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September | October 2022

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"I BET YOU CAN'T TELL ME what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel.” This line from the movie “Good Will Hunting” is one of my all-time favorites. In a single line, it not only straight jabs the overly cocky main character, but it also completely brings the audience into the movie by reminding them that experiences count as knowledge as much or more than Mensa-level book smarts. Nobody can be a master coffee roaster by only reading a book about coffee roasting—it must be experienced.

This is why I am so happy about the return of in-person coffee events, and why we are incredibly excited to bring back our own Roast Summit as an in-person event at the Coffee Fest tradeshow in Seattle on Sept. 29. I must extend a big thank you to Coffee Fest, a long-time pillar of the industry, for partnering with Roast to make this a reality. And of course, a sincere thank you to our sponsors and speakers as this event would not happen if not for their support.

Building relationships, both with the presenters and fellow attendees, creates an experience that cannot be fully captured online. Question-and-answer sessions, pre- and post-lecture conversations, and being able to attach “a face to a name” for follow-up emails are powerful reinforcements to the quality of knowledge being shared.

Additionally, there is real power in gathering people for a common purpose. Just being able to look around a room and know you are part of a community, that there are others who are curious and passionate about the same things, is inspiring. The feeling of community and inspiration that people take back to their shops and roasteries can only be derived from personal experience.

Here’s a sneak peek at the session topics and speakers:

  • Yimara Martinez Agudelo | Post-Harvest Processing Program Manager, Coffee Quality Institute
    Session: Impacts of Drying Temperatures & Bean Moisture on Seed Quality & Shelf Life

  • Nicki Amouri | Roastmaster, Caffè Amouri
    Session: Exploring the Roasting Curve—Part 2

  • Rob Hoos | Author and Educator, Iteration.Coffee
    Session: Sample Roasting—A Philosophical & Pragmatic Approach

  • Stacey Lynden | Cupping Lab Manager, Swiss Water Decaf
    Session: Approaches to Roasting Decaf Coffee

  • Joey Stazzone | President, Cafe Kreyol
    Session: Post-Roast Resting Times and the Sensory Impact

If you are ever lucky enough to visit the Sistine Chapel, I’m sure it might seem like the entire world is stuffed into the space, but of course, only a small slice of humanity will ever come to know what it smells like. Books, movies and lectures are incredibly important to be able to describe the experience to a much larger audience. I continue to believe remote learning platforms that have been developed over the past couple of years are critical to the democratization of knowledge. We will also continue to offer the digital versions of Roast Summit that reach more than 2,500 people, but at the same time, I am really looking forward to seeing all of the smiling faces at numerous future coffee events.

Warmest Wishes,

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