Lots of Fun in Anaheim

Things are rockin and rollin here in Anaheim, where a few thousand of the most awesome coffee people in the world are gathered to reconnect, do business and drink some seriously great brews.

I took this adoable photo from inside the blogging room. Mike Phillips and Amber Sather, coffeeing the world.

But let’s recap last night, cause it was a doozy.

Ken attended Arianna Huffington’s keynote speech (I was dealing with some last minute booth issues). He said it was good, but kind of a bummer that she didn’t talk for longer. I guess there were a lot of speakers, and the vibe was pretty commercial, but whatevs. The best was yet to come at the Opening Reception, where tasty Guatemalan foods were being served to throngs by beautifully attired dancers and characters.

Meanwhile, I was working as a judge at the Latte Art Throwdown taking place at the reception. I was joined in my judging duties by Anne Nylander of TampTamp, and Rohan Marley, who is not only Bob Marley’s fourth son, but the owner of Marley Coffee. He was hysterical — OMG, we just had so much fun judging and being a part of this awesome segment of the opening reception.

Me, Anne and Rohan judging latte art, with an enthusiastic crowd gathered behind us. It was so much fun!

I’m so glad the SCAA decided to incorporate the latte art competition, because in the past, the opening reception has been less inclusive of the barista set. So it was way cool to see everyone interacting and enjoying each other.

So off we all tottered to bed after that excitement, and before we knew it, we were here at the convention center to see the SCAA show floor open, and day two of the USBC commence.

Benza Lance of Temple Coffee in Sacramento serves some sweet espresso to his judges.

Danielle Glasky and Gabe Boscana enjoy the revelry at the USBC stage.

The crowd at the USBC was sizable all day -- love to see that.

Here's a shot of the table we have the USBC programs set up on. They're going like hotcakes!

Just across from the USBC is the US Cup Tasters Championship. In this photo, reigning US Cup Taster Champ Ben Kaminsky (far right) wins his round and advances into the semi finals.

Chris Baca won the prize for sweetest table set up, I think. Well, I just decided that.

OK, well, with that, I’m signing off, because they’re about to announce who will compete in the semi finals tomorrow, along with the nine regional barista champs. Very exciting! And then we’re all off to the big Intelligentsia party in L.A. I have to go to bed early tonight, though, because I’m giving a presentation tomorrow on social media and branding. So much to do! Good thing we still have a lot more SCAA and USBC to go.

Later,

Sarah

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.