Join us at Turlington Plaza as we kick off the research symposium. Sweetwater Organic Coffee, Opus Coffee Roasters, and Relampago Coffee will all be on hand for coffee roasting demonstrations and free coffee tastings. There will also be a band and other exciting events to start the symposium.
Registered participants will gather at Opus Coffee Innovation Square (800 SW 2nd Ave) for some light refreshments and an opening night talk with featured speaker Dr. Wendy Pojmann. She is Professor of History at Siena College in Albany, New York where she is also Director of the Standish Honors Program. Her most recent book Espresso: The Art & Soul of Italy is being represented by the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in California. She is the author of two monographs, Immigrant Women and Feminism in Italy (Ashgate 2005) and Italian Women and International Cold War Politics, 1944-1968 (Fordham University Press 2013), lead author of the textbook Doing History: An Introduction to the Historian’s Craft (Oxford University Press 2016) and editor of a collection of essays titled Migration and Activism in Europe since 1945 (Palgrave Macmillan 2008). Pojmann has published articles in leading scholarly journals and has contributed chapters to several edited volumes as well as delivered presentations at numerous regional, national and international conferences. Her teaching includes courses in world, European, and women’s and gender history. Pojmann holds a Ph.D. in modern European history from Boston College. She drinks an average of five espressos per day and enjoys riding motorcycles to coffee shops whenever possible!
Coffee Talks & Tastings Friday, October 18:
Aloft Hotel 3743 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32607
10:00am - Dr. Peter Roberts - Professor of Organization and Management at Emory University's Goizueta Business School and founder of Transparent Trade Coffee.
Confronting the Specialty Coffee Price Crisis: A Global Market Intervention
A global coffee market that supports individuals and organizations purchasing coffees as commodities, and then selling them as differentiated high valued-added products does not ensure adequate compensation for coffee farmers, families and communities. As such, we are cultivating a systemic intervention that will change the structure and orientation of global specialty coffee markets. This intervention will steadily free specialty coffee markets from their current dependence on commodity price references, and their corresponding commodity orientation, by creating and supporting an alternate price discovery tool. Our multi-year initiative focuses on correcting a failing market structure by simultaneously:
1. Working on the information environment. The Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide helps move sellers and buyers from commodity-based pricing toward pricing based on quality, lot size and farm identity.
2. Developing business capacity. Grounds for Empowerment Business Tools Workshops work with women specialty coffee farmers in origin-based programs that focus on business tools and practices and on developing social capital.
11:00am - Dr. Cheryl Rock - Assistant Professor of Food Science, Faculty in Residence (Health & Wellness Living and Learning Community) Dept. Family and Consumer Sciences, California State University -Long Beach
From Concept to Commercialization: Behind the Scenes of Product Development and Ingredient Innovation
Developing a new product using Coffee? Are you aware of the stages of product development and the types of new products and their positioning in the market? Do you have questions regarding regulatory status of a product as it relates to nutritional claims and labeling? According to literature (Food Technology 2016), consumer trends have shifted to the focus of products being developed with cleaner ingredients relative to transparency in food labels. The natural and clean label trend has had an influence on ingredient use in the industry, with efforts directed towards clean labeling and the use of all-natural or predominantly natural formulations wherever possible, which have increased the legislation in how products are labeled and produced. Therefore, the development of food products with cleaner labels will be significant as it is anticipated that consumers may begin to choose foods made with natural ingredients in order to shift to a more general health and well being positioning in some markets. Coffee (coffea) is one of the most popular beverages consumed around the world with increasing consumption of Gourmet Coffee Beverages (GCB). Its consumption has been associated with the possibility of reducing the risks for diseases, due to certain dietary antioxidants present (Andersen, Jacobs, Carlsen, Blomhoff, 2006). Epidemiological studies suggest that coffee consumption is associated with the prevention or delay of degenerative diseases, which include diabetes, CVD and cancer (Zhang, Lopez-Garcia, Li, Hu, Dam, 2009). Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) protective properties of coffee reduce free radical and ROS cellular damage, which may be implicated in cancer development (Bakuradze et al., 2011). Consequently, it has been reported that more than half of the American adult population consumed this beverage daily (National Coffee Association [NCA], 2010). In this panel discussion, the following will be discussed: (1) coffee product trends (2) basics of coffee product development, and (3) legal/regulatory considerations for the marketing and development of coffee products.
