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SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
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MarkPrince
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Posted Wed May 4, 2005, 12:00am
Subject: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!
Road Reports article by Mark Prince

In this photo essay with some detailed comments, we look at some of the floor highlights (and lowlights?) regarding consumer equipment and services, at this year's SCAA show in Seattle.
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mdreuben
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 6:17am
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

Up until this point I was somewhat frustrated because Mark hadn't provided much consumer coverage of the show.   Then came this report (Thanks!).

Now I'm just frustrated with the show - Booorrrrrrring!
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espressoDOM
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 10:45am
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

wow.... reuben (don't pull any punches)

it was a great article.... bottom not as much newness as I would have thought...
it looks like overall it was a great show with the WBC overshadowing the commerical aspects for the cGeeks that attended....

with LaMarzocco teasing our tastebuds.... and a couple others.... I would bet it was a great time out like the Warriors (sorry Bay Area reference)

 
DOM...evil genius ...Up to no good in espresso at all times... VIVA la parts de Espresso
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MarshallF
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 11:17am
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

I'm wondering about that single-group LM "home" machine.  Why a 3-liter brew boiler? Isn't that a recipe for ultra-stale water in home use? It sounds more like a light-duty commercial machine to me.
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mdreuben
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 12:14pm
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

espressoDOM Said:

wow.... reuben (don't pull any punches)

Posted May 6, 2005 link

Please don't take my comments the wrong way!  The article was great - I always appreciate Mark's viewpoint.  Few people get it like he does.

I was only being anxious for information about the exhibition (I had been in Seattle the week before but couldn't stay for the show).   It was the show that looked less than exciting (except for the new LM) - not the report!
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MarkPrince
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

I agree Reuben. There wasn't a lot of consumer excitement on the show floor.

for eg...

  • I was hoping to see this new "Silvia successor" from Rancilio. If they had it, I missed it
  • Grinder from Baratza looks very cool, and I can't wait to see a finished product - but I felt grinders were once again neglected, esp. on the consumer side.
  • Pavoni was a huge disapointment for me (can you tell?). When their biggest innovation seemed to be going back to the James Bond era colour on the levers... Plus, I still have problems with them just slapping their brand name on inferior designed and built asian grinders.
  • roasters. I wasn't impressed with the new Swissmar offering. Mainly the wholesale price which is higher than the Alp by a substantial amount. (I can't release that info tho). Just seemed like the area of greatest need of attention (cooling down) wasn't addressed enough. And well, there was nothing else of interest on the floor that I could find.
  • the explosion of single cup brewers and pods just makes me groan.
  • I'm always kind of ignorant (on purpose) of all the powders, instants, syrups, accrutements on the floor directed at consumers, but this year, there seemed to be so many, my self imposed ignorance was given a beating.

I will say one thing. I have three (four actually) pet peeves about super autos. 1. Grinder path from grinder to brew group (too long on the newest crop from Saeco (used in Solis, other machines)). 2. Brew path from group to cup (too long on older gen design from Saeco). 3. Water temperature (too many machine with Swiss designed mentality have too low-temperatures. Fourth is probably price.

So the new Espressione machine, not yet for sale, looks promising. Price isn't unreasonable. Looks good. In addition, the puck chamber appears slightly bigger in diameter than Saeco engines... and it can brew using up to 16 grams of coffee - Saecos usually top out at 10 or 12 per shot.

Mark
Edit: here's their data sheet on it.

MarkPrince: espressioneautodetails.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 1:54pm
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

mdreuben Said:

Up until this point I was somewhat frustrated because Mark hadn't provided much consumer coverage of the show.   Then came this report (Thanks!).

Now I'm just frustrated with the show - Booorrrrrrring!

Posted May 6, 2005 link

If you go to the SCAA just to see the show floor, you're either there because work sent you, or you're there for the wrong reason.

Sure, the show floor is big, and has something for everyone. But it's only 10% of the experience.

