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SCAA's Conference & Exhibition in Atlanta a Hit with More than 7,500 Attendees
Press release from Specialty Coffee Association of America, Date: May 10, 2004
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LONG BEACH, Calif. U.S.A. (May 10, 2004) --- The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) today announced that more than 7,500 coffee professionals and enthusiasts participated in its 16th Annual Conference & Exhibition, April 23 – 26, 2004. Attendees from more than 40 countries converged upon Atlanta, Ga., including coffee producers, exporters and importers, roasters, retailers, manufacturers, baristas and coffee lovers. Attendees experienced first-hand the latest in specialty coffee goods and services, trends, issues and hot topics in the industry. The SCAA’s 17th Annual Conference & Exhibition is scheduled for Seattle, Wash., April 15 – 18, 2005.

The final registration and exhibit numbers are as follows:

Total Attendees: 7,558

Total Exhibit Companies: 441

International Exhibitors (non U.S.): 67

Total Exhibit Square Footage: 170,000 sq ft

Conference Highlights:

2004 United States Barista Champion
Bronwen Serna, 26, from Hines Public Market Coffee in Seattle, Wash. was named the 2004 United States Barista Champion. Serna won the title, a $1,000 prize and a trip to Trieste, Italy to represent the United States at the World Barista Championships, June 18-20. The U.S. Barista Championships in Atlanta featured 33 expert baristas, those talented people who master espresso machines and make coffee and espresso-drink making a profession. The competition encourages and recognizes professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso beverage preparation and service. During the competition, the best baristas from across the country battled and demonstrated the art of espresso-making, creating some of the world’s finest coffee concoctions. Competitors navigated through a maze of judges and photographers while maintaining composure preparing and servicing 12 coffee concoctions – four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four specialty coffee drinks of their own creation – all within a 15-minute timeframe. Seven USBC Certified Judges - one head judge, two technical judges, and four sensory judges - evaluated each of the competitors.

Exhibitor Awards

During the exhibition, nine companies were honored through the SCAA’s annual Exhibitor Awards program. The best-of-show winners include:

---Best New Product, Food – Rainforest Exquisite Products, chocolate-covered beans

---Best New Product, Tea & Tea Products – Trade Fixtures

---Best New Product, Beverage Accompaniment – Monin

---Best New Product, Cold/Frozen Beverage – Dr. Smoothie, cherry cranberry

---Best New Product, Coffee Accessories – (tied) Porter Products, otto press; DrinkWorks!, steel drinking vessel

---Best New Product, Educational Training Product – Roast Magazine

---Best New Product, Packaging – TAZO Tea Company

---Best Exhibit Booth – Teaology

---Best New Product, Coffee Preparation Equipment - FETCO

SCAA Achievement Awards

SCAA also recognized leading experts and professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the specialty coffee industry. SCAA presented the awards on Saturday evening during the conference.

---Lifetime Achievement Award - Michael Sivetz, author of two well-respected books, including “Coffee Technology” and “Coffee Quality.” Sivetz has more than 50 years experience in coffee roasting and science.

---Service to the Association - Jamie Utendorf-Hagen, who has more than 23 years experience in brand development, marketing and purchasing in the wholesale and retail specialty coffee and foods segment.

---Special Recognition - Jeremy Woods, who recently retired from New York-based coffee importer Atlantic (USA) Inc., where he served as vice president.

---Special Recognition - Martin I. Elkin, one of specialty coffee’s first teachers/mentors, a renowned roaster and a packaging innovator.

---Distinguished Author - Maja Wallengren, a self-educated coffee correspondent, Wallengren has traveled to more than 300 coffee farms across three continents, and she has reported on a variety of coffee issues.

2004 Conference Theme
This year’s conference theme was “Building Our Future in Balance: Quality, Marketing, and Sustainability.”  The keynote speaker was author John Elkington of “SustainAbility,” an international research and consultancy group that assists businesses in addressing issues of sustainability and corporate responsibility. Attendees also participated in over 200 hours of educational sessions covering all topics and issues relating to specialty coffee.

Next Year: Seattle, April 15 – 18, 2005

The Specialty Coffee Association of America’s 17th Annual Conference & Exhibition takes place in Seattle, Wash., April 15 – 18, 2005. The official host sponsor is Starbucks and the theme is “Back to the Future: The Pursuit of Perfection.”

According to Green Mountain Coffee Roaster’s Rick Peyser, SCAA’s 2005 Conference Chair, the conference will continue the SCAA’s focus on the pursuit of sustainable quality from tree to cup. “Seattle has perhaps the greatest coffee intensity in the world. What better place is there to continue our pursuit of perfection?”

About the SCAA
Founded in 1982, SCAA is the world's largest coffee trade association with over 2,500 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.

Aaron Kiel
for the Specialty Coffee Association of America
562.983.8113 - Phone
562.983.8112 - Fax
One World Trade Center
8th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90831

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