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Each year, the SCAA hosts a huge blowout coffee party and invites all sorts of people in the specialty coffee industry. This year, The Event is the first of a two-parter, a huge coffee expo in Seattle, the first city of specialty coffee. It took place April 24-27, 2014, and a great time was had by all.
As the biggest coffee expo in the country, the products introduced at SCAA’s The Event tend to make a big splash. Each year, expert judges vote on the best new coffee products of the year in the commercial and consumer categories. Additional prizes, People’s Choice awards, are given to products that are voted as favorites by attendees at the convention. This year’s best new coffee products include a few interesting ones we’ve been watching, as well as some surprise winners.
BKON Craft Brewer
The winner of the Best New Product in the Coffee or Tea Preparation & Serving Equipment (commercial) is the BKON Craft Brewer, designed to perfectly brew loose leaf tea, as welll as third wave coffee and infused cocktails, in just 1 minute. It stores up to 200 individual recipes so that they can be replicated effortlessly with just a few touches.
Gino Glass Dripper
Part of the Lino collection from notneutral.com, the GINO glass dripper is an elegantly simple coffee dripper. It’s the first dripper we’ve seen in transparent borosilicate glass so you can watch the coffee extraction process. In a rare moment of harmonious agreement, the pros and consumers agreed – the GINO also was the winner of the People’s Choice Award for Coffee or Tea Preparation & Serving Equipment in the Consumer sector.
Acaia Coffee Scale
The Acaia coffee scale is a Kickstarter backed product that met its funding goal a few months back and was introduced officially at the SCAA event. The minimalist design, waterproof surface and other special features make the Acaia a must-have for craft coffee brewers who value precision.
Seraphim Undercounter Brewing System
The People’s Choice award for commercial brewing or serving equipment went to the Seraphim from Wilbur Curtis, the coffee equipment company. The sleek design puts all the heating equipment for water under the counter. The only visible part of the brewer is the shower head and a touch screen for programming the brewing parameters.
In addition to the product awards, the Event also recognized the winners of the 2014 US Coffee Championships including:
2014 U.S. Barista Champion: Laila Ghambari, Cherry Street Coffee House, Seattle, WA
2014 United States Cup Tasters Champion: Amanda L. Juris, Starbucks, Seattle, WA
2014 U.S. Brewers Cup Champion: Todd Goldsworthy, Klatch Coffee, Los Angeles, CA
2014 Roasters Choice Winner: Andrew Bowman, Tony’s Coffee, Bellingham, WA
2014 Latte Art Champion: Simeon Bricker, The Roasterie, Kansas City, MO