The full schedule for the inaugural event is yet to be announced, but perhaps because it is the first of its kind in its region, its key sessions will address three basic questions: where are we now; where can we go; and how do we get there? The conversations sparked by such questions promise to be fruitful ones in a part of the world where an evolving coffee culture is regularly refining and redefining its position, with some of the industry’s more influential minds settled there.
Meetings of the minds like SCAA’s Symposium and Re:co are also critical to helping coffee professionals understand how they fit into the larger world of coffee. On his blog jimseven, Square Mile Coffee CEO James Hoffman, who is helping organize Re:co, calls such forums an antidote to some of the loneliness of being an isolated business owner in a large industry. While there is passion running through each individual, collaboration is invaluable to personal growth and purpose, he suggests. The symposiums and events like Roasters Guild retreats and various barista championships provide opportunities not only to understand one’s position but to innovate within the group; in many ways, they’re what pushes the industry forward.
—Regan Crisp is Fresh Cup’s associate editor.