We’re so excited to bring you our fourth installment of the Coffee Sprudgecast, our weekly coffee podcast that we invite you to subscribe on iTunes right now. In this very special episode, we travel to Vancouver, British Columbia to take a look at the world class coffee service being offered at TED 2016.

A Toyota concept car on display next to a coffee bar.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a group of global conferences founded in 1984. Since 1990, the conference has held an annual main TED event, and for the last three years that conference has been held in Vancouver, BC.

The conference series has enjoyed a significant rise in popularity since 2006, the year the organizers made the 18-minute-or-less TED Talks videos available for free online, both via YouTube and on TED’s popular website. In the years since, the easily digestible and sharable lectures have been shared over 500 million times. TED has spun off into smaller, regional events worldwide, including the licensed brand concept conferences known as TEDx.

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Coffee has always been a component of the conference, as you’ll learn in our podcast up above. Over the years the event has partnered with groups like Intelligentsia Coffee and Coffee Common, and today the coffee service is provided by World Coffee Events, the same folks who bring you the annual World Barista Championship. In our podcast we chat with WCE’s Events Creative Director Amy Ball, as well as SCAA Symposium Director Peter Giuliano and La Marzocco Home‘s Scott Callender, about the unique hands-on service #TEDCoffee provided to TEDsters this year.

Amanda Whitt of Hotel Belmar and Ryan Fisher of Commonwealth Coffee.

WCE paired with La Marzocco, seven progressive coffee roasters, and various cutting edge coffee equipment companies to create six coffee bars at TED, all staffed by an international group of baristas vetted and chosen based on prior experience. Many, like this year’s US Barista Competition Qualifiers champions Cole McBride (PublicUS) and Trevor Corlett (MadCap Coffee), are seasoned coffee competitors.

Cole McBride of PublicUS and Trevor Corlett of Madcap Coffee.
Talya Strader of Equator Coffees and Tea and Mallory Leicht of the Coffee Ethic.
Alexis Hide of Caffe Vita.

Forty-eight baristas in total volunteered their time for the opportunity to serve the 1400 attendees at the conference. On the podcast, catch Amanda Whitt of Hotel Belmar in Monteverde, Costa Rica (pictured below) talk about crowd-funding her way to this unique opportunity.


Peter Giuliano of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Our on-site coverage and podcast product at TED 2016 was made possible by World Coffee Events, as well as their partners at the Barista Guild of America and Barista Guild of Europe. We’d also like to thank La Marzocco, Marco, Breville, Baratza, Bunn, Hario, ChemexPachamamaKaldisSightglass, Intelligentsia, MatchstickVenezianoBar NineSwiss Water Decaf, and Elysian Coffee Roasters for providing the gear and the goods for last week’s service.

For a complete listing of TED 2016 baristas, check out the World Coffee Events website.

Subscribe to the Coffee Sprudgecast on iTunes. Listen and download episodes/subscribe to our RSS here.

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