Rockin' the Roasters Retreat

I just got back to Portland after a jam-packed four days in Stevenson, Wash., at the Roasters Guild Retreat. The days were long, with educational sessions on a variety of roaster and more general coffee topics, but the nights were longer—karaoke, bonfires, box hockey, and beer, always beer. The attendees I talked to felt they really got great information out of the event, and the social parts were, as usual, a total hit. I’ll be writing an article about the ins and outs of the entire event for the October/November issue of Barista Magazine. In the meantime, here are some snapshots from the weekend…

The Skamania Lodge was really beautiful. The Roasters Retreat took over a large section of it, which began here.

The Skamania Lodge was really beautiful. The Roasters Retreat took over a large section of it, which began here.

Andi, at right, works with her team during the class, "Essentials of Water for Coffee," instructed by David and Skip from Cirqua. I volunteered in this class all day and found it pretty darn interesting.

Andi, at right, works with her team during the class, "Essentials of Water for Coffee," instructed by David and Skip from Cirqua. I volunteered in this class all day and found it pretty darn interesting.

Phuong volunteered in the SCAA Store all weekend! Here she is taking a break to chat with the always awesome, Marty Curtis. Marty, by the way, is one of the SCAA's hardest working Board members -- he really has members' best interests at heart, and plans to run for PRESIDENT this fall! He's so great.

Phuong volunteered in the SCAA Store all weekend! Here she is taking a break to chat with the always awesome, Marty Curtis. Marty, by the way, is one of the SCAA's hardest working Board members -- he really has members' best interests at heart, and plans to run for PRESIDENT this fall! He's so great.

Out in the roasting tent...

Out in the roasting tent...

Alex from the SCAA checking on supplies in the Store.

Alex from the SCAA checking on supplies in the Store.

I shot this from my balcony... pretty sweet place to chill after a long day 'o learnin.

I shot this from my balcony... pretty sweet place to chill after a long day 'o learnin.

Schooley and David Kastle grind up samples of each team's roasts to be judged by designated cuppers from each of the 12 teams.

Schooley and David Kastle grind up samples of each team's roasts to be judged by designated cuppers from each of the 12 teams.

Willem makes sure everything's clean before going on to the next sample.

Willem makes sure everything's clean before going on to the next sample.

Roasters Guild Chair Beth Dominick did a totally awesome job. Here she is checking to make sure protocol was followed at the cupping.

Roasters Guild Chair Beth Dominick did a totally awesome job. Here she is checking to make sure protocol was followed at the cupping. At left is past chair, Tim Chapdelaine, who did an incredible job, as well.

Cupping the samples.

Cupping the samples.

For the Silent Auction, Tony's Coffees and Teas donated this Paul Thornton Bobblehead. I think it ended up fetching $350!

For the Silent Auction, Tony's Coffees and Teas donated this Paul Thornton Bobblehead. I think it ended up fetching $350!

Relaxing at the bonfire before our BBQ dinner on the front lawn.

Relaxing at the bonfire before our BBQ dinner on the front lawn.

Such a beautiful place...

Such a beautiful place...

On the final morning, attendees tasted the top roasts before the winning team was announced.

On the final morning, attendees tasted the top roasts before the winning team was announced.

The winning team! Their coffee rocked.

The winning team! Their coffee rocked.

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.