It's the dinners with friends you meet for the first time; it's watching Dan Kehn go hammer & tongs with Richard H on the ramifications of HX injector placement; the cafe crawls and 12 doubleshot days; the 6-to-a-cab trips where you get lost in suburbia; watching Paul Bassett get smashed and leading his disciples on a barista rampage.

And more. For a week. That's what it's about.

Cheers

Paul "already saving up for next year" Haddon
Sydney, Aus
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espressoDOM
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

mdreuben Said:

Please don't take my comments the wrong way!  The article was great - I always appreciate Mark's viewpoint.  Few people get it like he does.

I was only being anxious for information about the exhibition (I had been in Seattle the week before but couldn't stay for the show).   It was the show that looked less than exciting (except for the new LM) - not the report!

Posted May 6, 2005 link

I got what you were saying, but I thought the comment on the show was pretty harsh considering neither one of us went... It was probably valid, but when I read it I was like WOW.... he didn't pull any punches on his opinion from the show.  I was super amped about all the things I was going to see since Mark was covering the event...  I didn't get overwhelmed with awe over the pics from the show...(which had nothing to do with Mark mind you but the show itself seemed to be just what it was a basic tradeshow with nothing super to add)

as others have pointed out the fun was outside the tradeshow at the events surrounding the event... like tonx blog had pix of the private collection of LaMarzocco's and other machines from back in da day....that was actually waay cool... the LaMarz is growing on me...kinda like the Synesso...didn't like either aestetically when I first saw them ...but the buzz is workin' on me.... and my pocket book...

 
DOM...evil genius ...Up to no good in espresso at all times... VIVA la parts de Espresso
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MarshallF
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 2:52pm
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

fad Said:

...  the cafe crawls and 12 doubleshot days; the 6-to-a-cab trips where you get lost in suburbia; watching Paul Bassett get smashed and leading his disciples on a barista rampage.

And more. For a week. That's what it's about.

Cheers

Paul "already saving up for next year" Haddon
Sydney, Aus

Posted May 6, 2005 link

Are we thinking about the same Charlotte, North Carolina? :-)
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onocoffee
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Posted Fri May 6, 2005, 4:46pm
Subject: Re: SCAA 2005 Show Floor: Consumer Stuff!, Road Reports
 

Paul's right, it's not the actual "show" that makes the event, it's the events surrounding the Conference.  Things like hanging out with industry friends, learning new techniques, hearing new thoughts, trying new things, all the different parties - then hanging out with Paul, Andrew and Mark touring the great coffeeshops of Vancouver.

There's definitely more to Conference than Conference itself.

But I'm going to state something that I'm pretty sure most people on CG will hate.

I'm starting to agree with the notion that the SCAA Conference is not the place for consumers.

The Conference is a Trade Show.  It's geared for roasters. It's geared for retailers. It's geared for industry.  And while I agree with Mark that the SCAA's efforts outreaching to consumers has been lackluster at best, I don't think Conference is the place for that outreach.

The show is about selling the wares of the vendors.  That's why they've paid insane amounts of money to be there.  Believe me, I know.  At $17 per gallon of milk and $500 per electrical connection, the price of a booth easily skyrockets past the ten grand mark.  That's a new La Marzocco Linea 3EE - and you haven't even paid for your product cost, your people, their hotels, their meals and their per diem.

A salesperson friend of mine, whose company does a considerable number of shows per year told me their goal is to get contacts, contacts, contacts.  They don't want to put too much time in one place.  Get the contacts and then qualify later.

That said, vendors want to sell, and they want to sell en masse.  Consumers, while being very important members of the chain, are only going to buy one, maybe two, units.  Vendors are geared to sell by the case or more.  That's what's worth it to them.

In order to meet the consumer, I think the SCAA's money and efforts will be better spent developing campaigns such as the Dairy Council's "Got Milk?" campaign or even a Coffee Roadshow with full-blown tractor trailer, carts and setups so that a crew can travel across the country to malls, venues and festivals preaching the good word about coffee and letting the consumer taste, up-close, what "specialty coffee" is all about.
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