We’ve been covering conventions, conferences, and events since the very beginning of this website, but our role at Let’s Talk Coffee presented a new set of challenges. It’s one thing to just take a bunch of notes, ask questions, film video, and document an event in pictures – we know how to do that stuff – but it’s quite another to actually host panels and speak to an audience from on stage. It’s something we’ve watched other journalists and coffee luminaires do for years, but we don’t really have a ton of experience doing it ourselves.

And so, Let’s Talk Coffee 2012 was the start of something new for us. First, the panel we ourselves hosted, featuring Sam Lewontin (Everyman Espresso), Jared Linzmeier (Caffe Ladro), Fabrizio Sencion-Ramirez (Cafe Sublime / 5 PM / 2-time Mexico Barista Champion) and Stephen Vick (Blue Bottle Coffee). The concept for this panel was born in the Portland offices of Sustainable Harvest several months ago, when SustHarv first approached us about the idea of attending and participating in their 10th annual LTC event. The folks at Sustainable Harvest gave us a lot of leeway; they wanted us to find voices from the top tier of the North American specialty coffee experience, but beyond that, what we actually talked about and how we presented our guests was entirely up to us.

So we put together a late-night talk show.

Jordan hosted, while Zachary produced the whole thing from up in the audio-visual crow’s nest. We put together four “clips” for each of our guests, with the idea of bringing the audience at Let’s Talk Coffee – many of whom were from producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere – into a series of cafe environments in New York City, Seattle, Guadelajara, and the Bay Area. Check out those clips here – these cafes are the final touch point for some of the coffees brought into the world by producers who were in the audience, which is sort of like closing the global chain.

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Each guest got walk-on music, just like a late night show. There was a couch and mugs and a “hot seat” and everything. The interviews were candid, lively, and while tailored individually to each guest, a couple of different topics came up repeatedly:

  • How much coffee do you roast / sell a week?
  • How many individual coffees to you offer at one time?
  • What brew methods do you employ in your cafes? What kind of equipment do you use?
  • What’s your individual market like? Who is your typical clientele?
  • Tell us about your average day.

Suffice it to say, we’re really excited to be able to show you more from this presentation, and it’s a format we’re hoping to expand upon with continued public appearances throughout 2012 and beyond. We plan on being able to share video from this presentation in the coming weeks, just as soon as the raw material is provided to us for editing by Sustainable Harvest.

In the meantime, we can’t thank our guests enough – Fabrizio, Jared, Stephen and Sam, thank you for being a part of our hosted panel at Let’s Talk Coffee 2012. We’d have interviewed you for hours if there had been time. Here’s the video introductions we put together for each guest:

Stephen Vick, Blue Bottle Coffee, Bay Area / NYC

Sam Lewontin, Everyman Espresso, Manhattan

Jared Linzmeier, Caffe Ladro, Seattle

Fabrizio Sencion-Ramirez, Cafe Sublime / 5 Pm, Guadalajara

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