Unfiltered: Brewing the Best at TEDCoffee 2014

ted-coffee-service-2014

Unfiltered – a monthly column by coffee expert Sam Mylrea of CoffeeKind.com on what’s brewing in that world.

If you’re up in Vancouver or Whistler for TED 2014, you’re going to be enjoying some extraordinary coffee along with the extraordinary ideas presented at the annual symposium of creative thought. This year, the coffee at TED will be provided by World Coffee Events, an arm of the SCAA and SCAE that presents world class coffee at events around the world. TEDCoffee will feature coffees sourced from some of the most highly rated coffee roasters across Canada brewed by world class baristas at 7 pop-up coffee bars created just for the conference.

Some years ago, the conference organizers recognized that extraordinary ideas are fueled by extraordinary coffee. To provide that, they turned to an organization of coffee professionals, Coffee Common, which brought together specialty coffee professionals to provide not only the best coffee, but also the best service at high-profile events like the TED conference. Coffee Common was short-lived, but wildly successful in promoting their goal of elevating coffee service and the discussion of coffee. When they disbanded in 2012, World Coffee Events, jointly sponsored by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe, was created to take over the reins and continue the mission started by Coffee Common.

Which is all a kind of long-winded way of saying that the coffee at this year’s TED conference will be spectacular. It can hardly be anything else, considering the what, where, why and who of TEDCoffee. This year’s featured coffee roasters include Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, Salt Spring Coffee, Coffee Supreme, TOMS Roasting Company, Swiss Water Process, Matchstick Coffee Roasters,  GaBee and Elysian Coffee. Tea from Harney & Sons, Tealet and The Tea Smith will also be served at the 7 pop-up bars — five in Vancouver and two in Whistler. The espresso machines for TEDCoffee is provided by La Marzocco, and Baratza is providing the grinders. In addition to espresso, TED attendees can enjoy hand-crafted coffees prepared in a Chemex or Hario V60, as well as in Aerobie and Bodum French presses. They’ll be served by a lineup of baristas that reads like a Who’s Who of the specialty coffee world, including 2012 Canadian Barista Champion Jeremy Ho and four-time Canadian Barista Champion Sammy Piccolo.

In addition to imbibing fine coffees, attendees will enjoy demonstrations of latte art, pourover technique and more. As at former TEDCoffee events, participants will have the opportunity to step behind the bar and learn some new tricks and techniques for brewing their own coffee masterpieces. Check out the full lineup of baristascoffees and partners at the official TEDCoffee 2014 blog, and follow the festivities live on Twitter with #TEDCoffee.