The Global Specialty Coffee Expo hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) was (as always) a central hub for coffee knowledge and excitement. We are energized by our experience this year.
Here are five things we thought you might find interesting from the weekend:
1. Focusing on the Farmers – At this year’s event, there was a huge emphasis on how coffee is grown around the globe and the relationship between the farmer and the roaster. Our Vice President of Coffee and Quality Assurance, Tori Cochran had the privilege of meeting with more farmer partners at this year’s event than ever before at SCAA.
2. The Importance of Certifications – In today’s world, people aren’t just checking the label for calories and ingredients. Coffee farmers and cooperatives are working to get as many certifications as they can. This can sometimes be difficult for farmers, but the intent of the certification process is to benefit the farmers.
3. Cold Brew – While cold brew and nitro coffee made their “big debut” in the coffee world last year, many companies have come back this year looking to enhance and stabilize their cold brew blends with new gear.
4. Recycle. Recycle. Recycle. – Non-coffee companies that create the packaging for the coffee are focusing mostly on finding a sustainable option for companies that can lead to decreasing companies’ carbon footprint in booth film for bags and single serve pods while also maintaining the coffee’s freshness.
5. Coffee Technology – Companies from around the world have come up with new ways to enhance the coffee drinking experience by integrating new technologies into the daily coffee ritual. From Bluetooth grinders to new unique brewers that allow you to mimic the ‘pour over’ method to enhance efficiency, the coffee world is staying ahead of the technology curve with the latest and greatest. Our Director of Sales and Marketing Analysis, Tim Greulich, attended the seminars to understand how Westrock can also stay ahead of the curve.
Tim Greulich (2016) in Rwanda meeting Regina, head roaster at Rwanda Trading Company. Our team works hand in hand with the coffee experts at origin in Rwanda and Tanzania – farmers, roasters, Q graders, managers. We go to events like the Global Specialty Coffee Expo to share and add to our knowledge of global, sustainable coffee.