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So last week, Roast Master Adam (best title ever) and I met up in Chicago for a trade show called Coffeefest. Two years ago, Coffeefest was one of the first things we did that kicked off this coffee journey for us. At that time it was Gabe and I that attended. We had learned a ton and I was excited to go back for round 2!


  • Learned from Dr. Joseph John from Josuma Coffee about the differences between real italian espresso vs what people are typically served via an espresso machine. Dr. Joseph is an incredibly smart man (I’m not even kidding, he has a doctorate in nuclear physics) that has a clear passion for coffee. Anyway, good class and I even got to try some of his incredible espresso later on in the day.

  • espresso

  • Got sciency with roasting consultant Rob Hoos while he talked about things like the maillard reaction and its impact on coffee. [I was glad Adam was there for this class because, having never roasted coffee myself, most of it was over my head, but Adam knew what was going on.] We also went ahead and ordered Rob’s book yesterday called Modulating the Flavor Profile of Coffee.

  • #novoroaster demo #coffeefest

    A photo posted by Mission Arabica (@mission_arabica) on

  • Met with a bunch of packaging manufacturers because (and I am SUPER excited about this), we will be updating our packaging probably in the next month or two, so stay tuned!

  • Talked with coffee roasting equipment manufacturers (we have pretty much outgrown our current roaster and we need to get a bigger one!)

  • Learned about the key factors to consider when making a coffee blend from the guys over at Royal Coffee New York. Also met up with them later and sampled some of their incredible coffee.

  • rcny

  • We consumed copious amounts of beef at Fogo De Chao.

  • I was privy to seeing more waxed handlebar mustaches in one room than I have ever seen before.

Lowlights (umm… yeah)

adam at coffeefest

  • Adam wore flip flops on day 1 and regretted it after about 27 minutes because (and as his fitness app confirmed) he walked a record high number of steps that day.

  • I drank way too many frappe samples

  • Not transferring to the Red line train on the first day to get to the conference location on Navy Pier (also contributing to what I am affectionately referring to as: the flip flop fiasco of 2015 (or FFF 2k15)

  • The FFF 2k15 resulting in Adam purchasing a pair of socks to wear with his sandals.

  • Outcome

    All in all, despite Adam’s footwear faux pas, Coffeefest was a great success. We have determined what new roaster we are going to go with. [side note: if you like our coffee now, this new roaster will allow us to control our roasts better than we ever have before. In other words, our coffee is going to be getting even more incredible than it already is!]

    We also have determined the route we are going to go with packaging and labeling to really have a top notch look to go with our top notch coffee.

    Combine that with the good networking and overall nice time seeing Adam and his wife, it was a good time indeed!

    Speaking of good times, if you have not tried our Ethiopian coffee yet you should really check it out because to me it it a great complement to the good times of the upcoming summer season. The coffee itself is light and has a unique floral taste with a sweet finish that won’t weigh you down, but will be a great refreshing boost to all the activities of your summer day. So if you are looking for something refreshingly different. Check out the Ethiopian and let me know how you like it!