MANE Coffee Conference

This last weekend I had the pleasure of heading over to Rhode Island to be a part of the Mid-Atlantic North East Coffee Conference.  Gwilym had spoken there last year, and he was so enthusiastic about it that I was pretty excited to be a part of it.  I’m extremely glad he encouraged me to go!

The event is one that people get a little possessive about – in a good way.  This isn’t just the people who attend, but also evident in the companies who sponsor which is pretty interesting.  The feel of the event is friendly, positive and open.  Gerra, who organises it, understands that many baristas wanting to attend may not get a lot of support so tickets are priced accordingly.  A ticket to the event is $100!  This is, without doubt, the best value for money of any coffee event I’ve ever seen.  This ticket gets you a mixture of practical classes and workshops, talks, tastings and panels.  The event has capacity for 150 and you can see why it sells out so quickly.

I was there mostly to give a keynote on the first night, but it was fun to be part of panel discussions that went on too.  The internet makes it challenging to give talks because they’re often available online afterwards which means you have to start fresh each time.  I was pretty happy with how this one turned out, and I hope to get to refine this one and present it again because I had some great feedback.  I know a couple of people recorded it, and if you read this I’d be delighted if you didn’t post it!  (It isn’t laziness – I just want to be able to do it again and better, something I rarely get the chance to do with my talks). You can check Sprudge for more information on the event.  I’ve been travelling a lot lately, but I definitely could have hung around for longer on this one.  Perhaps I might just have to go as a sponsor next year…