I was thinking what to write for my first blog entry at our website, and it seemed that to start a story from the beginning would be a little bit boring — I have told it many times already, how I settled in Novosibirsk, how me and my wife thought that it would be a good idea to bring great coffee to Siberia and start the movement of specialty coffee here back in the 1990s. Instead, I would like to tell you a story about the Annual Specialty Coffee Event which I have just attended in Boston, USA, with my friends and coworkers — Anvar Piriyev and our roast-master Daniel Panov.
This event is one of the largest gatherings in the specialty coffee world. Everyone comes here to meet old friends and make new friends as well, learn about what’s new in coffee, find something interesting to share and, of course, taste the best coffees from around the world. The most innovative coffee companies present here their best equipment, such as our friends from Italy — La Marzocco, the synonym of the best quality among espresso machines — who unveiled their new Linea PB coffee machine, which will definitely be available soon, it is truly a machine of the most advanced innovations at the same time being elegantly simple. The event has been organized by the Specialty Coffee Association of America for the 25th time since 1989, and it has been growing with every year in number of attendees. One of the important parts of the event was the National Barista Championship, as well as Brewers Cup and Cup Tasters Challenge competitions, which I think Daniel will be covering more than adequately in his own blog entry.
The coffee event this year was also special, because of the great 25th Anniversary party for Coffee Kids, a non-governmental organization, dedicated to make the lives of small coffee farmers in Central America better and help their families to overcome poverty, bring better education and health care to the coffee growing nations and organize sustainable socio-economical growth projects. In the near future upon approval of the Board of Directors of Traveler’s Coffee we too shall be making our contributions to this very, very noble and vital organization.
What I like about SCAA Event is the massive exchange of knowledge and ideas about coffee. Through these exchanges we learn from each other, little by little, how to become better and better in our craft. These events are the place to look for better beans and get inspired about the latest trends in the world of coffee. As a result, the guests in our coffee houses enjoy consistently better coffee cups, the ultimate goal, for which we work so hard at “Traveler’s Coffee”.
I feel it most important to acknowledge that while the SCAA event was so wonderful it was tremendously overshadowed by yet another turmoil on the world scene as 2 explosions claimed the lives of 3 souls and well over one hundred injured… people innocent and even more so demonstrating the unity of all nations in a sporting event with participants from every part of the globe.
I myself was very close to this horrible catastrophe with my business partner and friend Anwar just 3 blocks from the blast at a Cheesecake Factory enjoying a wonderful dinning experience when the loudspeaker in the restaurant announced the tragedy. When we exited to the street we saw the spectacular and horrifying sight of more than 50 ambulances and various police vehicles wailing by. It was an awful experience walking back to the hotel meeting a boy that was just across the way and another girl sobbing after seeing many bloodied spectators.
All I can do is bow my head humbling before the almighty God and pray that these insane and senseless events move us to the eventual conclusion that humanity is one family and that these acts of violence will galvanize the rational and spiritual to unite humanity in one universal peace… that is my hope, my yearning and my dream. For now I have only heartfelt love and prayers for those injured yesterday and the families of those who are feeling nothing but loss today. God bless you!