Coffee Fest Anaheim In Perspective

Andrew, Kat & Mike of Specialty Green Coffee Importers, Vournas Coffee Trading at the Anaheim Coffee Fest

Last week’s Anaheim Coffee Fest featured over 200 vendors, and was well attended by scores of passionate coffee lovers, industry professionals, and small and medium size roasters from Southern California, the Central Valley and beyond. The Vournas Coffee Trading Team was there in force, braving the congested freeways for the opportunity to connect with roasters and friends. To our excitement there were even a few of our East Coast roasters who made the cross-country trek for the 3-day event… impressive!

We were amazed to see so many new roasters representing So-Cal and the Los Angeles area. We witnessed the continuing trend of the wildly popular cold brew beverage phenomenon, as evidenced by the success of the first ever America’s Best Cold Brew competition. There was incredible fanfare for all the competitions, latte art, espresso and cold brew, and while we were not directly involved, we salute the competitors and winners alike. Keep up the good work!

In terms of green, most of the roasters we spoke with (both attendees and exhibitors) have begun turning their focus towards natural processed coffees, micro-lots and the ethical sourcing of coffees. Roasters frequently asked about sustainability issues with regard to sourcing, versus organics and fair-trade, in a distinct contrast to years past. Specifically, there is a growing demand for natural processed and honey processed coffees from Central America; a trend which will no doubt prove to be challenging for mill operators, who generally speaking are not setup for this.

On top of it all, everyone is, of course, continually searching for great stories on farmers and origins, which is why we’ve made this a central theme of our new website and product pages, where users can click through our A-Z offerings, sort by region and check out all the details on our offerings.

On Saturday we were honored to be joined by Honduran coffee grower, Cristian Rodriguez and his wife Anna who produce our exclusive, Café Tío Juan single estate coffee. Having one of our growers behind the booth was a real treat, both for us and the Rodriguez’s, who were thrilled to be with us, marketing their coffee in the states. We also spoke with several growers in attendance, particularly from Ethiopia, who were showcasing their farms and looking to establish import/export relationships. While we’re used to seeing this at the SCAA, this is yet another sign of the show’s growth!

Overall, it was a great conference and we had a blast. It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it to meet up with our roasters and make acquaintances with new ones. On a final note, there were more green coffee importing exhibitors than we’ve ever seen. While some might see this as a negative, we welcome the competition; it helps make our industry more dynamic and provides an opportunity for specialty coffee lovers to pay closer attention to what we’re doing and what makes Vournas Coffee Trading unique!

Yours in coffee,

Andrew Vournas