The SCAA was formally invited to the 2009 Korean Cafe Show
while we were exhibiting at CoffeeFest last September. It was an exceptional opportunity to reach out to a thriving international coffee community, and we were certainly excited to partner with them. Our own Maria Hawkins (membership coordinator) and Marcus Boni (Director of community and events) represented us at the show. I recently caught up with Maria to find out more about their experience in Korea:
1. What is the coffee community / scene in Korea like?
MH: The Coffee Community in Korea is growing. There was a minimum of 1 café on every block but I would say most averaged 2 or 3 and it seemed like there were always customers in them. Everyone that we interacted with at the show was very interested and excited to learn everything they can about the coffee process. From Q grading, to cupping, to how to properly brew coffee we had a lot of questions.
2. How was the SCAA welcomed?
MH: The SCAA was very warmly welcomed. We had a few members at the show, exhibiting and attending, that came by to say hello and all the people who came to talk to us had some general knowledge of who we were and most were interested in the certification programs we offer as well as the educational materials that accompany those classes.
3. What were the most interesting Korean coffee products on display?
MH: There was a lot of Korean companies who had creative setups to display their drip coffee, there were personalized tampers, individual travel brew cups, every coffee accessory you could think of, and LOTS of coffee samples.
4. What types of business opportunities, if any, should our members be aware of in Korea?
MH: I would say the biggest opportunity is that a lot of Korean companies involved in Coffee do not know how to get set up to distribute in the United States, so any assistance with that would be mutually beneficial for both parties.
5. What was the SCAA’s goal in exhibiting and partnering with the Korean Coffee Show?
MH: We wanted to promote our educational materials, certification classes, Expo, and strengthen our international relationships.
6. What was your favorite event at the Show?
MH: Maybe not really a sanctioned “event” but I loved going around and tasting the coffees from Korean companies and it was definitely a pleasure to be able to meet some of our international members face to face – hopefully we will see them in Anaheim!