Saturday, July 4, 2009

SCAE Cologne - away from the comp

It almost felt like the competition got in the way of everything else there was to do in Cologne.
I attended several workshops at the show including profile roasting techniques, got to cup the soon to be auctioned Guatemala CoE lot with Ben Bicknell and Scottie Callaghan, Annie my sister got to cup with Ben Kaminsky the US cupping champion and we all got competition tips from the last two world champions, Gwilym Davies and Stephen Morrissey.

Whenever I wasn't in a workshop or watching the aussies compete I was checking out the show floor.

My favourite would have to be the the Marco Über Boiler, such a well thought out piece of equipment.
The shared their stand with Mahlkonig, whom we owe many thanks to.
Sven was kind enough to lend Kirby a grinder for the comp even though he'd never met us.
It was all organised through Greg at Appliance Maintenance Company, the Australian distributor.
And to prove what a nice guy Sven was he agreed to let Erin and Fiefy use the grinder after Kirby asked him.

The show was actually rather small and somewhat disappointing.
There were only a few espresso machine manufacturers in attendance, several roasters and lots of local businesses but nothing new or interesting.
I was lucky enough to play with the Giesen roaster in a workshop and that was about as hands on as the show got.

The best night out in Cologne was on the friday, Sven gave me an invite to a party at Natuzzi Cafe.
The cafe is part of the Natuzzi leather furniture store next door and had atleast 6 of Kees' machines on display.
It's where we first met Stephen and Gwilym and over several beers we discussed many things about coffee, in my slightly tipsy state I offered to work Gwilym's cart on sunday!

It also showed us what it takes to be a world champ when some random guy approched Stephen and asked if he could show him how he makes coffee, we all looked at each other and wondered what he meant, I think he thought he would see what made him the best.
It was a rather awkward situation, Stephen trying to please the crowd using coffee that he knew nothing about and the manager dosing the shots for him (dirty basket, no tamp etc).
Eventually it turned into a mini latte art smackdown with Kirby.

The best part of Cologne was what we did away from the comp, we made some new friends, learnt alot, had alot of beer and found out Stephen's plays the piano quite well.

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