The last two days were the Annual Canadian Coffee and Tea Expo
, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre as well as the Canadian Barista Championships. I attended on Sunday after my shift at the cafe, but was unable to attend the Monday events due to a day at school that couldn't be missed.
I was very impressed with most of the show. The percentage of serious/interesting booths was more than I expected, probably a 40/60 split with the old/dull/irrelevant booths. Mind you, I am a barista, not a prospective cafe entrepreneur. My interest lay in the innovative coffee booths. Or, if they weren't innovative, I had to see them regardless. I'm pretty biased, I admit it. Most of my time was spent at either of three: Elysian, Intelligentsia/Wicked and Specialty Coffee Solutions/La Marzocco. Elysian had the slickest booth, with a well thought out presentation, a 3 group Synesso Cyncra and a Clover 1s. They were continually pumping out drinks every time I went by. SCS/LM had a big collection of LM machines from the current lineup including the LM Mistral based on the Kees Van der Westen design. Lindsay, of Artigiano, was pouring shots of the 49th Parallel Private Reserve and it was very, very good. Her shot was the best of the day and competition was stiff from over at Elysian (and my own at the Intelly booth).
I watched one competitor's routine, Jimmy Oneschuk, representing his cafe, Caffe Sola in my birthplace of Saskatoon. He performed well, at least from what I know, but talking to him afterwards there were some kinks not visible to the audience.
The results are below:
Colter Jones – 574 (Artigiano)
Barrett Jones – 509 (Artigiano)
Bob Blummer – 478 (Food Network)
Mark Krause – 445 (Espresso Post, Collingwood ON)
Katherine Piramo – 370.5 (Fantastico, Victoria)
Morgan Allen – 344 (Muddy Joe's, Regina)
Jimmy Oneschuk – 340.5 (Sola, Saskatoon)
Maybe next year I will compete... (fuel some speculation...)
All in all, it was a great time, and due to school work I regret not being able to attend either the second day or the after parties. Great job to all the exhibitors and all the competitors.