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SCAA 2015 Thoughts and Observations

SCAA’s Specialty Coffee Event, held at the Washington State Convention Center, wound up on April 12th and the folks here in the office had some observations to share about their experiences in Seattle.

Dan Cox: The SCAA continues to be my “must go” coffee show of the year. There is always something to discover, some new products (in my opinion, Joe Tap, a nitro-generated coffee beverage was the top hit) and I get to catch up with many old friends from years past.  The new “Star R” branded Reserve Roastery by Starbucks, packed with coffee lovers, was off the charts impressive in design and function. Starbucks has also created a concept store, Roy Street, that has no overt sign of being a Starbucks with a really comfortable, different atmosphere offering outstanding coffees, food and exceptional service. It also has rental space for private musical events and lectures, unusual for Starbucks.Certainly one of the highlights was being present when Spencer received his Outstanding Contribution to the Association Award.  Always a pleasure to witness special and well-deserved recognition. Seattle continues to be coffee central and a joy to visit.

Spencer Turer: The SCAA conference was very exciting this year with the inclusion of the World Barista Championship during the event.  There were many interesting lectures that I attended on coffee production and global supply topics.  Vince Caloiero and I were station instructors for the Coffee Taster Certificate Level 1 practical exam.  The Expo was filled with many new products for specialty coffee retailers, and I was most interested in the new technology presented for coffee brewing and computer programs to assist with sensory analysis data collection. I enjoyed talking with our clients and other specialty coffee professionals, as well as re-connecting with friends.

Vincent Caloiero: The SCAA Show was bigger and better than ever.  Marcus Boni kicked off “The Event” with theatrical splendor only topped by Neil Patrick Harris’s performance at the Oscars!  My 2015 show experience kept me indoors attending lectures and instructing courses for the SCAA’s skill building workshops.  The behind the scenes view of the classes offered at the SCAA gave a glimpse into how much works happens to make the show go on.  My involvement this year elevated my commitment to the Association and put me in position to join a committee that will help shape the educational outreach of the SCAA. I attended The Art and Science of Roasting lecture by Karl Schmidt – the president of Probat – that helped decipher different roast methods and profiles. I also attended the lecture that provided preliminary results of the Colombian Sensory Trial that investigated two common coffee varieties customarily found in Colombia: Caturra and Castillo.  The impetus of this experiment addressed sensory differences of the higher yielding and more disease resistant Castillo variety compared to the Caturra, a variety that is well-regarded for taste and smell. A quick trip over to the competition Arena to support US Barista Champion Charles Babinski in the World Barista Competition finished my 2015 SCAA show.

SCAA Awards

The Specialty Coffee Association of America Recognition Awards and Sustainability Award honors those who contribute their expertise to the coffee industry.  Each year, the SCAA recognizes outstanding achievements in the specialty coffee industry and personal unique contributions to the Association.

Coffee Analysts is pleased to recognize our Vice President, Spencer Turer, for the Outstanding Contribution to the Association Award. Spencer has dedicated his career to promoting coffee quality and is well-known throughout the coffee industry as a passionate and enthusiastic specialty coffee professional. Spencer is a pioneer for roaster certification and an advocate for coffee industry education at all levels.  Since 2000, Spencer has lectured and taught SCAA classes more than 25 times in the United States and Internationally. He has accumulated more than 1000 volunteer hours.

Other awards went to:

Lifetime Achievement – William McAlpin (Hacienda La Minita & Distant Lands Coffee)

Outstanding Contribution – Spencer Turer (Coffee Analysts)

Alfred Peet Passionate Cup – Carlo Di Ruocco (Mr. Espresso)

Service to the Association – Allen Leibowitz (Independent) & Kevin Kuyers (Theta Ridge Coffee)

Distinguished Author – Oliver Strand (New York Times, Bon Appetit & Vogue)

Special Recognition – Joe Marrocco (Café Imports)

Distinguished Newcomer – David Belanich (Joyride Coffee Distributors)

Sustainability Award – Bukonzo Joint Cooperative Union for their project Gender Action Learning System (GALS): enhancing the participation of women coffee farmers in western Uganda.

