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Klatch Team at Barista Nation

by The Klatch Team

Both Mike and Heather Perry were at the Barista Nation in Los Angeles last Saturday (9/15/2012). Heather and Michael (from Handsome Coffee) talked about how to make a career in coffee. Considering that both were two-time champs(USBC, WBC), it was a pretty inspiring moment for all the coffee fanatics. They also went into detail on how to extract the right espresso shot.

Mike Perry talked about the origins of coffee along with his other roast master colleagues. Most coffee enthusiasts would love this topic, knowing the degree of passion they share for coffee. The basic premise is how coffee travels from the farm to the Barista's hands and eventually extracted and served to the public. As usual, people were inspired and everyone had a great time.

Barista Nation Wrote:
The day kicked off with a crackerjack presentation from Anne Nylander of the SCAA. In her own words: “The purpose for this lecture is for us to get an understanding of what we’re even talking when we say ‘Third Wave’, and how we got there.” Ms. Nylander first offered a succinct history of the progression of specialty coffee, starting with Peet’s in 1966, the formation of the SCAA in 1982, and the beginning of Starbucks retail operations in 1987. “We have a lot of information out there, but not a lot of history – especially recent history – of how the industry has progressed,” Nylander told the crowd.
Her presentation paid proper due to Starbucks, and specifically to Howard Schultz for his commitment to retail. She pointed to a few major landmarks in the ongoing progression of the industry, specifically the SCAA’s “Coffee Cupper’s Handbook” from 1995, David Schomer’s Ergo tamper, and Trish Rothgeb’s oft-referenced landmark article from the Spring 2003 issue of The Flamekeeper, where the phrase “Third Wave” was coined in relation to specialty coffee.
The lecture closed with the formation of the Barista Guild, the creation of BGA certification, and the codification of level one and two barista certification programs – “a certificate that any professional barista can take with them as a tool to present to an employer at any cafe.” To Nylander, the industry’s historical infancy is immensely fascinating, and her lecture asked the audience to look at specialty coffee’s progression in terms of the longue durée – which is to say, the industry has come so far in such a short period of time, and that’s an inherently exciting proposition.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Sepulveda of Beyond The Grind hosted a freewheeling, informal crowd-sourced presentation on hospitality, customer service, and small business realities. This was our first experience with the folks at Beyond The Grind, and their own sense of hospitality and professionalism was evident not only in this lecture, but in our interactions with them as hosts throughout the day. Learn more via Beyond The Grind online.

This was really a pretty cool panel line up, featuring four roasters with more than 50 years of roasting experience between them. On one end there was Mike Perry of Klatch Roasting, whose opening remarks all but stole the show: “My first trip to origin was to Nicaragua, during the Sandinista conflict. At that time, there was no thing called Direct Trade – it was just going and meeting the farmer. I had asked our partners there if it was safe to travel, and one of them told me – ‘No problem! I carry a gun!’ ” On the other end, you have Austin Amento, whose Augie’s Coffee Roasters are still very much in the brand-building growth phase, new and young and establishing themselves. Hearing this different perspectives was fascinating.
All four roasters prepared a special roast for the event, using the same honey processed coffee from El Salvador. Samples were batch-brewed for the crowd on the Curtis Gold Cup Brewer, affording the audience to discover and discuss the differences in roast profile between each. There were no shortage of great quotes from this panel, and here’s some of our favorites:

“If you put bad coffee in a great roaster, it’s not going to turbo-charge it. You won’t magically create good coffee that way.” – Chuck Patton, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.
“Raw coffee has 200 some agreed-upon chemical constituents to it. Roasted coffee has 800+ – so 600 of those are developed in a period of 10-16 minutes.” – Martin Diedrich, Kean Coffee.
“I thought I drank a lot of coffee when I was a barista. Now I’m a roaster, and I realize that I was wrong.” – Austin Amento, Augie’s Coffee.
“If you want to be a really great roaster, spend time at the cupping table.” – Mike Perry, Klatch.

Thanks for reading our blog updates, until next time. For now, check out all our "New Arrivals", read some of the historical facts and taste what the buzz is all about.

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Klatch Team at Barista Nation
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