Saturday, April 18, 2009

SCAA Day Two

Another day in Atlanta and you can't imagine how much they can pack in...

We started at the International Women's Coffee Alliance Breakfast that did it's job of inspiring and connecting women in coffee from around the world. The program highlighted stories that celebrate the strength of women working to empower their lives and the lives of people in their communities. Presentations were made by Esperanza Castillo, an agronomist from Peru who's worked diligently to improve the conditions and lives of those around her from the 70's - and Vilma Ruiz from Finca Los Andes in Guatemala who inspired us by her commitment and dedication to the path she's been led to since youth. What a way to start our day.

Victoria had to exit early for an Espresso Lab and I headed towards the "Turning Industry Macro-trends into Profitable Business Building Programs" led by Torani's Andrea Ramirez. Both had good information we can bring back - the espresso lab just establishing good practice and the macro trends providing useful statistical information for decision making in this shaky economy.

We met for lunch and BEAUTIFUL espresso drinks at the Barista Competition and saw the Korean competitor wow the crowd with signature drinks. He had such a loyal following - Korean flags were flying. The tension is building towards tomorrow's final rounds.

This afternoon was spent on the trade floor for me - and an aroma lab for Victoria. We both left exhausted but full of new and useful information. Dinner at Eno, a local wine bar, proved tasty and eventful. It was a beautiful night and the walk there/back there was medicinal.

We're packed for tomorrow - ready for the final day and wrap up to SCAA 2009. It's a lesson in absorption - what you're not getting in your head you acquire through osmosis. The great thing about being here is that you're learning from industry leaders - from their lessons learned - how nice is that? Re-creating the wheel is not something I'm terribly fond of unless it's through inspiration.

Go coffee!


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