Journey to TEDcoffee2014: Where we came from and where we are going

Credit: Brian W. Jones
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Photo Credit: Brian W. Jones

Peter Giuliano, Director of Symposium for SCAA:

The TED conference has been one of the most captivating phenomena of the past quarter century: allowing amazing people to give voice to new ideas. And, since the beginning, TED has understood the connection between great ideas and great coffee. Companies like Thanksgiving coffee and Intelligentsia coffee helped create delicious coffee services at TED conferences in Monterey and Long Beach. A few years ago, however, a new approach emerged: a collaboration of extraordinary coffee professionals gathered together expressly for the purpose of creating a unique coffee service for TED. It was designed to be an expression of the best that coffee could offer, an extension of the TED philosophy of “ideas worth sharing”. The project came to be called Coffee Common, and was an expression of the coffee community- dedicated to celebrating excellence and goodness in coffee. Talented volunteer baristas, in collaboration with roasting and equipment companies, created a unique coffee service, focusing on delivering transcendent coffee experiences in the coffee setting. Perfectly prepared coffee, presented by engaging professionals. The idea became to deliver a tiny, 45 second equivalent of a TED talk in coffee form. For two years, Coffee Common curated the coffee service, and in 2013 the torch was passed to the SCAA’s Barista Guild and Roasters Guild. Once again, the bar was raised- introducing a new approach to coffee sourcing and including a message about the importance of culinary professionalism and collaboration in coffee.

This year, with TED’s relocation to Vancouver, we are once again planning a paradigm-busting coffee service for the conference. Extraordinary representatives of the Barista Guild will craft coffees at a network of coffee bars, featuring special coffees from Canada and other exciting coffees from around the world. We continue to be committed to collaboration, exploration, and excellence, and to spreading the word of specialty coffee among the unique TED audience.