The Roasters' Guild Retreat... and flicking the switch!

It’s been a while since the last update, always a sign things have been just a little crazy around here!

First of all our biggest news of all is that the roaster is installed and fully operational! After a solid week of construction, dust, piping and electrical challenges, we’re good to go.  We spent time with Doug learning the ropes of the Joper Roaster, soaking up as much as we could. We're working old-school-manual style until we hook up some data logging, teaching us a whole lot about the principles of roasting, and revisiting grade 11 mathematics. 

We didn’t have long on the machine however before a quick trip to the mid-west called our name. Will and I were booked into the SCAA Roaster’s Guild Retreat, in Delevan Wisconsin! After all we need to learn plenty to teach our soon-to-be students! After roasting a few test espresso blends for the café, we were packed and headed to Wisconsin via Chicago.

The roasters' retreat was incredible. Well over 300 coffee roasters from the world on site to learn and share the art and science of roasting coffee. Groundswell Roasters are members of the Roaster’s Guild, which is run by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) a truly amazing body designed to support, educate and raise the bar of specialty coffee in North America. 

The sense of community was incredible. It was fascinating to meet people doing the same thing across the globe. I met people like Hugo from Mexico City, Sebastian from Buenos Aires, and from my own part of the world an Australian or two (we’re everywhere right?).

If you’ve ever organised a conference, you’ll share my appreciation for just how much is involved behind the scenes. Organizing a wedding at the moment (sigh) is another great example, things you would never begin to imagine needing attention, need a whole lotta attention, and then some. The SCAA and Roaster’s Guild are a shining example of a body who go well above and beyond to deliver, and deliver they do! The roasting tent at the retreat blew me away. Almost every brand of roaster set up, exhaust piped, generators working hard, ready to roast… all on the lawn of a summer resort hotel. 3 storms later and a minor flood or two, the tent was still operating perfectly – and we got a lot of time roasting with instructors and our new friends.

It was pretty busy in the tent so I skipped lunch to get more time on the machines, even managing to get some time on the new mini/prototype Loring roaster, the first time it had been unveiled! From Probat, San Franciscan, Diedrich and Giesen… it really was an incredible opportunity to play with so many coffee roasters, one that will see me return in 2017 and the following years to come.


So back to Vancouver and Groundswell. This week we’ll be sampling some more coffee to find the perfect beans for our espresso. If you’re in the café this week come and say hi!

We’ll also be at the Groundswell Market this Thursday night! You can check out the details here or our on Facebook page. 

Now fingers’ crossed those coffee bags arrive in time…

Yours in coffee,  Attie