The SCA is a global community comprised of local communities who all share the belief that coffee is more than a commodity. We come together to develop and exchange knowledge, expand our network, share our experiences, and to simply make coffee better.
Once a community of like-minded individuals has come together in a location, there’s an option to explore the founding of a more formal structure: an SCA Chapter. These are communities led by an elected committee of passionate volunteers that represent SCA activities in a specific country or regional territory. SCA Chapters are responsible for engaging the community in their local region by delivering education, events, research, and other engagement opportunities.
In this month’s SCA Chapter Spotlight, we caught up with Philipp Reichel, Events Coordinator for the SCA Germany Chapter.
Can you give us some background information on the coffee culture in Germany?
Germany stands for a long history within the coffee industry, reaching all the way back to the 18th century. First, only for the royal society, it quickly became a part the German society through the era of industrialization in the 19th century. Across the centuries, German innovators influenced the coffee market worldwide. Decaffeinated coffee was first done in Germany in 1905, the Melitta Filter was invented in 1908, and the Chemex was invented by German engineer Peter Schlumbohm in 1941. For a long while, the market in Germany was led by only a few big roasting companies. This has changed in the last years and still hasn’t found its peak with more than 1600 roasteries in the country these days. Germany is one of the founding members of the SCAE in 1998.
What does the SCA Germany Chapter stand for?
The SCA Germany Chapter stands for the unification of an established coffee industry with the specialty coffee movement and creating and sharing the values of what specialty coffee is, and how it can help create a better value chain for everyone involved.
What does it mean to you, individually, to be a part of SCA Germany?
Being a part of the SCA Germany Chapter means getting people excited about specialty coffee and fostering a coffee community not only within a city, but all over the country. I am even more excited due to the high potential for a better coffee culture in Germany. Big roasting companies have been leading and creating the expectations for coffee in Germany, but a thriving roaster and coffee community is challenging and influencing the big companies and the society. It is exciting to help the community through events and competitions and shining a light on the people that thrive to do better within our beautiful world of coffee.
What are the annual highlights for the SCA Germany Community?
We are very excited about the whole of the year 2020. We have put together almost all of the competitions and are excited to work on education and networking events as well. Our core aim this year, is creating more value and events for our German members. Germany is also having more general coffee events next year, which we are all looking forward to. There are more coffee festivals and coffee-related events and exhibitions happening all over Germany in 2020, which is exciting for all of us because we get to be with the SCA Germany members and meet our coffee community in a professional but also relaxed way.
How has World of Coffee’s presence in Germany in 2019 impacted the SCA Germany Chapter?
The show perfectly aligned with our newly-elected German SCA Chapter Committee. World of Coffee in Berlin was the first opportunity for us to meet each other. Having been the host country for this event strongly encouraged us to show what coffee is and can be like in Germany. It was made clear to us that we have a high potential for our work and the SCA in Germany. World of Coffee felt like a wakeup call and an appreciation for Germany as a driven coffee culture.
What’s next for the SCA Germany Chapter?
The next and closest event will be the Cup Tasters Championship in February. We just opened the application form for it and got overrun with competitors within minutes. This shows us how much the coffee community grew within less than a year and even more so motivates us to create and engage our members with events even more so. We are also specifically working on educational courses. AST courses and certification processes are also in the planning. There is a demand for it not only in Germany but all over Europe. We can’t wait for spring 2020!