11:00am - Brio Cold Brew (Gainesville, Florida)
Join Gainesville based Brio Cold Brew for a talk and tasting about their unique way of making cold brew coffee. Selecting beans from Colombia, they use a unique processing and roasting method that creates a brighter flavor. Brio is one of the faster growing coffee companies in Florida and have already moved into 60 stores throughout the state of Florida.
12:00pm - Kasey Colligan Trainer / Barista 3fE Coffee (Dublin, Ireland)
Inclusive Barista Training
An experienced Barista Trainer discusses teaching a course geared specifically towards young adults with learning disabilities. How can we make our training more inclusive to welcome more people into the industry? What specific modifications can we make to accommodate different learning styles for our training programs? We'll discuss the strategies that worked (and some that didn't) and leave time for questions and an open discussion.
12:00pm - Herbert Peñaloza Correa - 575 Cafe (Tolima, Colombia)
Beyond FOB: the real indicators of sustainability
The recent trend in the industry has shifted from 'Direct Trade' and Fair Price towards 'Cost of Production', where apparently coffee producers around the world are being asked to crunch and share numbers - generally be accountable for their business - while the other participants of the industry are far from that. Why are we not talking about cost of roasting? Or cost of exporting, importing, warehousing and selling? Is the industry afraid of losing credibility with the final consumer if the profits are shown to be producer-hazarding instead of producer-centric? During the course of this lecture, my main goal is to show how transparency indicators, as well-intended attempts to 'even the field', often don't go further than marketing ploys to charge more to final consumers. This happens while many roasters cannot seem to find ways to compete with first- and second-wave offerings, from their own cost of value-added transformation and distribution, whose specifics they're never accountable of when talking to the final consumer or others in the specialty coffee industry. Furthermore, I also intend to explore FOB pricing as a facile indicator for transparency, with pretty null relevance towards the larger discussion, as the rest of the chain is still not considered within the same analysis - specifically, the costs of the 'origin supply chain' and how the significance of Farm Gate Price varies depending on the location of the farm. Based on this analysis, our goal is to propose and discuss diverse ways to measure sustainability from new value-focused indicators at Farm and Roastery levels.
1:00pm - Emily Pappo - Ph.D. Student University of Florida Interdisciplinary Ecology
Evaluating water stress tolerance of Arabica coffee cultivars
Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) production is highly sensitive to changes in the quantity and timing of precipitation. Shifts in precipitation patterns that are predicted under future climate change may become a major challenge for coffee production. To better understand the potential of cultivar selection as a climate change mitigation tool, our experiment evaluated water stress responses among cultivars (Milenio [H10], Centroamericano [H1], Catuai 44, Catuai, and Villa Sarchi) by experimentally reducing precipitation using rainout shelters, which resulted in 11% less soil moisture than control plots, on average, over 18 months. Potential shelter effects were accounted for by constructing control structures over paired plots (8 replicates). Eighteen months after planting, we measured coffee fruit production and above ground biomass as indicators of plant performance. On average across all cultivars, seedlings under the rainout treatment exhibited significantly greater fruit production (211% greater total fruit weight; 225% greater number of individual fruits) and biomass production (51% greater) than those in the control plots, potentially due to protection from the unusually high rainfall during the duration of our experiment. However, the magnitude of the responses varied by cultivar where the F1 hybrids H10 and H1 had high fruit production and biomass under both treatment and control conditions. Our results suggest that H10 and H1 are relatively more resilient when exposed to the stress of high soil moisture. More generally, despite the relatively high cost of hybrid seedlings, the tolerance of hybrids to variable environmental conditions may make these cultivars worth the investment to help mitigate negative effects of future climate conditions.
