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This past weekend, I attended the Coffee Fest show in Portland, Oregon. I had attended this same show a couple years ago when it took place in Seattle. This year, the 72nd edition of Coffee Fest moved to Portland, and to Oregon for the first time in its history.
Read: Seattle Coffee Fest 2012
Coffee Fest is an industry trade show, primarily for coffee roasters and cafe managers. The emphasis of the show is on how the business owner can grow their sales, so ironically, there’s less coffee at Coffee Fest than I would’ve expected. The emphasis is definitely on keeping a coffee business current, but also on the different worlds that a coffee business can get into.
I didn’t take count, but it seemed that the largest business segment exhibiting at Coffee Fest was tea. Many successful coffee business owners expand into offering a variety of teas. I don’t mind tea, but I also don’t know enough about it to speak with exhibitors in this space.
Another large segment in exhibitors was coffee importers, and these were the people that I came mainly to see. I’ve been shopping around for a coffee roaster, and I think I have the one I want picked out. With that decision behind me, I’ll need larger quantities of green coffee than I’ve bought before, and I wanted to meet the importers that make that possible. I was able to meet with sales people who work for these importers, and made some great contacts.
The last big segment of exhibitors was chocolate, and as was the case when I attended in Seattle a couple years ago, both Guittard and Ghirardelli were on hand. In fact, Guittard sent me many pounds of excellent dark chocolate bars after I met Chuck at their booth two years ago.
Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite cities in the world, and it was a pleasure to travel there for Coffee Fest! I’m looking forward to returning to Portland again soon, and to another Coffee Fest one day.
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