By KIM STAALMAN
On a foggy Saturday morning, over a hundred coffee professionals gathered at Kraftwerk in Zurich to pull a 9-to-5 on their collective day off. This cool co-working place by the river Sihl is filled with sea containers transformed into offices also includes a great coffee bar. On the 27th of January, they were the proud host to the first Swiss SCA Education day.
This initiative by the volunteers behind the Swiss SCA chapter, led by National Coordinator Philipp Henauer, proved very popular. It wasn’t surprising when looking at the lineup of speakers. The day’s program was diverse in topics and showcased both Switzerland’s own coffee talent and a few guest speakers from Germany.
The day was kicked off with an introduction by Henauer, a well-loved personality in the industry and known for his passion for the sharing of knowledge. It made sense that an initiative led by him would generate so much traction.
The first speaker was Dani Hofstetter from the Hemro Group with a presentation about the importance of cleaning one’s grinder. Immediately after we rolled into a talk by Pascal Herzog from Volcafe Select who delved into the topic of coffee aging, from the inevitability of green coffee degradation to barrel-aging.
After lunch, the talks were kicked off by Mateusz Petlinski, the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for SCA Germany, who also works at Rösterei Vier. His presentation addressed the way we taste and describe the flavor of coffee. In the following talk, Alec Pfühl spoke about roasting in all its facets. Following this, we had the opportunity to listen to Andre Eiermann, who discussed the way he prepared for the 2017 World Barista Championship. The final talk was held by Sander Reuderink from Trabocca, who addressed the coffee situation in Ethiopia.
The final leg of the Education day stood in the light of the latest developments and news relating to championships and more general SCA news. Nina Rimpl, a Swiss coffee professional and well-known world stage sensory judge, spoke about the upcoming national championships and the need for volunteers. Chahan Yeretzian, in his role as part of the SCA Board of Directors, gave the latest updates on board decisions.
Kathrin Hauser, Education Coordinator of Germany was one of the attendees. After asking what she thought of this event she answered with the following: “It was a great event! Fantastic Conditions: in the heart of Zurich, interested coffee people, totally different speakers with very interesting topics, good coffee and free of charge. For some topics it’s hard to find information in literature or internet, and rarely in this quality. The other benefit is personal, because I met a lot of people here. For me it is totally recommendable.”
It was a long day of informative talks and many moments of socializing. It wasn’t the first time I had the luck to be in the midst of this friendly, active, and welcoming group of coffee heroes, and I hope it won’t be the last. The enthusiasm of these Swiss coffee heroes is frankly infectious and their passion for sharing knowledge with the community seems unrivaled. I look forward to seeing how this National Chapter will continue its activities and how its members continue to shine!