2:00pm Dr. Wendy Pojmann - Professor of History at Siena College in Albany, New York
Espresso: The Art & Soul of Italy
There has always been a fascination in America with Italian food, fashion, and design. In this talk Dr. Pojmann traces how the Italians turned coffee into espresso at the same time they were building a new, modern state. She explains what made espresso Italy’s favorite beverage and describes the lively espresso bar culture that has been a key feature of Italian life in cities such as Rome, Naples, and Turin for more than a century.
2:00pm Tripp Pomeroy - CEO Sweetwater Organic Coffee (Gainesville, Florida)
The Cooperative: An Alternative Approach to Trading Coffee and Impacting the Lives of Coffee Farmers
The CEO of Sweetwater Organic Coffee will share the company's experience as a member of Cooperative Coffees, a green coffee importing cooperative committed to supporting and partnering with small-scale coffee farmers and their exporting cooperatives. By importing directly from its partner-farmers, Cooperative Coffees does business in a way that creates a fairer, more transparent and sustainable system of coffee trade that directly benefits farmers, and their families and communities. He will also connect the work of Cooperative Coffees and its members to the critical role that their partner-farmer exporting cooperatives play as engines of development in their members' communities.
3:00pm Dan Bailey - Co-Founder Amavida Coffee Roasters
Carbon Neutrality in the Coffee Industry
Amavida Coffee Roasters has spent the last few years seeking to achieve carbon neutrality in with our supply chain. If you have some space to fill at the convention, it would be a pleasure to share the experiences with other coffee professionals in hope of improving our impacts on the environment.
This year, we concluded our carbon impact study from all aspects of our supply chain: from grower to consumer from our import and roasting operations and the operations from our 4 cafes. We have discovered that there is no perfect system but there are avenues to reach carbon neutrality. We have also found ways to offset these through energy credits with Arcadia Power and Takingroot.org.
3:00pm Concord Coffee (Lakeland, Fl.)
Gainesville’s newest specialty coffee shop may seem new to the University of Florida community, but they have actually been serving specialty roasted beans in Lakeland since 2005. Don’t miss this chance to sample some of their coffee and learn more about their business philosophy.
4:00pm Anthony Rue - Volta Coffee
Scaling Coffee Quality Expectations
Like most agricultural farms, Coffee plantations are farm from uniform. Some are small family owned plots located in high elevations and hard to reach places. Others are in flat, clear-cut fields owned by transnational corporations. How do coffee professionals account for these wide variants in difference and does that play a role in a coffee’s “quality score”? Anthony Rue, owner of Volta Coffee, Tea, & Chocolate and a Q grader will discuss how coffee professionals account for these differences.
4:00pm Jimmy Sherfey - Abeja Coffee
Strategies for Coffee Marketing through a Shared Value Chain
Jimmy Sherfey is a freelance journalist focused on specialty coffee, global food systems and the triple bottom line of sustainability. He has written coffee essays for publications such as Roast Magazine, Eater, Fresh Cup and Civil Eats. In this talk, we’ll quickly walk through the evolution of specialty coffee marketing from the advent of fair trade to a decade of “direct trade” to our current situation wherein quality coffee businesses must ask themselves whether they are including producer partners or exploiting them in the name of origin-conscientious marketing. The need for chain wide reconciliation comes at a time when the future of smallholder farmers worldwide - and the quality coffee they are being asked to produce - face increasing risks due to commodity market speculation, labor shortages, plant disease and climate change. Looking at living examples and a few working theories, we’ll discuss the ways in which small businesses across the supply chain can collaborate to share both risk and value while building resilience in the age of razor thin profit margins. Furthermore, we’ll look at the ways in which said value chains can leverage traceability and information sharing so that small businesses on the green and roasted side can benefit equally from actionable data while working towards a better future for quality coffee.
5:00pm Dr. Sean Niemi - Lecturer, University of Florida Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
How is an Espresso Maker Like a Fighter Jet?
