SCAA Announces New Dates for Origin Trip to Brazil!

[ 22 July 2011 | ]

SCAA Origin Trip to Brazil
October 16 - 22, 2011

This trip is timed so participants can witness the stunning beauty and fragrance of the coffee flowering. While we can't guarantee the trees will be in bloom, there is an excellent chance so we're keeping our fingers crossed! Regardless, this trip will be a rewarding learning opportunity. We'll cup a host of new crop coffees from a variety of coffee producers, from small farmers to estate owners to cooperatives--and of course, we'll meet and interact with the growers to discuss their practices in depth. We will also go deeper into scientific and technical advancements that will have a dramatic impact on quality, labor issues, and environmental sustainability in Brazil. As always, we'll enjoy fabulous dinners and town visits so participants can experience Brazilian culture while deepening their knowledge of the coffee industry.

Education objectives:
• Provide a comprehensive overview of the Brazilian coffee market, the largest producing country in the world and soon to become the largest consuming country in the world.
• Explore factors related to quality management, supply chain structure, and social/environmental issue that relate to a strengthened value proposition for customers.
• Understand the range of coffees available from Brazil, tasting various types, processing methods, and quality levels.

Hosted by the Brasilian Specialty Coffee Association
Discussions led and facilitated by SCAA Deputy Director, Tracy Ging

$895 early / member
$1095 early / non-member
$1095 regular / member
$1295 regular / non-member

IWCA International Convention

[ 15 July 2011 | ]

Click image for more information

The International Women’s Coffee Alliance ’s (IWCA) 2nd international convention will take place October 25th-27th at the Royal Decamernon Salinitas in El Salvador. The event helps to promote awareness and understanding of many aspects of the coffee industry. Seminars will focus on a variety of topics including coffee in the marketplace, roaster & grower relationships, and the mechanics of cupping and coffee production. Visits to a coffee farm and mill will be part of the agenda as well.

The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) strives to create a difference in the world of coffee by “empowering women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry. The IWCA offers an opportunity for social and economic empowerment.

Sintercafe's 25th Anniversary Celebration

[ 08 July 2011 | ]

On behalf of our partners at Sintercafe, we would like to invite you to save the date for this year's 25th anniversary event:

November 9-13th, 2011
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort
Costa Rica

SINTERCAFE- International Coffee Week -is an annual event known worldwide which involves both producers and consumers. Each November Costa Rica once again becomes the meeting place for key decision makers from the most important coffee companies in the world.
SINTERCAFE without a doubt is the most interesting and best attended coffee event taking place in a coffee producing nation.

Each year more than 500 participants come to SINTERCAFE to have the opportunity to exchange information, to share their experiences, and to interact with the worlds Coffee Community in order to strengthen coffee commerce.

En español:

La Semana Internacional del Café -SINTERCAFÉ- es un evento anual que tiene lugar en Costa Rica cada noviembre. El país se convierte en el punto de reunión, donde se dan cita a los más importantes actores del mundo del café, tanto productores como compradores.

SINTERCAFÉ es, sin lugar a duda, el mayor evento cafetalero que se realiza en un país productor de café. Cada año, más de 300 ejecutivos del más alto nivel, de las más prestigiosas compañías cafetaleras, participan en esta convención.

Los fines son compartir información y discutir ideas y proyectos de una forma sana que permita llegar a importantes conclusiones. Esto mediante presentaciones realizadas por personas que tienen gran incidencia en el sector cafetalero a nivel mundial, visitas a fincas y beneficios, competencias de catación, y actividades sociales y culturales, aunadas a una excelente oportunidad para realizar negocios, adquirir clientes y hacer amigos.

SCAA Quarterly Growth and Trends Survey (April - June 2011)

[ 07 July 2011 | ]

Deadline: Friday, July 22, 2011

Your participation is requested for our Quarterly Sector Report, covering April - June 2011. We offer this survey in quarterly installments, with an extensive overview published at the end of the year.

The SCAA is pleased to be partnering with Cleveland Research Company, an independent research firm specializing in proprietary channel research with a goal to identify trends and inflections that impact the financial performance and outlook across multiple companies and industries. This partnership has allowed us to deliver more timely information and a consistent stream of reports to our members and other industry professionals. The analysis is deeper and more specific, bringing you the essential data that you need to run a successful business in the specialty coffee industry.

PARTICIPATION: Specialty coffee retailers and roaster-retailers are eligible to participate in the following survey. Your participation will ensure you a complimentary copy of this quarterly report. Please provide your email address at the end of the survey to receive your copy.


Thank you for supporting the SCAA in our effort to bring the latest statistics and industry analysis to coffee professionals around the globe!

