Tamper Tantrum started as a series of opinionated podcasts discussing all things coffee, founded by Has Bean‘s Stephen Leighton and 3FE‘s Colin Harmon. Over the years, it's evolved into a series of travelling events called Tamper Tantrum Live (TTL), produced in partnership with World Coffee Events. This year, for the first time, TTL left Europe, with a three-stop Asia tour in Busan, Shanghai, and Taipei. I attended the second stop of the tour in Shanghai, an event held over two days, 30 and 31 Oct 2014, and limited to only 50 seats. The event was co-hosted by Jascaffe, held at its headquarter located in Jiuting, Shanghai.
Over the two days, everyone was buzzing about getting to hear from the many exciting guest speakers for the event. The first day kicked off with James Hoffmann of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, speaking on his coffee philosophy that educating your customers how to drink specialty coffee is the key to survival. He also suggested that if anyone was ever going to write a book, they had better make that job full-time. He said his book, “The World Atlas of Coffee” was actually finished one year later than planned, due to having four jobs at the same time. The morning was rounded out by World Brewer's Cup Champion Matt Perger of St. Ali and Sensory Lab in Australia, speaking on the science of coffee extraction.
The afternoon speeches started with 2014 Chinese Barista Champion Jeremy Zhang, who used to live in Melbourne and will be representing China at WBC 2015 in Seattle. He shared a more macro view of the Chinese market, and his thoughts on the current issues in the majority of coffee shops in China and how they should be improved were particularly mind-opening.
The last speaker of the day was Joseph Brodsky, founder of Ninety Plus Coffee, whose beans have been used by a number of barista champions around the world, including Craig Simon from Australia who took the 4th place at WBC 2014 in Rimini, Italy. Brodsky gave an in-depth look at the Ninety Plus operation and its various branches.
The first day of TTL Shanghai was finished off with the China premiere of “A Film About Coffee”. The 90 minute film is filled with breathtaking shots, and half of the audience even stood up to watch so they could have a better view. Afterwards, director Brandon Loper was on hand to answer questions, and also sell merchandise, all of which was snapped up in minutes.
The second day was the “bicker and debate” portion of Tamper Tantrum, or in other words “Q&A” day. Matt Perger and Stephen Leighton went into more depth on the global specialty coffee industry. Legendary coffee producer Aida Batlle and Counter Culture Coffee Sustainability Manager and Coffee Buyer Kim Elena Ionescu spoke on the supply chain of the specialty coffee, focusing on how to manage sustainability and build relationships with producers. Brian W. Jones of Dear Coffee I Love You and Supersonic Coffee spoke on how to design branding with customers’ feelings in mind. The day concluded with a panel discussion amongst all the speakers.
It was a full-on two days filled with information, knowledge, and excitement. The event would not have happened without the support of Jascaffe, a coffee supplier and distributor of Slayer Espresso Machines, Diedrich Roasters and many others, that operates a SCAA-certified training lab in Shanghai, and has co-hosted numerous coffee conventions in China.
Tamper Tantrum's Asia tour marks an exciting milestone for the globalization of coffee knowledge. As newer coffee markets continue to explode, and organizations like the WCE further extended their reach, cross-continental coffee exchanges like TTL Asia are sure to become more common.
Dianne Wang is a first-time Sprudge contributor based in New Zealand.