Seattle Coffee Expo 2018 – Day 1
With 4 machines, two small backpacks and a lot of improvisation we arrive in Seattle, the capital of Coffee, the heart of the Independent Coffee Scene where commercial coffee and specialty try to find their own idol.
We set up the booth in a corner of the Nicaraguan Specialty Coffee Association, they have kindly hosted us for the second year. So, we get the machines ready hit the town for some rare sunny vibes and some more coffee.
First stop, Starbuck’s Roasters Reserve, a no-budget coffee shop that shows the full potential of the green chain in its hometown. Lineu, our new sales manager tells me to order a chocolate–no joke. Totally overwhelmed by the offer they have, I look at him and reply: “but you really want a chocolate?”. He admits being overwhelmed and Golden Dragon and I make a proper selection from the menu to see what these guys are about.
Who is Golden Dragon? Well, a mystical being who also happens to be the buyer for the R/D department of one of the biggest coffee companies on earth. But let’s call her Golden Dragon to make things simple.
From “aged Cold-Brew” with tonic and lime to some pour overs. We try all the things related to filter, because there is no more hope for Starbucks’s espresso.
The outcome? Well, quite disappointing. A Clover brewed Bolivian coffee give us some hope, but the “interstellar blend” takes it back. In the era of the Venti-Latte-Caramel, nothing seems to matter anymore.
Behind our table, a huge roasting machine spits the first batch. That “first batch” is more than 100kg of coffee in just a single roast.
Golden Dragon and sales ace (Lineu) is overwhelmed still, and we decide to keep on climbing capitol hill, and hit Vita Coffee, one of the 3V’s of Seattle’s coffee scene. It’s time for espresso. It’s time to shift the gear up a notch on the “get over caffeinated” game.
We spend some money on local stores on the way to the seashore. It’s the American dream baby.
After some meat with bbq fuelled sauce, we decide to go to Anchorhead for the last caffeine session. Sales ace leaves us two mystical creatures alone, and we decide to fly high towards the caffeine clouds.
Pour over station for the Thunder, and fancy oat-milk cold brewed mix for the Golden Dragon. The game there is more serious.
This mix between mass production and speciality brew techniques and machines makes me think of us (Bonaverde). I don’t share my ideas and thoughts, but Golden Dragon can read my mind anytime. We talk about the future of the industry and how, my oh my, Cold Brew is here to stay.
I go home hoping secretly that we can make this project succeed and change the game, because I feel we’re all lost, but of course, it’s the small projects taking the hit. We have to grow strong. Tomorrow will be the day for distributors, farmers, and loads of people talking about our baby, the Berlin.
I will keep on insisting about the “re-framing” of coffee experience, about the farmers, about how coffee should be sold and distributed green.
A good cup of coffee is more simple than what many people think: it’s just good coffee, a decent roast, and some warm water flowing through those ground beans. But I have to prove that. To myself too… everyday.
Kike - Head of Roasting, Bonaverde.
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