Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SCAA Issues Cost Breakdown for Regionals, Including $100,000+ from General Fund

The Specialty Coffee Association of America has just released an infographic breaking down the costs associated with producing U.S. regional barista competitions. The group announced it was discontinuing the competitions beginning in 2016, citing cost as a prohibitive factor, and the move was sharply criticized by many in the professional barista community.

One of the most illuminating figures in the infographic is the per-competitor expense coming from the SCAA general fund, which is composed of membership dues. The figure worked out to approximately $104,000, about 45 percent of the total production cost for the three events in the 2015 regional cycle.

The SCAA says the infographic was the idea of Barista Guild of America executive council chair Lorenzo Perkins, who has been actively working on behalf of the BGA in an ad hoc committee to examine SCAA member feedback and explore alternatives to regional competitions since soon after the June announcement. Today’s SCAA announcement, attributed to executive director Ric Rhinehart, explained the creation of the infographic:

  • In the discussion around the sustainability and feasibility of the SCAA Regional Coffee Competitions, a major conversation point has been the financial realities of putting on these events. In an attempt to inform discussion, Barista Guild Executive Council chair Lorenzo Perkins had an idea — what if we broke down the costs of putting on these events on a per-competitor basis, and then created an infographic to communicate the info.

The SCAA crunched the numbers for the 2015 competition cycle, which involved 216 registered competitors for the three regional events — the Big Eastern, Big Central and Big Western. With a total cost for all three events at $231,210.72, the per-competitor breakdown was $1,070.72. Nearly half of the per-competitor expenses was attributed to staffing ($495.39), which includes staff exclusively focused on the events and those hired on a temporary basis. Says the SCAA:

  • The SCAA employs a small staff exclusively to manage the barista competitions, and of course this is the largest cost of doing these events. Venue rental is a big cost too. It can be challenging to find a place that can handle the electrical needs of a barista competition and accommodate an audience at the same time. Speaking of electrical, that’s another big cost.

Covering these expenses were are three primary sources, with competitor registrations by far representing the smallest contribution. The per-competitor revenue breakdown consists of contributions from sponsors (41 percent), the SCAA general fund (45 percent), and competitor registrations (15 percent).

Of course, these are just numbers from one cycle, and don’t shed any light on operational principles such as efficiency, but the SCAA presented the analysis as an effort toward increased transparency:

It’s our hope that this information leads to a clearer understanding of the finances of the regional barista competitions, and is offered in the spirit of transparency, discussion and collaboration.

source: dailycoffeenews.com

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Unique Coffee Experiences From Around the World: Part Two

Coffee experience from Istanbul

It’s probably mundane to say my best coffee memory is from Istanbul, but it’s true. The fact that my father was Turkish and I’m partial has nothing to do with it at all. On the other hand, what does have a bearing on the matter is what comes WITH the coffee… in this case halvah, that sesame sweet with pistachios, and to crown the lot, a tiny, perfect square of loukoum, or Turkish delight. Turkish coffee isn’t for the tame: if you work at it you could probably stand a spoon in its creamy thickness. It’s dark and rich and exotic and smells of burnt beans, the aroma reaching you long before the taste. Properly made, its water is boiled three times and sugar incorporated directly during boiling. More than coffee it is a heavenly syrup, a coulis of coffee, a creamy, grainy mixture which, for me, is the king of coffees.

Coffee from Thailand

The best coffee I’ve tried in my life so far was from Chiang Mai’s coffee shop, prepared by World No.6 Latte Art Barista  It was so delicious, the taste was reach, full…oh I can’t describe this taste, it was gorgeous! I never drink coffee without sugar, but I couldn’t even think of putting sugar in my coffee from Ristr8to, I was afraid to spoil the taste…it was amazing!

Coffee from Spain

The Spanish work day is long, and the people stay up late. To me, having a coffee in the mid-morning or late afternoon is not only necessary, but part of the culture here. It is rare to find coffee to-go even in the capital, and most people will savor a cup while chatting with friends or outside in one of the many plazas. While you can get a cheap cup at any local Spanish bar, there are also many new trendy cafes all scattered through the MalasaƱa neighborhood offering high quality roasted beans with a hip atmosphere. Spanish coffee is strong, and I usually order the most popular cup, a “cafe con leche” (half coffee and half hot milk). Sometimes it will come in a small mug, or other times in a clear glass. This has never made much sense to me, since it’s almost impossible to hold and drink if it is scolding hot! It doesn’t matter though, it’s Spain- there’s no rush!

From: etramping com

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unique Coffee Experiences From Around the World: Part One

Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love. We all love coffee. When you travel, you have this amazing opportunity to experience different texture and flavors of coffee. We asked 25 different travel bloggers to share their coffee experiences with us. From Israel, Morocco, through South India to Laos and Paris – we are taking you for a coffee journey around the World!

