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SCAA 2014, Seattle Coffee Convention begins!

SCAA is on its way!
by J.B. Blocker, the Caffeine Cowboy

Washington State Convention Center Seattle, April 25, 2014

  The Caffeine Cowboy arrives to the SCAA press room in the guise of mild mannered reporter from Texas, J.B. Blocker of the He is unusually mild-mannered because he can barely see!

  You see, the Cowboy, through no fault of his own, has lost his glasses from the night before, so he can’t read a sign 30 ft. away! His walk this morning from hotel to the convention center had been anxiously reviewing where he would find those trifocallized binoculars he had steadily learned to rely on.

  It happened the previous night somewhere between a great seafood and beer feast at the Athena, the stroll from the Market to the hotel, a scotch at the hotel bar, and the room. You know I’m talking about myself right?

 The next morning I am close to crazy searching my room and occasionally looking in the mirror to see if I'm wearing them before I realize they are somewhere between yesterday evening and late yesterday evening! 
  The walk to the convention was therefore it's own adventure. I at least asked directions a half dozen times to keep from walking in circles! By the time the lady told me I was standing across the street from the convention center, I was ready for coffee straight up and I head straight to the Press Office. They are bound to have coffee and pastries!

  Low and behold young Jerra Bland from Ft.Lauderdale is manning two Nespresso brewers and a brand new frother. I have a shot of Gold. And then the Purple. And then I show him how to make a Pony Espresso! You’ll have to contact me to find out more!

The elegant and gracious Event Marketing Manager, Israel Serna is there to greet me, give me a press gift bag, and tell me they have made me a temporary press pass to last the day. That is all I need today. I am heading in to the wide, wild, world of coffee! Come join me.

There’s an AP for that!

I’ve seen some of the greeting sections along the way to the press room and now I’m on the prowl. One pair of friendly ladies were manning the SCAA2014 complete guide to the convention App.

Dede Teeters works as an all-star barista for Starbucks and Stephanie Holley are greeting and teaching vendors and guest how to use this marvel. It doesn’t not work on mine! I have an LG that is not smart enough for this App! iPhone, iPad, and Android’s can.

From the ground to the cup!

Along the way, I run in to some growers and buyers.

There’s the boys from Indonesia. Michael Wijaya imports from Sumatra, Iradhah Hasnan represents Java, and Pranoto Soenarto happens to grow some of my favorite exotics including Celebes.
   He is the plantation owner from Sulawasi who also has plantations in Jakarta where he exports Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world. You know Kopi. The coffee cherries excreted from the Civet Cat and sells for $100 per kilo unroasted!  
  Yeah, that one I would probably charge you $150 per ½ pound because of the risk I take to get you the perfect roast.

  There’s Emilio Bellon. My Italian friend from Verona is a big big wig for ANCAP, the maker of cafĂ© and dinner ware worldwide.
And South Korean genius Don Hyoung is here with his new vortex roasting cleaner for all the world to see.

The dashing Andres Fahsen joins me and we discuss his families plantation in the magical Lake Pachuj Reserve of Atitlan, Guatemala. He wears exquisitely hand knit light jacket and the hand bag representing his family plantation, Finca Santo Tomas Pachuj. Find him at pachuj coffee

The End Is In Sight! My glasses are on their way?

  The SCAA gift shop store is already clearing their shelves and the convention hasn't event started. Welcoming faces are thinking about the evening full of mixers.
  The vendors are behind closed doors setting up their exhibits and I have roamed the registration entry when people start parting to attend the preliminary parties being held around by various sponsors. 
  My phone rings and it is my friend who let me lose my glasses. Apparently he feels bad or sorry for me enough that he went to the Athena and brings me a black metal framed pair of glasses someone had left there.

  I am ecstatic all the way until I see the photo he sent me. By the time he shows up at the convention hall, I am worried about once again reliving my past day of not having my friggin glasses.

Chris Williams of Everpure, Annette Cycon of, Kerri Goodman the publisher of Coffee Talk, a stray cowboy, and Sarah Cycon who speaks for Grounds for Health Initiative.
  Chris Williams of Everpure has been my friend for about 20 years. He and Tatsu Yamasaki of Zojirushi plied me with alcohol 18 years ago and took me to the corner of Hollywood and Vine to get my ear pierced for my birthday. He hand me a very nice pair of black metal framed glasses that are not mine!

  Amazing! Amazingly, I can actually see better with them from 20 ft. out than my own! That’s crazy isn’t it! I still can’t believe it! Now I am not singing Hallelujah yet. My glasses were tri-focals. 
  So if we are meeting this week and I don’t seem to recognize you, please don’t be offended. If my glasses are off, I may not see you, and if they are on, I may or may not! But at least I can see street signs so I don’t walk around Seattle in circles like I did this morning! See you tomorrow!  

- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962.

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