Sunday, April 19, 2009

SCAA - Sunday

After arriving at the convention center early this morning – luggage in hand – one of our first stops was the WBC Espresso Bar for the ‘good stuff’. Coffee roasters and barista competitors from all over were showcased each day – pulling incredible shots, making beautiful art. It was a two-fold pull into that area – we had the coffee experience and were able to catch pieces of the competition. Champions from top countries came to match their skills against best in the world. Today, a world champion would be crowned. Victoria was completely enamored by the Japanese latte team – I think she went back 8 times….she was their favorite customer!

Officially we started our days split apart; me to a comparative cupping lab and her to a branding lecture basically showing that brand isn’t all about a logo but more about who you are and what you represent. We believe that Kohana Coffee does that – as the proof of who we are is in each cup. She also attended a lecture helping you to know who your target/audience/consumer is. We think we know you…because we feel you’re discriminating coffee lovers like us. We want to know more – what do you want ultimately, what makes a difference, what do you like and not like? As we begin to know and fully understand what you want we’ll translate that knowledge into how we do business. Got ideas? We want them.

We headed back to the competition for a quick bite and to see who was generating the most excitement. We saw Lee Jong Hoon of Republic of Korea and Michael Phillips of the USA in their final round. It’s just so amazing to see in person.

Our afternoon was spent at the Craft Roasting lab – it was Victoria’s first experience in hearing the science side of roasting as well as getting some ‘hands on’ - it requires such multi tasking – using all senses, from hearing first crack to checking color, temperature and timing to creating what you feel/know is best for that particular bean. It was good for us both to be there.
We’re on the plane home to Austin – wrapping everything up in our heads. Taking in the most important and pulling it to the front for quick implementation. We’ll let you know how it works – but for now we’re just happy to have been there and grateful it was so well organized.


P.S. GWILYM DAVIES of the United Kingdom won the 2009 World Barista Championships. Michael Phillips came in 3rd! Check it out at

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