Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Coffee Roasters Guild Retreat Returns!

Aug. 25 - 28, 2022: 

For the first time since COVID, the Coffee Roasters Guild returned to the peaceful shores of Lake Delavan in Wisconsin for a weekend of fun designed specifically for coffee roasters. 

The core event running throughout the three-day event is the team challenge. This year it was named "Shapeshifter", since the challenge was to pick a single origin green coffee and roast it to perfection for an espresso and for a pour-over. To provide the roasters maximum options, another key feature of the retreat is the roasting tent, equipped with a roaster from probably twenty different manufacturers. It is truly a sight to behold! 

 There are side-events throughout the weekend. Some serious, like the workshops. Each attendee is allowed to go to three or four. I chose two that included cupping. These two workshops in addition to the cupping I did with my team for the roasting challenge made it a great experience for cupping.
I felt fortunate to be invited to assist with teaching a cupping class, "Identifying Defects" led by Todd Arnette, director of education at CQI and owner/founder of Academy of Excellence in Williamsburg, VA. He and his co-instructor, Camila Khalife, put in tons of time to find the quantity of defects needed to produce enough cups for two sessions of 30 students each to have this amazing opportunity to taste and identify defects in the cup. 
The experience culminates, appropriately, around the campfire on the final night when the winning team is announced. The suspense has been building all weekend, as many yearn to have their names engraved on the trophy. A few roasters' names are even on the trophy three times already! This year it was "6th sense" which won -- by only a fraction of a point, putting my team, "the Reactionaries" in second place. I'll have to return next year!