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The 2013 SCAA Wrap Up

from Todd Goldsworthy

SCAA event every year is always an exciting event. An opportunity to see how baristas have grown in their craft through competition, a chance to see all the new and upcoming technology, and the ability to reconnect with old friends while making so many new ones. This year’s SCAA event, for me, was a very different experience than any I have had before for 2 simple reasons. First was because I was there this year as a representative of Klatch Coffee and second because I was a competitor.

My weekend started with a redeye Wednesday night, landing in Boston at 630am on Thursday. Going straight to the conference to prepare for competition. I competed in the Brewers Cup Competition using Klatch Coffee’s Nicaragua Adeprofoca Maragogype, such a complex and amazing cup that I brewed in the Clever dripper. The theme of my competition was that titles, awards, & certifications are so significant to our industry but the verification of those titles is truly displayed through the quality in the cup. The cup, began with aroma of cocoa, spice, & light floral. The taste moved on to notes of chocolate, citrus, maple, honey, dried apricot, and finished again with chocolate with each separate note becoming more pronounced as the cup cooled. A phenominal experience to get up in front of so many great coffee professionals and share this coffee’s story.

Also, as part of this competition I was given a blind coffee, a coffee I knew nothing about but had to brew for the judges. This was an opportunity for me to prove my abilities in brewing coffee. I want to shout out a huge congratulations from me, and the entire Klatch team, to some of our friends that won this year’s competitions. Great job to the champions Pete Licata, USBC, Erin McCarthy, US Brewers Cup, Andy Sprenger, US Aeropress, & Erin Wang, US Cup Tasters.

In between my competition times, and when Heather wasn’t tied up being an integral part of the SCAA board of directors, Heather and I had the opportunity to brew many coffees all around the expo floor. We brewed our new Single Origin Nicaragua Marlene Lagos Honey at Barista Nation, at La Marzocco, and at Slayer. We also led a lecture at Barista Nation called “leaving money on the table” where Heather, focusing on back of house, spoke about the importance of cost control, knowing where every cent is going, and why training is crucial in a successful business. I spoke more on front of house and how to grow sales through simple steps of focusing on the customers journey from the moment they arrive to when they leave and where can you improve average ticket through that journey.

On Sunday I finally got the opportunity to walk the show floor and see the newest and greatest in technology. Such as new tampers, one from Prima that has an angled handle designed to support baristas in proper tamping that does not hurt your wrist.

Another new tamper that lights up when you reach 30lbs which has potential to support baristas in initial training. One of my favorite new items on the floor was a new line of steaming pitchers that has a built in thermometer on the side, such a great idea. Counter Culture had a booth that they set-up a “mod bar” which simply put is an espresso bar that has all the mechanical pieces under the counter which makes the bar area look very neat, clean, & simplified. I’m still working to wrap my head around the actual cafe functionality of that.

From there, the floor had all the booths you can count on from importers, roasters, brewing equipment, packaging, supplies, syrups, cafe design, and anything else you would need when owning a coffee business. Bonavita also came out with a new, improved, version of the Clever, which they are not calling the Clever. However, instead of a spring on the bottom it has a lever to release the beverage into the cup allowing you to always keep the vessel on top of your cup throughout the brew. This new device is also porcelein which should help in temperature stability for the brew.

Mike took this weekend as an opportunity to meet with many importers and farmers. He cupped many great coffees and brought home even more green samples to taste. He also took this week to search for a new roaster. We are busting at the seams back in our warehouse and a new roaster will allow us to keep up with our growth. Thank you all for your continued support which has allowed us this growth and our ability to continue to spread great Klatch coffee to all.

Overall, at SCAA this year Klatch showed up, it’s as simple as that. We brewed some amazing coffees all around the show floor as well in the brewers cup competition, we built new relationships and rekindled old ones, and we got the opportunity to see new directions for the industry and we’re already brainstorming how we can innovate to continue moving Klatch forward and be the forefront to the coffee industry.

Oh, and I’m definitely coming back next year to compete again. I caught the competition fever!

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The 2013 SCAA Wrap Up
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