It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, it’s almost time for some of the world’s most dedicated coffee professionals and enthusiasts to nerd-out over one of life’s greatest gifts at the 2018 Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle. In this post, we've covered our plans, what to expect, and how to follow us.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, it’s almost time for some of the world’s most dedicated coffee professionals and enthusiasts to nerd-out over one of life’s greatest gifts at the 2018 Specialty Coffee Expo (a.k.a. SCA) in Seattle. For those who plan to attend, we know what you’re thinking, “How can I hang out with the folks from Prima while I’m there?” and “What should I expect to see and do this year at SCA?” For those who can’t make it, you’re probably wondering, “How am I supposed to know what’s going down?”
Well, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’ll find some details regarding our location, what we’ll be bringing, and what our focus is on this year. Then, we’ll take a look at specific things to look forward to, including new products and events. Lastly, we’ll discuss event coverage and how you can stay connected if you are unable to attend.
You can find us in the North Hall at booth 1814, right next to Ancap USA and across the aisle from Slayer Espresso. We’ll have a bunch of fun stuff to check out, including a 2 group Synesso MVP Hydra espresso machine, a Puqpress M1, a Mahlkonig Peak, the Pullman System (Chisel, Big Step, Palm, Baskets), an Espazzola, some Barista Hustle gear, and a Luminaire demo station with a Linea Mini.
This year, we will be particularly focused on commercial equipment and services. Many of you know us as coffee brewing experts, especially for home users and brew bars, but you may not know that we are just as passionate about, and experienced with, the commercial side of things. We’ll be set up to talk about everything from coffee and restaurant equipment to fridges, ice machines, and water filtration. We can also chat with you about our commercial services, like our build-out consultations, creative services, and custom-branded wares. We truly are uniquely positioned to offer almost anything you might need for food and beverage production in a cafe setting.
Now, if you are not in the business of building out a cafe or updating commercial equipment, we still want to see you. We’d love to talk to you and help you in any way that we can. If nothing else, come by our booth for a tasty shot of espresso, pulled on the wonderful Synesso MVP Hydra. This year, with excitement and gratitude, our coffee is being sponsored by Andytown Coffee Roasters, Black & White Roasters, Camber Coffee, Onyx Coffee Lab, Parlor Coffee, and Tim Wendelboe.
Right now, it looks like the weather will be partly cloudy with a temperature of around 53°F. Who cares, right? This is all indoors. And no, the indie rock band isn’t going to be playing either.
But seriously, there is a lot to look forward to, from new espresso machines and grinders to brewers and, of course, parties!
Duvall FC-1 Espresso Machine
After a 7,155 mile demo tour of the US, the Duvall FC-1 Espresso Machine is highly anticipated. Said to be the “future of coffee,” the FC-1 has FlowRate™ technology, removing the need for flowmeters and needle valves, that puts all aspects of flavor profiling and consistency at the barista’s fingertips. Using production touch screens, with 70,000 hours of continual use, you can control shot time, shot volume, fill pressure, temperature, dwell time, and flow rate progression to create a repeatable profile that will provide consistency regardless of changes in grind size and tamp. And to add some sprinkles to this cake, each group head on the FC-1 has its own 3-liter boiler and 0.15-liter saturated group.
Mazzer Robur S
Late last year, Mazzer unveiled its new Robur S and Kold S Grinders at Host Milano. And we fully expect to see the Robur S at SCA this year. Mazzer has taken the predecessor of the Robur S and made some changes, in light of certain needs of baristas and the modern advances in technology. The Robur S sees a 52% reduction in coffee retention (although it still retains around 15-18g), an improved way of changing/cleaning burrs, an electronic control panel, and cloud capability.
Modbar Espresso AV
One thing that has many adults feeling like little kids on Christmas morning, awaiting their parents to finally wake up so they can open presents, is the Modbar Espresso AV. After a number of years of research and development between Modbar and La Marzocco, we are about to see the fruits of their labor, an espresso machine akin to the Linea PB that maintains the Modbar look. The Modbar AV is said to be ideal for high-volume environments and have extraordinary temperature stability. On top of that, it has a multi-positional programmable lever, multiple options for dosing (volume, weight, or continuous), auto back-flush and rinse programs, and an adaptable drip tray.
Nuova Simonelli Mythos 2
Another highlight from Host Milano that will also be at SCA is the Mythos 2. Like an ape evolving into a human, the Mythos has been changing, experiencing development and becoming more complex and useful. With the first Mythos, Nuova Simonelli sought to balance the inconsistencies of grinding that occur because of variable temperatures. And with that still being the focal point, the Mythos 2 has improved temperature control and stability, to the point where the Clima Pro 2.0 lets you pick your desired operating temperature from a wider spectrum of available options. It also has gravimetric dosing, meaning you can actually grind by weight, as well as a variable speed motor, which is capable of grinding a dose in less than 2 seconds and operates more quietly with less electrical consumption.
Orphan Espresso Apex Manual Coffee Grinder
Orphan Espresso, known especially for their Lido hand grinders, with their ability to grind for anything from espresso to French press, has poured their experience, innovation, and expertise into their newest and completely redesigned hand grinder, the Apex Manual Coffee Grinder. Sporting an entirely different shape, the Apex grinder has 75mm ghost, or crushing, burrs, capable of grinding for everything except espresso. Ghost burrs have been around awhile, but they haven’t been super popular in America. Rather than the typical conical or flat burr shape, where there are spiralling blades, ghost burrs essentially have a number of rows of teeth, which are thought to improve fines integration.