RGC Coffee visits Coffee Analysts

Jonathan Gabbay, Spencer Ture, Ruby Ubando

Jonathan Gabbay, Spencer Turer, Ruby Ubando

Jonathan Gabbay and Ruby Ubando from RGC Coffee in Montreal visited the Coffee Analysts lab last Friday. RGC Coffee is a family-owned and operated importer of high quality and specialty green coffee to the U.S. and Canadian markets, and has been in operation since 1968.

Jonathan, a third generation coffee trader, and Ruby joined the Coffee Analysts sensory team for a coffee cupping and reviewed protocols for physical coffee testing. We enjoyed their visit and hope they come back soon!




Spencer Turer to Lead Coffee Classes @Tea & Coffee World Cup Vietnam


Tea and Coffee

  Tea & Coffee World Cup Symposium Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam June 10-13

 Spencer Turer, Vice President of Coffee Analysts, will present seminars  on coffee sensory analysis, quality control and product development and  also be leading classes on green coffee grading and cupping.  David  DeCandia, Director of Tea for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, will lead  presentations on advanced tea blending classes featuring single-estate Ceylon teas. Other educational sessions will be made by Euromoniter International, BuhlerAG, and  The Vietnam Tea Association.

Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, published since 1901, is the international  voice of the tea and coffee industries.  The trade journal will host the 2015  Tea & Coffee World Cup Exhibition & Symposium in Ho Chi Minh City,    Vietnam June 10-13.

 This year’s event is the first international coffee and tea trade show to be held in Vietnam.  Vietnam is an emerging market for specialty coffee with a thriving and growing café culture.  As a producing country, Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee and the fifth largest producer of tea in the World.

The exhibition will have over 100 booths and a dynamic schedule or lectures and hands-on seminars of a variety of tea and coffee topics.

For more information, please visit HERE.




Coffee Analysts Featured on WCAX-TV “Odd Jobs”

“BURLINGTON, Vt. – It starts with a gong. The sound summons four expert coffee tasters to the cupping table. Talking is not allowed, but the room is far from silent. The analysts slip into something they call the Zen of cupping, taking turns sniffing coffee grounds from Ethiopia, Brazil, Columbia and Kenya, looking for early signs of troubled beans.” – WCAX News, April 21, “Odd Jobs.”

Watch David Morrill, Gwen Toohey, Vincent Caloiero, and Spencer Turer in action HERE.


Roast Magazine Publishes Study by Coffee Analysts’ Staff

A Study in Roast Levels

A Study in Roast Levels

We have often heard in the industry, “the lighter the roast, the greater the acidity, the darker the roast, the fuller the body.”  So the staff at Coffee Analysts decided to study the effects of roast development on physical, chemical and sensory attributes on two Arabica coffees (Central American and East African) at 5 different roast levels for physical, chemical, and sensory attributes.

To read the full article:    A Study in Roast Levels.

Dr. Bob Arnot Visits Coffee Analysts to Talk Coffee

Dan Cox and Dr. Bob Arnot

Dan Cox and Dr. Bob Arnot

Dr. Bob Arnot, television’s Dr. Danger stopped by our laboratory  last week to talk about coffee testing with Dan Cox and Spencer  Turer.  They discussed coffee’s interesting and somewhat  complicated supply chain, quality testing protocols, and chemical  analysis of green and roasted coffee.

Dan and Spencer led Dr. Arnot through a traditional coffee  cupping, where they compared and contrasted specialty coffees from Brasil, Ethiopia and Colombia.

Dr. Arnot’s television career included stints as foreign correspondent and chief medical correspondent for the NBC News and a health correspondent for CBS News.  He has also served as a physician providing humanitarian relief in many countries suffering from war and social unrest.