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An East Coast Coffee School Opens

A new school for coffee connoisseurs, new businesses and culinary professionals are opening in Charlotte, North Carolina. The East Coast Barista and Coffee School is designed to attract students that are interested in coffee tasting and roasting, basic to advanced espresso, and how to start and operate a specialty coffee business.

Founder David Haddock is a 15-year veteran of the specialty coffee industry. His vision and goal for the school is to continue to raise the quality bar and people’s awareness of coffee’s potential by teaching with the best coffees, equipment and standards. “The idea was to have a convenient, East Coast destination that everyone from coffee novices and professionals, to restaurant staffs and new coffee shop owners could learn from the finest instructors in our industry,” Haddock stated.

Classes will be taught on a weekly basis and will primarily consist of Basic Business and The Business of Coffee, and then basic-to-advanced Barista and Coffee School. Other classes will focus on home coffee roasting, cupping, home espresso, professional roaster sales training, restaurant staff training on coffee and espresso and home coffee grinding and brewing.

For more information, call +1 (919) 771-7752.

Culinary World One of Highlights at SCAA Conference

For the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), it’s a no-brainer that great restaurants need great coffee. But, from May 4-7, 2007 the SCAA will go beyond the basics and present the culinary world with valuable specialty coffee intelligence at SCAA’s 19th Annual Conference & Exhibition at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center, Long Beach, California. As the specialty coffee industry’s premier conference, the event will take an in-depth, educational approach to coffee and its significant relationship with cuisine. The conference’s “Culinary Pathway” track will feature renowned food writers, authors and experts to help businesses succeed. Chefs, restaurateurs and food service professionals are invited to attend the conference and join SCAA, the world’s largest coffee trade association with member companies from over 40 countries.

Chef Jimmy Sneed, a presenter at the upcoming SCAA conference, said, “The difference between a good restaurant and a bad restaurant is easy to see. But the difference between a good restaurant and a great restaurant is in the details. Average coffee belongs to the same club as tap water and canned vegetables.” Sneed will turn up the heat on “Why Great Restaurants Need Great Coffee,” and set the stage for the SCAA’s “Culinary Pathway” track.

The SCAA session entitled “Coffee and Its Place at the Table” will take a historical overview of the use of coffee in cuisine. The session will give a primer on how coffee can fit in with fine foods, which coffees to use and when to use them. Timothy James Castle, president of Castle & Co., and Joan Reis Nielsen, president of Nielsen & Associates, will present and focus on how coffee affects the taste of food with the same complexities as wine.

The session “Menus and Marketing: Spotlighting Specialty Coffee to Drive Sales” will show attendees how to use a menu and market coffee. Experts will cover how to train staff to describe coffees to customers and how to pair coffee with deserts. The class will also provide an overview of several key certifications. Ed Arvidson, Bellissimo Coffee InfoGroup, and Linda P. Smithers, Susan’s Coffee & Tea/Daterra Coffee, will present.

Food service professionals will also learn how the coffee equipment in a restaurant can enhance presentation. During “Back of the House Equipment for Front of the House Presentation,” experts on filter-drip, espresso and French press brewing will discuss practical solutions. The session will cover: café layout; anticipated customer traffic; electrical supply; water quality; budget and menu; merchandising; barista theater; and new technologies. Presenters include: Greg Fisher, BUNN Corporation; Peter Kelsch, Espresso Services, Inc.; and Nils Göran Lindblad, Bodum USA.

According to the conference presenters for “Restaurant Seeks Roaster: Improving Your Coffee by Choosing the Right Roaster,” consumers are more coffee savvy, and treating coffee like a condiment is no longer acceptable for restaurants. Conference delegates will learn the rules and hear a testimony of success. Speakers include Michael David of Sona Restaurant and Terry Davis of Ambex, Inc.

The “Culinary Pathway” sessions are just one of the many highlights at SCAA’s 19th Annual Conference & Exhibition. As the industry’s premier coffee event, the conference features over 200 hours of education on topics such as: growing and processing; roasting; brewing and serving; quality and standards; sustainability; industry trends; coffee cupping; business best practices; espresso basics; and more. International attendees—including coffee producers, exporters and importers, roasters, retailers, manufacturers and baristas—will discover more than 700 exhibit booths featuring everything relating to coffee.

Online registration and more information is available at www.scaa.org or www.scaashow.org.

Ultimate Barista Challenge USA held in New York

The Ultimate Barista Challenge USA, a competitive coffee and espresso event designed to showcase talented barista, creative espresso beverages, delicious brewed coffee, entertain and educate brewed its way to the top at the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York. Ron Mathews, event director, International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY comments “The Ultimate Barista Challenge was well received which was no surprise. The event brings an element of excitement to the show floor, increasing coffee awareness all around.”

Baristi, plural of barista, someone who expertly prepares espresso and coffee drinks, from New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania converged on the Jacob Javits Convention Center to take their turns in qualifying rounds of Latte Art, Espresso Cocktail, Espresso Frappe and Best of Brew to attain a position as “challenger.” Once secure as a challenger, the barista, selected one of two Ultimate Baristi, either Ryan Dennhardt, Barista’s Daily Grind, Nebraska or Heather Perry, Coffee Klatch, California, in a one on one face off, ala Iron Chef, of stiff competition in dueling portafilters, steamy milk pitchers and twirling tampers each vying for the title “Ultimate Barista”.

Latte Art Challenger Barista Greg Suekoff, of Caffe Pronto in Maryland was the only challenger to successfully garner an Ultimate Barista medal during the three days of Challenges. Ultimate Barista Ryan Dennhardt, successfully defeated the challenger in Espresso Cocktail Challenge, with his espresso cocktail comprised of espresso, vodka, fresh apple essence and cream served in an adorned martini glass. “The drink was well balanced, creative, cool and refreshing. An unusual combination of flavors for an espresso cocktail,” says Sherri Johns, head judge.

The Today Show, CBS, invited the Ultimate Baristi on site to demonstrate latte art. “It was a very nice surprise. New York is coming of age in good coffee and espresso” stated Danny Johns, event coordinator and creator of The Ultimate Barista Challenge USA.

For more information about the Ultimate Barista Challenge, Sponsorship opportunities, future events and registering please visit www.ultimatebaristachallenge.com.

Lavazza Buys Barista and Fresh & Honest

Italy’s largest coffee company, Lavazza Group, has signed an agreement with the Sterling Infotech Group to acquire 100% stake in Barista Coffee Company Ltd. (BCCL) and Fresh and Honest Café Ltd. (FHCL).

Barista’s strong brand equity, presence and significant market share along with leadership status in freshly brewed coffee vending market make this acquisition an ideal launch pad. Lavazza has been planning to enter the Indian market and this acquisition gives them an immediate access to the Indian consumer through Barista’s and Fresh and Honest’s strong countrywide network.

Commenting on the deal, Alberto Lavazza, c.e.o. of Lavazza Group said: “We are delighted to enter the rapidly growing Indian market through Barista and FHCL which allows us to take a leading position in coffee shops and in the away from home market.”

Commenting on the deal, V. Srinivasan, c.e.o., Sterling Infotech Group said, “We are glad to sign this deal with Lavazza, who will bring rich international experience to the businesses of FHCL and Barista which we have nurtured in the past. Sterling group has decided to focus and expand in the area of renewable energy and as a consequence we are divesting the F&B business.”

To submit a press release or for further information on Tea & Coffee's Trade News, please contact editor@teaandcoffee.com.

Tea & Coffee - April, 2007
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