If are not eligible to participate in the above survey, you can still have access to this vital information! Click the following link to purchase your digital copy of previous reports:

Included in these reports:

Sales Trends
· Quarterly Coffeehouse Sales versus Previous Year
· Monthly Coffeehouse Sales versus Previous Year
· Quarterly Net Coffeehouse Sales versus Expectations
· Monthly Net Coffeehouse Sales versus Expectations
· Traffic and Ticket Growth
· Competitive Landscape
· 12 Month Outlook
· Category and Segment Trends

Pricing and Cost Trends
· Cost Outlook and Price Increases Credit Availability Trends
· Category Specific Cost and Pricing Trends
· Availability of credit for daily operations

Customer Trends
· What is important to customers? Broken down by category

Big Picture Trends
· Specialty Coffeehouses Compared to Other Foodservice Segments
· Coffeehouse vs. Discretionary Retail
· Food Costs
· Dairy Costs
· Coffee Costs
· Bakery Costs
· Electricity Costs
· Fuel Prices vs Foodservice Sales
· Unemployment vs Foodservice Sales

Details on the Upcoming Origin Trip to Brazil

[ 28 June 2011 | ]

SCAA & Roasters Guild Origin Trip to Brazil | July 30 - August 6, 2011

Unfortunately air fares to Brazil have shot up recently and in consideration of those costs, we have decided to reschedule this trip for next year. We will run the same route at the end of the July -- please look for a save the date in the next few months and registration to open in early 2012.

This summer, we are running two trips concurrently — one is an SCAA led group for marketing, sales, and other professionals not deeply involved with the technical aspects of buying coffee, but who have responsibilities for communicating the coffee story to customers. On this trip, we will taste many coffees but thedialogue will focus more on how to translate that information forward. We’ll also take a broader look at the coffee community, considering social and environmental aspects to coffee.

The second group will be led by the Roasters Guild and is designed for those who want to deepen their technical knowledge. Included in this trip are two classes that count toward Roasters Guild Apprentice Certification: RP206 (credit A6) Basics of Coffee Farming and RP207 (credit A7) Basics of Green Coffee Processing. In addition, there we will be cuppings of various crops from the farms that we visit and a focus on processing, storage, and other factors affecting quality that roasters should be knowledgable about.

The two groups will travel together and have joint round table discussions in the evening. We’ll be visiting three distinct regions:

(1) Parana is located in a subtropical region with extraordinary volcanic soil, known for coffees with high sweetness, strong body, and notes that vary from fruity to citric floral, caramel, and chocolate.
(2) Alta Mogiana is located in the northeastern part of Sao Paulo state in the highlands and traditionally known for producing excellent fruity coffees with chocolate and nut flavors.
(3) Sul de Minas is one of Brazil’s most well known and prized coffee growing areas and home of multiple Cup of Excellence award winners.

If you are interested but concerned about acquiring a visa in time, we can assist in expediting the visa process. We only have nine slots for each group so if you’d like to join us, please consider registering as soon as possible.

Your Chance to See Your Face in The Chronicle!

[ 23 June 2011 | ]

Want to be seen by our 2,000+ members? We're looking to feature YOU, our readers, Facebook fans and Twitter followers in the Caffe Breve section of The Chronicle. All you have to do is answer a question we pose every few weeks for a chance to be selected for the issue! Send us pictures if you have them!

Fill in the blank...

If I could have a coffee break with anyone from any time, I would choose _______ and I would serve ________.

Be sure to leave your name, company, and location in the comments section and send your photos to [email protected] We'd love to include a picture of you along with your post!

[ 22 June 2011 | ]

By Mansi Chokshi - Membership Manager, SCAA

As a coffee retailer, your relationship with your customer is pivotal to success. However, is it possible to know every customer’s name? Chuckism #1 – Be prepared to know 1000 names when you open a coffee business. Chuck Jones, co-owner of Jones Coffee Roaster in Pasadena, CA tells our membership team about the value in connecting with each and every customer and shares some insight on running a successful business.

In the early morning hours, “it’s all about the flow of the line.” Chuck explains that he goes through as many as 600 transactions every morning before noon and so the goal during those rush hours is to help the customer get what they need- quickly. There are valet parkers in the front lot to help with customers that want to zoom in and out of the parking lot rather than search for street parking. Sure there’s a cost associated with hiring valet parkers, but it’s important to provide your customers with convenience so they continue coming back. To keep the line moving, Chuck says it’s important to “empower your staff to dissolve issues.” Small complaints are best handled if resolved quickly and when ‘removed from the line’ so the flow can continue. Great customer service is prevalent throughout the shop and definitely a key factor in this coffee shop’s success.

