Every year, visits to Central America form a major part of my travel. In today’s specialty world, Central America’s coffees seem to be a staple in everyone’s line-up. Their ability to master processing and thus provide consistency year after year has created not only a dependency, but a general love for their coffee. Prior to leaving, I cupped samples furiously to help guide my itinerary. With many things already shifting with regards to supply, I knew it was more than likely that we would be starting a new relationship this year.
There is something instantly reassuring and comforting about entering the door at Hawk & Hunter. Is it the buzz of happy conversation or the Best Interior Design Award subtlety propped on the shelf — or is it the front of house team swiftly working the floor in snappy cargo aprons or the nod of the barista working over a custom eggshell blue 3 group Synesso Hydra? Actually, it’s probably all these things and more.
When you talk coffee, there’s not many other cities that spring to mind more strongly than Seattle. Even before birthing the first Starbucks store, Seattle had a vibrant coffee culture, nourished by a cool climate and perpetual drizzle of rain. Given this history, it was super exciting to see the premier global competition of the World Barista Championship join forces with the largest specialty coffee trade show, the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Expo, over this last weekend in the emerald city.