Friday, May 01, 2009

New York Swag

Few things are as excruciating in life as getting up at 4:30am (after having gone to bed at 1:30am) to catch the 5:30am train to Nueva York.

I was in New York today to attend the New York Coffee Summit being held at the International Culinary Center and hosted by Edible Magazines. While I won't go into heavy detail about what we discussed today (I'll save that for another time), I will say that it was fun, informative and offered the perspective from the hardcore retail barista and roaster to the mass market segment that helped underscore the true challenge to those of us interested in pursuing coffee at the vanguard.

But enough of that talk. What you want to know about was the swag, and this summit was Swag-A-Licious:

- Brazil Serra Do Bone from the happily still operating Ecco Caffe
- Insulated press cup from Bodum
- Finca Mauritania from Counter Culture Coffee
- Aida's Grand Reserve El Salvador from Stumptown
- Colombia La Mirada from Stumptown
- Hair Bender Espresso from Stumptown
- Colombia Finca Piendamo from Stumptown
- Kurimi Ethiopia Yirgacheffe from Intelligentsia
- Rwanda Epiphanie from gimme! coffee
- Amedei Tuscany chocolate from Chuao
- Brieto peeling knife and Japanese oyster knife from Korin
- Drew Estate cigars from Bronwen Serna
- Yemen Mokha from Oren's Daily Roast
- Cafe Colombia from the Colombian Coffee Federation
- Illy ground espresso
- Edible Manhattan

The selection is pretty exciting and we had the chance to sample many of these coffees throughout the day. The Intelligentsia Yirgacheffe had a really nice light and fruity flavor while Stumptown's Finca Piendamo rocked it with notes of honey. Later, at the closing reception, USBC Champ Mike Phillips and WBC Champ Stephen Morrissey worked the Ecco Serra do Bone producing sweet macchiatos to lead us into the evening.

I should note that the knives from Korin came from a shopping trip with Bronwen after the summit, then a quick trip midtown to my favorite Ipanema Restaurant for vatapa before the train back to Baltimore.