I attended my first Specialty Coffee trade show yesterday. Washington hosted a Coffee Fest trade show for coffee industry folks, and I was able to make my way in and mingle with some pretty important folks in the worldwide coffee scene. In addition to chatting with equipment suppliers & manufacturers, I was able to watch world-class baristas do their thing in both latte art competitions and while making drinks for the attendees.
I tasted coffees roasted by the top names in the country, and made on the most elaborate & best espresso machines on the planet. I was extremely pleased to find out that the coffee I roast & brew at home (whether on my Bunn ES-1A espresso machine, Cory vacuum pot, French Press, or whatever) is right on the mark with the best of the best (in my humble opinion!) I had espresso shots from Counter Culture Coffee, Intelligencia and the like. The only shot of espresso that stopped me dead in my tracks was from Zoka of Seattle – their coffee was ‘best in show’ in my book. It was a real standout, and I know where the bar is set now.
I finally got to meet someone I have known for almost 2 years through online forums & correspondences. Reinaldo Miguel (aka Michael or Kuban111) is a home coffee roaster & in-house barista like me, and we finally got to shake hands in person & spend the afternoon checking out the show’s exhibits together. Michael, his lovely wife Ale, their acquaintance Andrey and I walked & talked (and drank, of course) coffees & espresso shots from around the world together.
I can’t wait for Coffee Fest 2009!