Coffee from Laos

I usually consume at least one cup every day. I do have a number of vices, and this is one of them! This particular cup of coffee was one of the most unique I’ve ever experienced, coming from the southern region of Laos. It was served simply, black with cream on the side and packet of sugar. No flash, but none needed. The texture was heavy and silky, almost reminding me of molasses. Surprisingly, it was quite sweet and far less bitter than most coffee I’ve encountered, though it still remained earthy in flavor, by nature. I didn’t know what to expect of the coffee in Laos, as most people seem to mix up the instant stuff (read: gross), but I was very pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this gem. I’ll be drinking plenty of Laos coffee for the next week while I’m still here!

Coffee from Australia

Australia loves coffee, and no city loves coffee more than Melbourne. Australia’s southern metropolis is addicted to the stuff, and with just a couple of satisfying sips on a cold winters morning it’s easy to see why. Espresso machines were brought to Australia in the 1950s by waves of Italian immigrants, and the booming cities of Sydney and Melbourne gradually adopted and appropriated coffee culture. The boom arguably came in the 1990s, with greater exposure to global ideas and concepts surrounding the culture of coffee.

In Melbourne, this was coupled with the controversial state premier Jeff Kennett, who himself once consumed 30 cups of coffee a day according to a report on one website. Kennett’s government promoted Melbourne as Australia’s ‘European city’, and Melbourne’s crown as the coffee capital of the country was cemented.

Nowadays coffee is served in a variety of shops, from street side cafes to shopping centre food courts, from established Italian-origin cafes such as Brunettis to holes-in-in-the-walls of graffiti covered lane ways. Melbourne, as well as other Australian cities, are also home to a growing number of local producers such as St Ali, Seven Seeds, and Sydney’s Campo’s Coffee, who have perfected the art of roasting.

Starbucks struggled to gain a serious foothold in Australia in the early 2000s, although local chain Gloria Jeans is to be found almost everywhere, drawing groans from many connoisseurs at the company’s mass-market appeal. Such is Australia’s love of the caffeinated liquid that McDonalds inaugurated its McCafe brand here – a slightly premium version of the American fast-food brand which sells coffee and cakes instead of burgers and fries.

Coffee is almost always served as espresso; a certain amount of drip-coffee-snobbery exists in Australia. Peculiarities in Australian coffee culture include the ubiquitous chocolate dusting on a cappuccino. The name ‘flat white’ is also believed to have emerged in Australia, to describe a caffe latte without any foam. Until the popularity of frappes about decade ago, an ‘iced coffee’ in Australia always referred to strong milk coffee in a tall glass, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream – deliciously unhealthy!

Coffee from Ethiopia

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and it’s one of the best places in the world to experience the incredible beverage. Walking down the streets of Addis Ababa your nose will get blasted by a sensational aroma of roasting beans, and that’s when you know it’s time have another cup. Traditional Ethiopian coffee is served black, with an optional amount of sugar (many locals like it very sweet). It’s strong and sharp, but smooth with little trace of acidity. Coffee in Ethiopia is often paired with crispy popcorn, which I think, makes the perfect coffee snack. I couldn’t resist having a cup of coffee every few hours while traveling in Ethiopia!

From: etramping com

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mudslide Cookie Frappuccino- Starbucks Secret Menu

Like mudslide cookies, this Frappuccino is chocolaty, rich and oh so delicious. The chestnut praline gives the icy beverage extra oomph, adding to the already decadent flavors. Indulge yourself with this sweet and creamy treat.

Have it for dessert, after a long day, or feel free to enjoy it any time of day: #gotcoffeeus

How to mix it:
  • Mocha Frappuccino
  • Add chestnut praline syrup (1 pump tall, 2 grande, 3 venti)
  • Optional: Add java chips
  • Top with mocha syrup

Sunday, July 5, 2015

New York Coffee Festival in September

New York City. Photo courtesy of Allegra World Coffee Portal.

Two major coffee events from U.K.-based Allegra are coming to New York this September, the inaugural New York Coffee Festival on September 25-27, and a precursor geared toward coffee professionals called the World Coffee Portal CEO Forum.

New York Coffee Festival

In program, the New York Coffee Festival promises to resemble other Allegra Events productions, the Amsterdam Coffee Festival and the London Coffee Festival. Designed as consumer-facing events with strong professional presence, the festivals include booths manned by coffee roasters, equipment makers, and other craft food purveyors. While there are plenty of barista demonstrations and workshops, it’s also heavy only festyle elements, including live music, cocktails, DJs and art exhibits.

The latest London Fest also marked the debut of the Coffee Masters competition, a fast-paced multidisciplinary barista skills tournament that includes a cash prize for the winner. The New York Coffee Festival will include the debut of Coffee Masters USA.

Here’s more from Allegra on the New York Coffee Festival:

Based on the highly successful programs in London and Amsterdam, this inaugural event is an unmissable show for all serious NYC coffee lovers and key industry stakeholders.  More than 10,000 visitors are expected from across the USA and abroad.

The New York Coffee Festival is also the official launch event for the charitable New York Coffee Week™, which promotes the vibrancy of the coffee industry while raising money for clean water and sanitation projects in coffee producing communities. 50% of all ticket sales will be donated to Project Waterfall with all funds directly entrusted to NYC-based charity: water to support their life changing water projects in coffee growing regions. For more information about charity: water and their recent projects, go to www.charitywater.org.