On January 28, 2017, I went to a "Coffee Con" in Seattle. This event was aimed at consumers and was a two day event in the Seattle Center. I know there are a couple of different events which all are coffee exhibitions so it can be confusing which is which. I went to this one:
The organizer of this Coffee Con is a gentleman named Kevin Sinnot. I only went one of the two days, and still had fun. Here's what caught my eye:
THE SPECIALTY COFFEE ASSOCIATION:
Perhaps better known, the major annual coffee industry event is put on each spring by Specialty Coffee Association: The event coordinated by the SCA (which used to be called the "Specialty Coffee Association of America" but is now just called the "Specialty Coffee Association" due to a merger with another entity) is multi-day, huge event, attracting thousands of people, and is indeed geared to those who work in the coffee industry. This year, the Specialty Coffee Association is doing something different than in year's past. This year, they're opening their doors wide to consumers by offering a reduced rate day-pass for Sunday's expo, without having to purchase the Specialty Coffee Association's annual membership. Here's the link with more information on their exposition. I would highly recommend this opportunity to walk through the exhibit booths.
When you go to the SCA event, you get to sample A LOT of coffee. It's possible to walk out wired, full, and on a sugar high. There are tons of coffee-esque drinks (cold, blended creations), tea creations, food samples, and an incredible chance to explore all the latest brew methods. There are tons of products for sale, samples of chocolates, cookies, biscotti, syrups, and much more. I went to the SCA coffee exhibition in 2015 and loved it. Of course, Starbucks will have a huge presence at the SCA event, sampling coffee as well. Registration for the Specialty Coffee Association event is here. The SCA had a booth at the Coffee Con event, which is how I learned about all the new things and changes. I'll be there this year, wondering around the exhibition on the "consumer day" on the Sunday, April 23rd. It is totally possible to go as a consumer and buy the full 3-pass, but the cost is a lot more than the single reduced-rate non-member pass for the Sunday, April 23rd.
This year, Starbucks IS a major event sponsor of the SCA event, so they'll have a strong presence.
Speaking of Starbucks, they had a booth at the "Coffee Con" I went to on January 28th. Two partners sample cold-brewed Ethiopia Shakiso, which was delicious:
COFFEE LOVERS MAGAZINE:
At the Coffee Con, I learned about Coffee Lovers Magazine. The way it works is that you download the Coffee Lovers Magazine app to your phone, and you can browse a few free issues and subscribe to get all the latest issues.
The articles cover a huge range of topics from reviewing coffee, to brew methods, to coffee processing, to conversations with a variety of people in the coffee industry. In the image above, coffee roaster Velton Ross is featured. He's a very high quality small coffee roaster, based just north of Seattle in Everett, Washington. Check him out!
I subscribed right away to Coffee Lovers Magazine, and found myself diving into articles on how coffee is processed on farms. This gets a two thumbs up! Hope you download the Coffee Lovers Magazine app!
A brewing equipment maker called MyBrewista caught my eye. It appears that they make a variety of products from scales, to pour over equipment and more. One of their pour over designs has a feature where there's a lever that releases the coffee. In essence, you can use the pour over cone for immersion brewing:
Let me explain: When we talk about "immersion brewing," we are essentially talking about coffee simply soaking in water. It's what happens when you use a traditional coffee press at home, make cold brew coffee at home, or use a variety of brewers designed for immersion brewing, such as the Sowden Softbrew. (On this blog, I've often said that I love my Sowden Softbrew. That's still true. It's super easy and has a very high tech filter which allows for some flexibility in your grind.)
With a traditional pour over, you set a pour over cone over your coffee mug or other container, and essentially pour water over the coffee grounds. The coffee doesn't really soak in water for a full four minutes, unlike a traditional immersion technique, like a French press. With the Brewista pour over, you can close the hole at the bottom of the cone with an orange lever. Once the hole is closed, you can simply add coffee, add water, and time it for four minutes, and your coffee is done! (Be sure to follow "the 4 fundamentals of a great cup of coffee.") I don't have a "My Barista" device at home, but it does look like a simple and low cost way to experiment with immersion brewing and have easy clean up afterwards too.
Hope I have given you some ideas of new coffee-related things to check out!