For the last two years the worlds largest gathering of coffee professionals has been held in Seattle, Washington. Each year the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) hosts The Event, a symposium, conference, and exhibition attended by over 10,000 coffee professionals from all over the world.
From coffee farmers to baristas, every segment of the coffee industry is represented and education on every aspect of coffee imaginable is presented over six days. Most years The Event includes the United States Barista Championship (USBC), but this year the USBC was held in Long Beach, California, in February to make room for the World Barista Championships (WBC) in Seattle. The WBC is hosted by a different country each year and this year it was the USA. Batdorf & Bronson has been a member of the SCAA for 25 years and attended the annual conference every year weve been a member.
Batdorf employees have served on the associations board of directors and numerous committees over the years in addition to volunteering in countless roles as instructors, competition judges, room hosts, scorekeepers, help desk host and in leadership positions on both the Barista Guild and Roasters Guild. We believe in the organization's mission to recognize, promote and develop specialty coffee and share the associations values, which include a commitment to quality, dedication to education and sensitivity to environmental and social issues. We have sponsored numerous association and guild events over the years and provide financial support to both the Coffee Quality Institute and World Coffee Research, which are allied with SCAA. At Batdorf we like to think we are the neighbor who brews coffee, but our understanding of what our neighborhood looks like is bigger than the places we can walk to from one of our coffeehouses or roasting facilities. Our neighborhood includes others in the coffee industry. Over 1,000 people attending the most recent SCAA event in April were coffee roasters, theoretically our competitors. But that is not all they are, they are fellow travelers and we have learned over 30 years that their success so often coincides with our own.
This year several folks from Batdorf attended the SCAA event in Seattle and if you were walking through the exhibit hall you would have noticed that many exhibitors were brewing Batdorf coffee in their booth. We attended education sessions, met with many of our suppliers and partners, and watched the USA place second in the World Barista Championships. One Batdorf employee who was there but who you wouldnt have seen is Dave Wasson, our COO. For many years Dave has served as the official barista competition score keeper for SCAA, which means he is locked away (literally) in a back room doing math. It wont come as any surprise to our customers and business partners that our COO is accurate and efficient with numbers. Not everything happens at the event itself. This year our coffee buyer Bob Benck took two of our origin partners from Nicaragua to a Seattle Mariners game. Next year The Event is in Atlanta, just a few miles from our roastery there. Anyone want to go to a Braves game?