Saturday, April 30, 2011
SCAA Houston - Day 3 - Benefit Breakfast, Lunch & Show Floor
Apr. 30, Started off today with the breakfast benefiting the non-profit International Women's Coffee Association (IWCA). I've attended these breakfasts ever since my first SCAA 5 years ago in Long Beach. Each year I find them so inspirational. They have speakers with fascinating stories and the women around the table are usually like a mini United Nations. It was so great to see Elvy again - an exporter and friend from my trip to El Salvador in 2009.
At an Utz hosted cupping that morning, we cupped Brazils, 2 from Honduras and 1 from Guatemala. I liked the Honduras Cocafelol the best.
For the first time at SCAA, I went to the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) lunch. Since CQI does the Q Grader courses, I feel like I've become part of this circle. Like IWCA, it was impressive to hear about the ways they are working around the globe to assist coffee farmers. I accidentally sat down at a "sponsored" table -- the sponsor being Deli Cafe from Costa Rica. Many thanks to Grace Mena, President of Deli Cafe, who graciously welcomed me, ignoring my faux paux!
After lunch I finally got to the trade show floor. It was a bit of a whirlwind - a mix of pre-planned meetings and visits to booths I'd been planning to visit for weeks. Thanks to Theta Ridge who agreed to have Artisan's decaf Kenyan-Meru sample on display along with their other fine coffees.
After the show floor closed, I was on to my first Roaster's Guild annual meeting. I just joined this year, which apparently is a milestone year. Long time chair, Beth Dominick, was stepping down after an incredible run. There was lots of anticipation for the upcoming retreat in W. Virginia. First time on the "right" side of the Mississippi!
Finished off the evening at Armadillo Palace and the Roaster's Guild party. It was great to see Connie Blumhardt of Roast Magazine and a big crew of SCAA staff.