This past week (September 18-21, 2018) I was in Portland for Golden Bean North America. If you are not familiar with Golden Bean it is the world’s largest coffee roasting competition. This was the 4th year in North America with over 900 coffees entered; with the competition starting in Australia with about 2000 coffees. Besides the obvious networking with friends and roasters from all over the US and Canada, the most fun thing is that we the roasters are the judges. It was so exciting to see what others were doing that it had me wishing some of the coffees were mine! As far as the awards go, there are 10 categories total, with Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals given in each one. The best award given out is the coveted Golden Bean; you must enter Espresso, Milk and Pour Over in either the open category or Franchise/Chain category. With the Franchise/Chain category needing a requirement of at least 3 stores to qualify (that means us!). And of course when we were not tasting or judging there were seminars of all types to help businesses like ours gain inside information in the coffee world.
At the end of the event there is a big party. The theme this year was Medieval, and some people went all out dressed up in full on Medieval garb. For me it was a trip to the dollar store where I picked up a fun helmet, sword, breast plate and shield. I may not have looked as authentic, but I had a real good time. Because I did not enter all of the categories my name was not called for a long time. When they finally started with the big Espresso/Milk/Pour Over categories I was able to go up and receive many medals including one Gold, 6 Silver and 5 Bronze. Best of all was winning our 4th straight Golden Bean! It was a testament to our entire team who sourced, roasted, tasted, re-roasted and re-cupped; including shot after shot of espresso.
Speaking of espresso, ours contained Natural’s and Honey’s from Elida Estate in Panama. Yes! The very same Elida which set a world record score and world record price per pound. And best of all? We’re giving you the chance to try these world class Geisha coffees at our Elida Experience event! Join us and buy tickets through our website and if you can’t make it you can still get your hands on some via our “Ship To Me” option. In addition, our Ethiopia Bedhatu Natural will also be available. Our drip coffees included a Yeast Fermentation from Esmeralda Estate that won a Gold Medal. As well as our new crop Kenya Kabingara. Both of which are available now!
Besides our internal team, I would like to thank Sean, Jan and a whole ton of other people who put in a lot of hours to make the event a great one. I really love Portland and want to return, but next year the Golden Bean will be in Nashville. So, I’ll trade my raincoat for my cowboy boots and will look forward to another great time. Yee Haw!