SCAA Expo 2011 – Day 2

05.01

My second day of the SCAA Expo began with a lecture titled “Craft Brewing by Hand in a Café Environment.” The session consisted of 4 industry professionals discussing their individual brew-by-the-cup environments and their advice on creating or switching to a similar program. The panel included Kyle Glanville (Intelligentsia & Coffee Common committee member), Jay Caragay (Spro Coffee), John Piquet (Caffe d’Bolla) and Anthony Rue (Volta Coffee). Each panel member shared thoughts supporting the decision to only offer brew-by-the-cup coffee—not that I needed convincing—and discussed the benefits of doing it.

A few memorable quotes from the session:
“The Japanese treat both their food and drinks with great respect.” -John P.

“Define a standard of excellence for your company and stick to it. You will be rewarded.” -John P.


“Empower and trust your staff.” -Anthony R.


“When the customer leaves, we want them to be stoked on their experience.” -Jay C.


“Batch brewing in conjunction with by-the-cup will force by-the-cup to take a back seat. -Kyle G.


“Coffee under $2 should be over—pronto.” -Kyle G.


“You have to be fearless when you go all-in with by-the-cup brewing. -John P.

The second session I attended was about developing a social media strategy for your business. Tara Shenson, New Media Manager of the SCAA, was extremely engaging and delivered a pretty comprehensive talk on new media tools. Though I didn’t learn anything new—Tara warned it was a beginner’s course—I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I had a number of fine coffees this morning at the Counter Culture pop-up café. The sun-dried Sidamo was pulling pretty fantastic as a single origin espresso.

The Bunn Trifecta was in full effecta next to the Brewers Cup stage. I stopped by for a demo and a cup of the Hacienda la Esmeralda that’s being used by the competitors.

I spent the second half of the day watching the remaining USBC semi-finalists compete. My top pick, Sam Purvis from Coava Coffee, sadly didn’t make the final six.

However, the North Central Regional Champ, Ryan Knapp from MadCap Coffee (and owner Trevor Corlett)—who were both favorites of mine—have both advanced to the Finals. Good luck guys!

After the finalists were announced, about 400 attendees headed to Saint Arnold Brewing Company for dinner and some fine Texas beer thanks to the guys at Cuvée Coffee.

Another full day of good coffee and friends at the SCAA Expo has come to an end.

 

posted by on 05.01.2011, under Misc.

Don’tcha Wanna Visit Kohana

03.25

While I was in Austin, Texas a few weeks ago for the North American Hand Built Bike Show, I made a coffee detour to visit Piper Jones at the Kohana Coffee roasting facility. Until this visit, I’d never had Kohana coffee, but was familiar with both PiperJo and Kohana on Twitter. So when Piper invited me to stop by, I was excited to meet her and learn more about the company.

Kohana is just four years old and Piper has been there for 3 of them—roasting for the last two. When I showed up, I thought I’d have a quick look around and taste some coffee, but Piper had other plans. While she let a press pot of their signature Hawaiian Prime brew, she got me started on roasting a new batch of Organic Ethiopian Sidamo. I combed through the green beans looking for any defective ones while the roaster pre-heated and Piper explained the process to a couple friends I brought with me.

Kohana got its start specializing in Hawaiian coffee and have built great relationships with farmers there, but they also offer coffee from other origins now. Piper is exceptionally passionate about what she does, she “gets it” in terms of how coffee should be treated, but like many roasters she has to balance the realities of business and principles—meaning dark roasts, blends, and other things the purist in me shudders at. There is a lot of potential in Austin and I know Piper isn’t slowing down. They recently launched a cold brew coffee that made appearances during SXSW and I’m sure it’ll be in high demand during the hot Texas summer.

Kohana doesn’t have a coffee shop of their own, but they have wholesale accounts around Austin and are also stocked at the Whole Foods there. It was great to break up a weekend full of bike love with some coffee love and finally meet Piper in person. The visit was fun, the coffee was delicious and I’m looking forward to seeing how Kohana grows.

Check out Kohana Coffee

posted by on 03.25.2011, under Coffee Touring, Recommended Roasters

Student Work – Java Nest

06.21

A colorful package design project from Texas Tech design student, Cari Cadwell. While I’m not a fan of blends, the bird theme and the onomatopoeias used for the blend names create a unique conceptual brand within the realm of coffee. There’s also no such thing as an “espresso roast,” (one of my pet peeves of coffee packaging/marketing). Espresso is a method of brewing, but I’ll forgo that rant. On to the work:

The concept for my packaging is a retro feeling coffee. It is a series of coffee that uses the onomatopoeias for the various blends of coffee, such as Cock-a-doodle-doo for breakfast blend. The brand name I made up was Java Nest Coffee because of the bird theme. This was an open project for my student portfolio, and was awarded ‘Best Packaging’ in Texas Tech’s senior portfolio show for Communication Design.

via Lovely Package.

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posted by on 06.21.2010, under Design, Misc.