometimes at events like this one, you’ve just gotta laugh.
13. Smiles help too.
12. There were Edison bulbs on the ceiling.
11. Flywheel Coffee Roasters made the most metal syphon ever.
10. TCHO brought all of the kinds of chocolate to sample.
9. Coffee was Cold Bruer‘d.
8. Project Juice joined the bottled iced coffee game.
7. Everybody was using the new Baratza Forte grinders.
They were pretty much on every single table. Joyce Klassen of Baratza told me that this was not because of some sneaky sponsorship deal, but because everybody just organically brought Baratza Forte grinders. Perhaps because it’s the sexiest grinder alive.
6. The Acaia scale kept drawing a crowd.
5. There was this stealthy lid taste testing station that gathered your sensory experience with different plastic to-go cup lids, set up by FoamAroma.
4. Speaking of coffee roasters, some beans got brown out in the courtyard in this home roaster demonstration.
3. The perfect antidote to a boatload of free coffee samples is tacos.
I opted for the cabeza, lengua, and abodabo, and I went hard on the salsa bar. There were also funnel cakes?
2. The future of coffee was determined by coffee people.
Ken Davids, George Howell, Helen Russell, Joe Behm, and Chris Jordan said that the future of coffee is education, Behm said that it was technology, Howell was convinced the future of coffee is all about the farmer.
1. Verve reminded us to never forget.
Leif Haven is a Sprudge.com staff writer based in Oakland. Read more Leif Haven on Sprudge.