What does our love for coffee have in common with fighter jets and diesel engines? The same fundamental principles that apply to an espresso machine – heat transfer, flow control, pressure, and electronics – are ubiquitous in Mechanical Engineering. In 2017, to show just how much overlap there was between a favorite appliance for engineers and the work they do, a cohort of graduating seniors was tasked with designing and building a custom espresso machine. The course, sponsored by Northrop Grumman and Cummins, showed students the difference between injecting fuel into an engine and making “jet fuel” for their brains, isn’t as far apart as they thought.
5:00pm Local Coffee Owner’s Round Table
This is your opportunity to get to know the faces behind your favorite coffee shops. Join University of Florida’s resident coffeehouse anthropologist as he hosts a round table with Concord Coffee, Tripp Pomeroy, CEO of Sweetwater Organic Coffee Company'; Bret Larson co-owner of Opus Coffee Roasters, and Anthony Rue, owner of Volta Coffee, Tea, & Chocolate as they talk about what got them into the business, their experiences starting coffee shops, and where they see the future of the industry.
The Coop Coffees keynote dinner will be held at the Florida Museum of Natural History. This fully catered meal and cash bar will serve as the highlight for the conference. Join academics and industry professionals for a joint keynote delivered by Ed Canty of Coop Coffees and Bill Harris of Cafe Campesino.
Coffee Talks & Tastings Saturday, October 19:
Aloft Hotel 3743 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32607
10:00am Dr. Catherine M. Tucker - Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies, University of Florida
Coffee’s Wicked Problems and Hints of Hope: Volatile Markets, Climate Change, and Migration
Coffee is among the world’s most valuable agricultural commodities, yet many of the world’s 25 million coffee growers live on the edge of poverty and face diverse challenges, including climate change, volatile markets, coffee pests and diseases, and uncertainties linked to regional political insecurities and globalization. These stressors coincide to pose “wicked problems” for farming households and undermine efforts to foster sustainable and secure livelihoods. In Central America, these problems have been exacerbated by economic strife, political crises, and structural violence that have compelled a number of coffee farmers to migrate across national boundaries. At the same time, smallholder producers who endure are seeking new techniques, certifications (Fair Trade, organic, Rainforest Alliance, and others), and specialty coffee markets in hopes of overcoming ongoing difficulties. Focusing on western Honduras, this study examines farmers’ efforts to confront ongoing challenges with particular attention to certifications and alternatives to conventional agriculture. It considers varying outcomes across individuals and members of coffee cooperatives, and explores which approaches may offer the greatest promise for improved livelihood security.
11:00am Dr. Peter Roberts - Professor of Organization and Management at Emory University's Goizueta Business School and founder of Transparent Trade Coffee.
(with Semee Yoon and Ozgecan Kocak)
Programmatic Experience and the Returns to Quality in Cup of Excellence Auctions
Anyone who follows the specialty coffee market knows that we are in the midst of a genuine coffee price crisis. While the problem is longstanding and the issues are vexing, those seeking more appropriate compensation for specialty coffee growers, and those concerned about the future supply of specialty coffee, are suggesting that price conversations and negotiations must be based on something other than current commodity prices. However, this aspiration is often met with skepticism. To inspire confidence in our collective ability to create a more appropriate foundation for specialty coffee pricing, we look to the Cup of Excellence (COE). The linked COE competitions and auctions are designed to support the specialty coffee sector by ensuring that coffees are evaluated and sold in a fair and transparent manner. In this project, we use data from COE competitions and auctions in ten countries over 15 years to examine and discuss the social structural moderators of the links between quality scores (i.e., expert valuations) and competition ranks and winning auction bids (i.e., prices). Specifically, we focus on the historical participation of individuals and organizations as judges and buyers. Our analyses show how social structures that are not explicitly designed (and remain largely invisible) impact outcomes in an otherwise transparent and formal market setting.
