CoffeeCON is a one of a kind show, geared entirely towards the coffee lover, as opposed to people in the coffee industry talking to other people in the coffee industry. I’ve attended two other coffee shows before this one, and both were geared towards the coffee professional as opposed to the coffee consumer. And there’s nothing with trade shows, but that’s how CoffeeCON is different – it’s education and fun for the coffee lover.
The show was started by Kevin Sinnott, renowned coffee expert, author, and creator of the Coffee Brewing Secrets DVD. Kevin had attended many coffee shows, and saw that what was missing was greater awareness for the everyday consumer, both of quality and of conditions at coffee’s origin. Kevin did something about it. He started CoffeeCON, taking place just outside of Chicago.
Stay tuned over the days and weeks to come as I share some of the show’s highlights with you, so that you can start planning your own attendance next year. Some highlights in a nutshell:
- Amazing presentations to raise awareness of key issues and educate the everyday consumer, including an intense 2.5 hour workshop lead by George Howell, founder of Terroir Coffee. George covered everything from how to select coffee, to the job of a good roaster, to conditions in the growing countries. The presentation was broken up at intervals for coffee tastings that brought George’s presentation to life, and made evident just how rich the world of coffee is. Also stay tuned for my interview with George, obviously a knowledgeable coffee giant, but also a class act to speak with.
- Different brewing workshops, so that attendees could learn about brewing beyond the drip brewer. Even for attendees like myself who already have a French Press, Aeropress, and Chemex, tips and tricks on using these brewing techniques.
- Specialized workshops such as Olfactory Development, how the sense of smell can be trained to help identify unique traits in coffee. Coffee on the Road, a great presentation on how to make great coffee even when you’re traveling. If you follow me on Twitter, then you know how many hotels I stay in, and how personally beneficial this workshop was.
- Exhibitors from across the coffee world, giving an appreciation for all steps in the chain. These ranged from coffee farmers to coffee roasters to coffee gear manufacturers. From bean to cup, some of everybody.
Stay tuned! I have many pages of scribbled notes and countless minutes of audio recordings that I’ll transcribe in the days and weeks to come, to share with you. I want to take this opportunity to thank Kevin, his wife Pat, and organizer Jennifer Stinnett for including me in this unique, exciting, and informative event. I have memories and new friends from the weekend that I know will last a lifetime.
Learn more about Kevin Sinnott’s CoffeeCON.