Bean Voyage’s Top 4 highlights from the SCA Expo 2019

Bean Voyage’s Top 4 highlights from the SCA Expo 2019

April 18, 2019

Our top moments from the Specialty Coffee Association’s Expo in Boston, MA!

The Specialty Coffee Association’s annual expo just ended in Boston, MA. We were fortunate to receive the opportunity to attend the conference — our first ever — and collaborate with like-minded organizations to share our story while learning about inspiring projects around the world that are working to #movecoffeeforward. As we reflect on this amazing week, we wanted to share our top 4 highlights from the week!Bean Voyage Co-Founders: Sunghee Tark and Abhinav Khanal
Sunghee’s Re:co Fellowship & TalkPhoto: Specialty Coffee Association
This year, Sunghee was awarded the prestigious Re:co Fellowship, representing BV at the Re:co Symposium and the Specialty Coffee Association in April 2019! The fellowship identifies leaders in the specialty coffee sector who are driving the future of coffee. In addition to attending the symposium and expo, Sunghee was awarded an opportunity to present our findings at Bean Voyage among thought leaders in the coffee sector. Her talk focused on shedding light on the often-ignored, but important topic of the intersectionality of gender and income inequality in the coffee industry. She was grateful to share our work on behalf of BV, receive feedback, and also learn from others in the industry through the opportunity.Photo: Specialty Coffee Association

Chocolate Barista’s Networking Event

As first time attendants, we were overwhelmed by the number of events and people who attend the SCA expo. As POC (People of Color) founders, events such as these whose conversations more often than not are dominated by Cis-white male can be slightly overwhelming and make us leave the event with the impostor syndrome. We were truly grateful to the Chocolate Barista and fellow people of color for organizing a networking event on the eve of the SCA. Among other people, we were able to connect and learn from fellow POC leaders in the coffee sector and gain mentorship from their experiences. A couple of memorable conversations were with people such as Keba Konte of Red Bay Coffee, who shared insights on ways in which we can make the most of this opportunity.Photo: The Chocolate Barista
Collaborative Cupping: Farmer-Focused CuppingPhoto: Grounds for Empowerment
We collaborated with Grounds for Empowerment, De La Gente, Direct Origin Trading and Long Miles Coffee — all of whom are inspiring organizations working to promote greater equity in the coffee sector and organized a cupping event for the participants at SCA. The event provided us with an opportunity to share coffees from our 2018 Care Trade graduates, and a few other producers who will soon be joining our training program in 2019. We heard some great feedback on the coffee and were excited to hand-out samples as part of our goal to recruit 7–10 independent roasters to create a direct trade relationship with our farmers!Winning of South Korean Barista Champion
In-between meetings and talks, we also had the opportunity to observe the World Barista Championship which was taking place throughout the week. We were cheering for the South Korean champion, who ended up winning the competition at the end, being the first-ever female person-of-color to win the World Barista Championship! Following the first ever woman to win the Championship last year, Jooyeon Jeon of Momos Coffee made the history by being the first South Korean, POC womxn to win the Championship! As the World Champion, she will be promoting the specialty coffee industry throughout the year reducing the gap between the ideals of the industry and the reality.Photo: Specialty Coffee Association

Finally, we want to thank our mentors, friends, and advisors in the coffee community for continually supporting and nominating us for opportunities! We’re eternally grateful — honored to be receiving your support!

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