The SCA Expo 2017 Haul
I already knew I overpacked when I left for Seattle this time two weeks ago. Unless I'm embarking on an epic, road trip adventure that requires me to pack smart and light, I will always overpack.
I had the expectation of bringing back a good amount of coffee and a couple of small things, like buttons. Maybe a mug or two. But dear friend, I had to borrow another suitcase to bring back all the stuff I snagged (and hold the stuff I overpacked). I was channeling a true icon while at ReCo Symposium and Expo, this year, even though just about everything was free.
After spending the week post-SCA in Portland with my good friend, and future employer, Matt Perger, I finally had a chance to sort through all of my goods.
When I first walked into the ReCo Symposium, I was offered a branded backpack that was fully stocked with things I didn't know I needed or wanted. It had major key printed information about World Coffee Research, Chapter 18 of the newly published, The Craft And Science of Coffee, Standart Magazine, two packs of Third Wave Water, all the Rishi tea stuff, and more. I'd come in with my own bag and ended up leaving with two. It was only the first day and I was already scamming.
A year ago, i wasn't that into buttons and pins. Now, I see how they're small, fun ways to accessorize and make a statement. I brought a bag of Chocolate Barista icon buttons, courtesy of Jar of Buttons, to give away, and I received a bunch of sick ones in return. Current button/pin game: 10/10.
Button & Pins (a short list):
- Boss Barista Podcast
- Department of Brewology
- Moonless Night Press
- Lem Butler x Counter Culture Coffee
- AKA Coffee
- Coffee On:Line
I love a good coffee mug. My ideal mug is either handleless or large enough for me to grasp it with both hands. I already have a small collection of coffee-branded mugs. I probably don't need anymore. But I can't walk away from a free freaking mug. Or four.
Honestly, I don't even know if I was supposed to take the Counter Culture mug. There was a growing crowd beginning to swarm their pop-up cafe, and my cup of Nueva Llusta was still piping hot. I couldn't stick around. I had somewhere to be. I told myself I'd bring it back. "Back" ended up meaning back home. Oops.
While you can never have too much coffee, I always have too much coffee. All of these that I snuck away with — from Evans Brothers, Camber, Ultimo, Barista, and Prediction — are going to get frozen to be consumed later and shared. Hit me up if you want in.
Moral of the story: if you don't go to SCA for anything else — networking, community building, competitions, logistical experience, meeting producers, certifications and lectures, exposure to new technological advances in coffee equipment, free beer/coffee, or the after parties — at least go for the free stuff.
P.S. I have a ton of swag that wasn't all pictured. Believe it or not, I'm trying to minimize my belongings and get rid of mostly everything (because trying to ship my life across the world to Australia is not going to be fun). If you're interested in me doing a giveaway, sound off in the comments!