SCAA EXPO 2016 : RECAP
April 14th – April 17th, 2016
Georgia World Congress Center
Wait a second… it’s a great day for coffee… I haven’t heard from you in awhile! Well you’re right, and it’s good to be back and covering the SCAA Expo 2016, which took place April 14th – April 17th, 2016 in Atlanta, GA.
For anyone out there wondering what the SCAA is (doubtful if you’re reading this blog but I’ll give some background), the Specialty Coffee Association of America was created in 1982 by a small group of coffee professionals seeking a common ground on creating quality standards for coffee to maintain and progress it’s integrity into the future. The SCAA is the world’s largest coffee trade association and can be credited to much of coffee’s growth and success over the last 25 years. Pretty sweet huh?
So you might be sitting there thinking to yourself, do coffee nerds really fly in from all around the world to geek out on the latest espresso machines, brewing methods, flavor profiles, and milk frothing techniques? Yes… yes we do. Considering this was my first experience visiting the SCAA Expo, which visits a different city every year, I came in with a fresh outlook and high expectations. I knew I was going to find things that I adored, as well as things I despise in coffee where it is today. I discovered just that.
One thing I did not expect, was the concentration of different products for retail owners and wholesale buyers to plug into their businesses. Some were pushing the limits of what might be acceptable in a coffee shop (i.e. Miso flavored tea drinks, no thanks), but it’s completely understandable that given this was an Expo, there would be a focus on these types of items.
In all honestly, I drank some AMAZING coffee, (Temple Coffee Roasters, MadCap Coffee, Revelator Coffee to name a few), and I also drank some absolutely horrible coffee. I’m not going to start pointing fingers, but that was a little bit of a let down. Trust me, I’m a huge believer of third wave coffee and innovative roasting techniques that are producing much lighter roasts these days, but some were just plain pushing the limits. I’m just going to leave that comment there, as I want to focus more on the positive notes of my experience. Take a look at some of my favorite stops below from my SCAA Expo 2016 experience. And.. we’ll see you next year! 🙂
First stop – Revelator Coffee in Atlanta, GA
Entrance way to SCAA Expo 2016
Collaboration between Supersonic Coffee out of Berkeley, CA and Saint Anthony Industries which produce everything from aprons, tamps, and glass brewers. Definitely a highlight from my trip and some of the best conversations held. I mean, just take a look at that custom wooden scale board! Amazing.
Here I got a demo of the Curtis Seraphim automatic pour over brewer, while geeking on on some coffee techniques talk with Temple Coffee Roasters out of Sacramento, CA.
Beautiful machines. Great demos. La Marzocco, pretty self explanatory.
Best believe I snagged a few of those Hario stickers. Classic and staples of the industry, Hario.
Taking part in a cupping of La Palma Y El Tucan from Colombia. #overcaffeinated
Stopped through the US Barista Championships to catch hometown heroes, Spyhouse Coffee showcasing their best.
One of the best additions to the Expo, was the ‘Uppers and Downers’ section. Presenting amazing collabs between coffee shops and craft beer brewers from around the country. #stoked
I backed Handground over a year and a half ago through their Kickstarter campaign, and they still haven’t delivered the product. But all in all, It was great to meet their team and see some of their demo grinders that I can look forward to.
The race car of espresso machines. Sanremo. Beautiful.
One of the busiest booths of their entire festival was Slayer. Truly some of the most visually attractive machines in the world, and it’s been amazing to see that company grow into the name they are today.
“Let’s make another stop back at the ‘Uppers and Downers’ section…”
Another highlight of my trip was meeting the family team at Mavam Espresso Machines. It was a pleasure to demo these machines and learn more about the innovative technology. They launched just last year in 2015 at Coffee Fest Portland as one of the “Best New Products” ever. Big props.
I’ve been an avid support of Keep Cup for a long time, and I’ll continue to support their great product for years to come. Simple designs and a focus on sustainability. Barista certified travel cups, pick one up today.
Peace out SCAA Expo, until next time. It’s a great day for coffee.
Written by John Waltmann