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LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 1, 2006-Around the world, thousands of coffee professionals are gearing up for their industry's must-attend event, the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) 18th Annual Conference & Exhibition. More than 8,000 specialty coffee professionals and enthusiasts will converge upon Charlotte, N.C. for the event, which takes place at the Charlotte Convention Center, April 7 - 10, 2006. The premier coffee event of the year is expected to attract thousands of specialty coffee professionals from more than 40 countries. Attendees will include coffee producers, exporters & importers, roasters, retailers, manufacturers and baristas. The conference is also open to coffee connoisseurs who hold consumer membership status in the association. Concord, N.C.-based S&D Coffee, Inc. is the official host sponsor.
Attendees will explore more than 700 exhibit booths featuring everything relating to coffee, from specialty coffee goods and equipment to espresso machines, new products, tastings and retailer supplies. As the world's largest coffee event, the conference curriculum provides more than 200 hours of education on topics such as growing and processing, roasting, brewing and serving, quality and standards, sustainability, industry trends, coffee cupping, business best practices and espresso basics, among others. The conference theme is "Quality Tools for the Specialty Trade." Wade Davis, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, is the keynote speaker.
One highly anticipated feature of this year's event is the SCAA's 2006 United States Barista Championship, hosted by Krups. Baristas from around the country will compete for the title and demonstrate the art of being a barista, creating some of the world's finest coffee concoctions.
Rob Stephen, SCAA 2006 conference committee chair, said, "I have been to countless cities, but never one that is so hospitable and so appreciative of my visit as Charlotte. I am sure this conference will be remembered as the one in which our members felt the most welcomed by the local residents and the business community."
Online registration at www.scaa.org or call 562-624-4100 for a conference brochure.
About the SCAA
Founded in 1982, SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association with over 3,000 member companies. SCAA members are located in over 40 countries and represent every segment of the specialty coffee industry, from coffee growers to coffee roasters and retailers. The SCAA's mission is to be the recognized authority on specialty coffee, providing a common forum for the development and promotion of coffee excellence and sustainability. The SCAA's dedication to excellence in coffee is realized through the setting of quality standards for the industry; conducting research on coffee, equipment and perfection of craft; and providing education, training, resources and business services for members. The SCAA's annual conference is held in a different U.S. city each year and is the coffee industry's largest gathering and exhibition.
Specialty Coffee Association of America
Mike Ferguson, 562-624-4100
Aaron Kiel, 562-983-8113