Also launched at Host Milano last year, the Rancilio Specialty is supposed to make an appearance at SCA. With a sleek design, Rancilio has sought to design a machine for the barista. While it maintains the traditional espresso machine shape, the Speciality offers multi-boiler brewing technology, touchscreen controls (capable of changing and monitoring your brewing parameters), individual brewing displays, an adjustable drip tray, and cool-touch steam wands with 4 programmable buttons for variable pressure.
Making its first appearance in Denver earlier this year, Synesso is to showcase their newest espresso machine, the S200. The all-volumetric machine, with two presets per group, is not only more economical (expected retail price of $11,500) than their other machines, but it is also especially attractive. Its redesigned shape and style includes integrated digital displays and less prominent steam actuators and cup rails. There is still a lot that is unknown about the S200, so we are excited to learn more about it.
Also, FYI, there will be a mocktail contest at Anchorhead Coffee, where you can win one! *See below.
Voga Ground Control Cyclops Brewer
As batch brewing continues to resurrect from the nearly dead, Voga Coffee has sought to respond with the Ground Control Cyclops Single Brewer. The original Ground Control Twin was quite exciting, especially for us coffee nerds who like to read about extraction theory. Compared to the Twin, the Cyclops offers the same patent-pending technology in a smaller size with a quicker brew time and more refined temperature profiling. Said to have “unparalleled cup quality,” the Cyclops is the only batch brewer on the market that employs an immersion method, as opposed to the traditional drip process.
La Marzocco Leva
The La Marzocco Leva, presented at Host Milano, features a redesigned group with a spring lever, and we are hoping to see it at SCA this year. Its exposed, saturated grouphead does look familiar, though it now has a distinguished fitting for a piston on top. When it comes to the spring lever, it’s is nothing like your old-school lever: with the lever and clutch system, you are able to choose from 6 different engagement points, and you don’t have to worry about losing teeth when flushing an empty group. Available in two different versions, S and X, the distinguishing feature of the X model is its smart PIDs on brew boilers and individual group displays (this shows a graph of pressure over time and can be saved for later as a “ghost” profile).
Decent Espresso has been dazzling everyone on social media for quite some time with their espresso machines (DE1, DE1+/DE1PRO+, DE1CAFE). We are not completely certain that they will be there; the last we knew, they were looking for a booth to host them, so we’ll see. Nevertheless, Decent espresso machines are exciting to say the least, offering flow profiling and the ability to detect the end of the preinfusion period. Exciting stuff! About every coffee person we know would like to get some alone time with one of them. But whether or not Decent will grace us with their presence, we shall see.
US Coffee Championships
Per usual, there will be four championships: Barista, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters and Roaster. With all the qualifying events behind them, the finalists are set to establish their reign as 2018 U.S. Coffee Champions. We are pumped to see some of our friends and customers compete. Best of luck to you!
There is also the USCC Latte Art Throwdown happening on the 19th (6-9pm) as the ‘Official Launch Party at the MoPOP in Seattle Center.’
Here is the schedule of events.
Scrumdiddlyumptious Mocktail Competition
Synesso and Anchorhead Coffee are hosting A Scrumdidlyumptious Signature Cold Brew Mocktail Event. It will be held at Synesso’s HQ, beginning Friday and finishing on Saturday. This two-night, Willy Wonka-themed event will put 64 competitors against each other for four rounds with a grand prize that is totalled at over $20,000. This grand prize includes a Synesso S200 and some stuff from Prima and a bunch of other contributors. It’s $20 to compete and free to attend!
Choose Your Own Adventure Party
La Marzocco and Cafe Imports are throwing a party on Friday night (April 20th) at Fremont Foundry Events. The theme is Choose Your Own Adventure, leaving you with the choice of choosing how you want to party. There will be a dance party, a tiki party, and a classic cocktail bar, as well as a number of food trucks located in the courtyard. Starting at 8:30pm, general admission will be available at the door, so make sure to come early, as capacity is limited. They are offering a limited number of early admission bracelets, of which you can speak with La Marzocco or Cafe Imports about on Friday at the expo.
Happy Hour for Puerto Rico
We don’t have a lot of information about Happy Hour for Puerto Rico, but we do know that Barista Magazine and Pacific Foods will be hosting it on Friday April 20 (5:30-8:30pm) at the event venue, Sole Repair Shop. In October of last year, Barista Magazine published an article entitled, “The State of Coffee in Puerto Rico,” speaking of the terrible devastation brought on by Hurricane Maria last year. Thus, as the event name makes pretty clear, this seems to be an event to benefit the coffee producers in Puerto Rico.
Expo Game & Pizza Night
For those of us that are more on the introverted spectrum, the Expo Game & Pizza Night might just be what the doctor prescribed. Though, extroverts are just as welcome. Located at Anchorhead Coffee, this laid-back atmosphere with fewer people will allow for some relaxed networking while playing board games and eating pizza. This event will be held on April 20 from 6-9pm and is BYOB and BYOG (game).
If there is anything that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments or on social media. We look forward to seeing some of you at SCA!
For the rest of you, don’t worry! We will be shooting videos of new and highlighted products, as well as some behind the scenes video coverage, which we will be publishing to our YouTube channel. We will be posting photos and stories regularly on our Instagram account throughout the day. And after its all said and done, we will be publishing a post-show wrap-up here on our blog with our thoughts on what we saw and experienced. So be sure to subscribe or follow us on all of these channels!
Let us know in the comments below if there is anything you would like to see, and we will do our best to give you a sneak peak while at the show.
It’s going to be lit.