2010 Roasters Guild Retreat Wrap-Up

This past weekend, the 10th Annual Roasters Guild Retreat drew almost 200 roasters and coffee professionals to Skamania Lodge in Stevenson, Washington. We started things off on Thursday with the SCAA’s Instructor Development Program and SCAA Skill-Building Courses. Opening ceremonies included the first-ever Roasters Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given to Norm Killmon of The Roasterie for his contributions to the roasting community.

On Friday, attendees were assigned to teams that they would work with throughout the weekend on the Roast Master Challenge Cup. The teams were tasked with blending and roasting coffee from the various growing regions of Guatemala. Attendees also took Skill-Building Courses Coffee Grinding & Particle Size and The SCAA Cupping Form & Peer Calibration.

The highlight of the weekend, as expressed by many attendees, was the Roundtable Discussion on Saturday. Participants discussed controversial topics such as Fair Trade, relationship coffee/direct trade, the Q Coffee System, and the supply of specialty coffee. Although there were many different viewpoints and opinions on these topics, attendees expressed that it was very valuable to get so many roasters and coffee professionals together in one place to discuss these important topics. The goal was not to come away from these discussions with a general consensus, but rather to open the dialogue for continued discussion outside the walls of this classroom. And continue it did! In the halls, at dinner, over the camp fire…folks were engaged in these conversations long after the session ended.

Also on Saturday, attendees were able to paricipate in the Coffee Lab Equipment: Use, Calibration, and Testing course, where participants got an overview of the equipment used in the coffee lab setting.

The roasters hummed throughout the weekend as the teams worked tirelessly to perfect their blends. The final batches were cupped on Saturday, and Sunday the winner was declared: team Planet X Roasters took the trophy with their blend of Acatenango and Antigua. Congrats to the winning team, and thanks to all the teams for their hard work throughout the weekend.

Thanks to everyone who came out for this event, and to those of you who didn’t – we hope to see you next year!
To view more photos from the event, visit the Roasters Guild page on facebook!