12:00pm Ben Hoyer - founder of Downtown Credo and Keith Whittingham, Ph.D. at Rollins College
The Value of Smallholder Coffee Farms
Seventy percent of coffee in Chiapas is grown by smallholder producers who by virtue of living on the land they cultivate do well to act as good stewards and hold the line against the ever present threat of deforestation. Too often, coffee in the area is sold at unsustainable prices in the commodity market, below the cost of production, and traveling through a series of opportunistic middlemen en route to exporters of massive scale. By providing viable market access to a cooperative that represents smallholder farmers - and not large estates where exploitative and unfair labor conditions often go unchecked - Credo participates in a sustainable, traceable supply chain. Hoyer, along with Rollins professor Keith Whittingham, Ph.D., will present on why relationships like these - which may also be classified as direct trade - have never been more important. Whittingham is founder of Artifx Cafe, an Orlando area coffee company, dedicated to creating “Real income for small farmers and real impact for their communities.” Artifx Cafe is working with Toks and Downtown Credo to bring Café Tacaná to the US market. At a tumultuous time, when the lack of financial sustainability has smallholder farmers and farm laborers of mesoamerica resorting to black market activity or abandoning the coffeelands altogether in an effort to migrate to the United States, communities like that of Café Tacaná find resilience in strong, consistent supply chains. Perhaps more importantly, these communities receive support on best agricultural practices from sustainable development stalwarts Rainforest Alliance and Heifer International, while maintaining biodiverse ecosystems that become more precious to our planet each season. Hoyer believes Credo customers find impact, meaning and community on a global scale each time they purchase coffee grown in this invaluable biological corridor of southern Mexico. What’s more exciting? They are the first customers in the U.S. to taste this iteration of Café Tacaná.
12:00pm Hannah Mercer - Authorized Specialty Coffee Association Trainer / Coffee Education Coordinator Sweetwater Organic Coffee
What is the Specialty Coffee Association and Why Are Their Standards Important?
While coffee has a rich history in our world and a vast amount of information available, standards for this complex industry are often vague and difficult to interpret. Asking 15 coffee professionals for the “right” way to produce a pour-over can result in 15 different answers. With the creation of the Coffee Skills Program, the Specialty Coffee Association has set out to create a curriculum to cover knowledge that should be held by individuals in different focuses across our industry. As an Authorized SCA Trainer and member of the Creator Group for the SCA’s Barista Skills program, Hannah will discuss how she uses these standards to bring understanding of coffee’s path to learners from a variety of backgrounds, why these standards are important to the coffee community, and how they improve the path of coffee from crop to cup - even if it doesn’t provide all the answers.
1:00pm Anna Patterson - Head Barista, Root & Branch Coffee (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
Exploring Belfast's Coffee Boom
Specialty coffee has only been in Belfast for less than 10 years and it is already the fastest growing food market in the country. With more than one shop opening per month in the small town Anna Patterson will discuss both the recent trend toward specialty coffee and how her shop, Root & Branch, is changing the game in recyclable packaging.
2:00pm Tammy King - Founder, The Caffeinated Cat (Jacksonville, Florida)
Coffee And: Looking at how different businesses use coffeehouses to market their product.
For more than 15 years Tammy King has run Mayport Cats, one of the most successful Trap Neuter and Release programs in North Florida. This year she decided to open a coffeehouse where people can come and sip coffee while petting the many adoptable cats. In this question and answer, she will discuss how she got started in opening a coffee shop and some of the lessons she learned the hard way.
3:00pm Jason Card - Journeyman Coffee (Tallahassee, Florida)
Coffee Tasting and Experience
Expert Barista Jason Card will guide you on a brew bar experience explaining the differences in types of coffee and how the beans and brewing method matter.
3:00pm Abbas Furniturewalla - Coffee Sheikh
New Coffee Home Delivery Models
Abbas Furniturewalla is a PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University who also runs Coffee Sheikh. Coffee Sheikh is a new Eastern fusion coffee brand, aiming to introduce cultural elements from all over the globe to the United States coffee scene. Coffee Sheikh will talk about 1) Coffee culture in Eastern parts of society 2) Eastern origins of coffee and 3) How coffee can be used to empower minorities in the United States 4) How coffee can spread awareness on global issues such as the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.