It has been two years since the show was in Toronto, and although I didn’t have high expectations based on my last show, I couldn’t resist going. From a consumer angle, my complaints from last time was that there was little educational opportunities to learn about coffee and little willing expertise on discussing consumer machines. What has changed? Let me sum it up:
What was better?
- The BeanLink booth that was showcasing a variety of different roasters by sampling V60 brews of them. The best tasting cups of the show were from this booth, although I found the a tad underextracted. Although different roasters were sampled all day, I had the pleasure of trying a Honduran from Bows and Arrows and an Ethiopian from Transcend. Both these cups piqued my interest on these roasters.
- Willingness and interest of some dealers to showcase and discuss some home equipment. Particularly, I had some great conversations with Fred from Morala and Slawek from IDrinkCoffee.
What was lacking?
- Good tasting coffee and espresso. The specialty coffee that I tasted from local roasters Detour, Social, and Te Aro Roasted was disappointing. Pour over and Chemex cups that I had were under extracted tasting weak. Espresso shots were sometimes off, or sometimes the coffee was flat or dirty. Frankly, I was expecting coffee that would have been somewhat memorable.
- Educational courses around coffee. The national organizers should take inspiration from the Prairie Regionals and organize similar events.
- Other competitions. The Cuppers and Brewers Cup competitions we’re not present.
What was some of the news?
- Morala Trading is now representing Kees Van Der Westen in Eastern Canada. A Speedster at home is starting to look closer.
- IDrinkCoffee is now getting in on commercial machines by representing Synesso in Eastern Canada.
- Prairie Baristas topped the barista competition with the top two spots going to baristas from Phil and Sebastian from Calgary. A roaster whose coffees I am looking to enjoying more of.
- Three baristas from Eastern Canada made it to the barista finals. Randy from Bridgehead was third, Georgia was fourth, and Sameer from Fahrenheit placed fifth. Congrats to everyone.
- Detour will be switching from using a Diedrich roaster to a new Loring. They are very excited about their expected new results.
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