As The Chaff Settles: TEDCoffee Recap

Credit: Marla Aufmuth
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42 volunteer baristas, 5 WCE staffers. Mission #TEDCoffee: complete…for 2014 at least! It has been almost a week since our team of baristas rounded out a wonderfully eventful 5 days of coffee & tea service at TED2014 in Vancouver and at TEDActive in Whistler. Our team, with the help of 26 incredible partners, and the guidance and wisdom of the BGA, smoothly and professionally operated 7 full service bars and 11 self-serve stations in two cities. We had the pleasure of utilizing 5 different brewing methods while serving coffees that highlighted local roasters from Canada, as well as coffee that was shipped across oceans from New Zealand and Taiwan. On top of that, we helped facilitate the debut of TOM’s new roasting venture. All the while bringing together a community of coffee professionals from across North America to work side-by-side towards a common goal. Not too shabby!

Matthew Williams of WCE remarked, “The success of coffee service at TED was the result of an extraordinary group of baristas. They were adept at handling the unique challenges of operating a temporary bar in a busy venue. They made awesome tasting coffee and they engaged with TEDsters in a way that everyone should be proud of. Hats off to a great team!”

Our dedicated group of volunteers really pulled through, working passionately to spread the word (and taste) of specialty coffee to the eclectic group of literati roaming the Vancouver Convention Center and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. This made for a very unique experience as Jonathan Paul Doerr of Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa pointed out.

“You are at this incredible event working with the best of your peers in the industry, serving amazing coffees and having an amazing time; but yes, that was a Nobel Prize winner you just served a soy cappuccino. And yes, your heart stopped while you were pouring it. Coffee at TED2014 is the most fun and enjoyable coffee experience I’ve been a part of. A constant flow of energy pulses through the space you are in. It is infectious. There is, however, a heaviness in some of the topics that are being discussed. You are a buffer though, and you stand in the decided safety between the trenches. The openness and free flow of ideas can only take place when there is a gap between things. At TED we facilitate that gap, but also provide the joy and intensity that permeates the conference.”

We are extremely excited to announce that WCE will be managing #TEDCoffee again next year, so please check back for updates on TED2015 and TEDActive. And check out some choice pics at our Photo Shelter Gallery!

WCE would like to send out a humongous “Thank You!” again to everyone who helped make #TEDCoffee 2014 so great!

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