Customer engagement is the other key factor. This is no average espresso bar. Jones Coffee Roaster is an importer, roaster and retailer and has a section of the shop dedicated for each area. When you walk in through the front entrance, to the left is a glass wall sectioning off a room for cuppings, sample roasts and where trainings for local customers occur once or twice a month. To the right is a huge counter top with roasted coffee dispensers displayed behind and a tasting bar set up for demonstrations of coffee with popular and home brewers. In the center of the room is the espresso bar with coffee, tea and fresh baked pastries. The roaster and green bean bags are tucked in the back of the room. Seating areas are sprinkled throughout the room and a section is opened up for when there is a local artist or musician present (we caught a local musician when we stopped in!). Attached are other rooms for more seating and office space and an entire room dedicated to a global store with special items from the women who work in the farms of Guatemala. Interesting and completely unique art is hung on the walls for sale by local artists and collectors. And… the staff has a section on the wall with painted portraits - now that’s completely different from any other shop we’ve visited. On Wednesdays, popular and trendy food trucks are parked in the front lot for Wheel Food Wednesdays, where customers and the neighbors can enjoy different cuisines and snacks from their favorite food trucks. On this particular Friday when our staff visited, it was Tamale Friday, a day in which delicious tamales made locally, are sold in the coffee shop. A recent addition to the menu, and available in limited quantities, is Cool Haus ice cream sandwiches. Our staff was lucky enough to taste ½ of the dirty mint ice cream sandwiched between double chocolate cookies drenched in an espresso shot. Delicious!

We definitely appreciate spending the afternoon in Pasadena and enjoyed watching some of the finest baristas in action (did we mention they were even wearing their BGA jacket!). We also noticed how wonderfully friendly and happy the customers were and we got an opportunity to witness some of the “super dupers”- customers that come in 3 to 4 times a day! We definitely understand why customers would like to frequent Jones Coffee Roasters and if we were closer in proximity, our staff might turn into super dupers too! Thank you to the entire Jones family for having us and sharing with us and our members a glimpse of running a successful and engaging coffee shop.

[ 15 June 2011 | ]

Would you like to improve your presentation skills? Are you a trainer for your company and would like to explore adult learning concepts to apply to your job? Interested in volunteering at an SCAA event as a certified Lead Instructor? If so, join us in the Seattle area for one of our most popular programs! Dillanos Coffee Roasters will be hosting an SCAA Instructor Development Program (IDP) on July 15, 2011 from 8 am to 5 pm.

Participants will learn about applied adult learning concepts in the workplace, including instructional design (based on the ADDIE model developed by the American Society for Training & Development), testing, and presentation skills. Upon completion of the one-day program, students earn the SCAA Lead Instructor Credential and are eligible to volunteer as an Instructor at the SCAA Event, to be held in Portland, Oregon in April 2012.

This is just one opportunity offered as part of the SCAA’s Professional Development Program. To learn more about the program, click here .

[ 10 June 2011 | ]

Told by SCAA's Membership Coordinator, Maria Hill

Today we visit Paper or Plastik Cafe located in West Los Angeles. The first thing that makes this cafe stand out for me is the name, why paper or plastik? Well, who better to answer that than the owner:

“One night, I was reluctantly sent to Ralph's Supermarket to buy some emergency groceries. The huge space was very quiet, devoid of customers, and it somehow made me feel very lonely. Suddenly, after sleepily playing the cashier, I heard a voice from behind me, ‘Paper or Plastic?’ I slowly turned my head to see a beautiful young girl smiling at me and asking again, ‘Paper or Plastic?’ And at that moment I said to her, ‘What a beautiful name for a coffee shop.’”

And what a beautiful coffee shop it turned out to be! The decor of the shop is simple and welcoming: exposed brick walls, wood tables and benches with comfy pillows, and beautiful display glass display cases showing off delicious baked offerings. Probably the most unique feature of the cafe is that it is attached The Dancers Studio, also owned by the same people as the cafe. On days when dance rehearsal is going on music from the piano trickles over and you can take the stairs to the 2nd floor to peek through the windows that overlook the dance space, a great accompaniment to your caffeinated experience. I personally enjoyed this experience today with a latte and some El Salvador drip prepared on the pour over (thanks to the awesome baristas Ben and Andrea!).

The cafe has cultivated a friendly community feeling from helpful baristas that will help you decide what drink is right for your mood to hosting local cultural events at the cafe. Artistically rich with a comfortable feeling of belonging Paper or Plastik likes to say "We are not just serving coffee. We’re serving a lifestyle.” A lifestyle we are glad to have as a part of our coffee community!

SCAA Leadership Summit 2011 | Save the Date!

[ 06 June 2011 | ]

If you are an active SCAA council or committee member, please join us September 29 - October 1, 2011 for the SCAA Leadership Summit (SLS). This year's event will be held in Portland, Oregon, the location of our upcoming annual Exposition & Symposium .

Each year, SCAA council and committee members gather to discuss and strategize about projects, events, and other initiatives in preparation for the year to come. The SCAA relies on these volunteer work groups to conceptualize and implement new ideas, make recommendations on ways to improve existing programs and activities, and support the organization's programs with their technical expertise and insights.

Portland, OR

If you are an active committee or council member, you will receive your invitation to the SCAA Leadership Summit via email in the coming weeks. Please keep an eye out for it in your inbox.

Hotel booking information | We have a room block at the Portland Hilton with discounted pricing for SLS attendees. for registration information.

Meetings are by invitation only. Must be an active council or committee member to attend.