BeanScene Magazine

Global Specialty Coffee Expo to welcome public for first time

From the April 2017 issue.

The newly-named Global Specialty Coffee Expo, (formerly Specialty Coffee Association of American Event) will open its doors to the public for the first time on 23 April.

Organised by the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the Global Specialty Coffee Expo will be a unique opportunity for coffee enthusiasts to explore one of the largest coffee events in the US, check out the latest brewers, newest trends, and network with industry members.

The Expo will run from 20 to 23 April at the Washington State Convention Centre in Seattle, United States. Each year it attracts manufacturers, retailers and professionals from around the world, representing all segments of the coffee supply chain. 

To kick-start the festivities, SCA will host a launch party on 20 April at Seattle Paramount Theatre, where some of the most creative and skilled US baristas will compete against each other in the US Coffee Championship (USCC) Latte Art Throw Down.

During this single elimination tournament, 32 participants will be given the opportunity to show their abilities using an Astoria Plus4Champions machine. At each round the competitors will be asked to make cappuccinos using soy, almond, coconut and rice milks, then choosing one of these to use during the finals.

Judges will evaluate the visual quality of the foam, the contrast between the surface of the espresso and the milk, the position and dimensions of the pattern in relation to the cup, the originality of the idea, and the level of technical difficulty.

The Global Specialty Coffee Expo will host the US Coffee Championships where on Sunday afternoon, a new national barista champion will be crowned. Laila Willbur won the event the last time Seattle hosted the championships.  

Other features at the Expo will include Uppers and Downers, a popular event series by Good Beer Hunting that explores the growing trend of coffee beers, a scientific poster session showcasing new research, special exhibits celebrating great design, and best new products.

World Coffee Research’s annual Think + Drink will take place on 21 April at 4pm (Room 2AB). This year WCR is celebrating the progress the organisation has made in the five short years since its inception in 2012. The one-hour event will feature a tasting of three new F1 hybrid coffees, including Centroamericano, Mundo Maya, and Starmaya.

WCR will also be announcing a campaign to get every coffee importer in the world to assist coffee roasters to fund essential coffee research. Coffee is one of the most under-researched agricultural commodities in the world, and WCR is trying to change that with the help of coffee importers and roasters’ participation in its Check Off program.

The International Women’s Coffee Association (IWCA) annual breakfast will take place from on 22 April to celebrate women's leadership. Attendees will learn about IWCA's global impact and upcoming convention, meet members from IWCA Chapters, and hear insights from its celebrated key note speaker Julieta Vasquez Rivera, a two-time Mexican Barista Champion, barista trainer, and cafe Co-founder.

For more information, visit

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