Global Coffee Expo Recap

It’s the biggest event in coffee, sponsored by the biggest names in coffee, held in what is probably America’s most coffee-obsessed city. It’s every coffee nerd’s dream, and seven of our team from Thanksgiving Coffee Company had the opportunity to attend this year. The Global Coffee Expo is a three day event with all the players in the coffee industry, put on by the Specialty Coffee Association. Roasting, importing, producing, farming, equipment, ideas, publications – there is so much to see and do at this convention.

Specialty Coffee Association

Above: The SCA logo on cupping mugs at the Global Coffee Expo

Stepping into the launch party on night one was an experience all in itself. At the Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle, thousands of coffee professionals from all over the world flooded the floors. There was a virtual reality farm tour, a video from the board of the SCA, cold brew samples from Starbucks, a latte art throwdown, and networking with some of the most prominent people in coffee. It was overwhelming and spectacular — and a great way to kick off an exciting weekend.

Paramount Theatre in Seattle

Above: The Paramount Theatre in downtown Seattle hosts the SCA Global Coffee Expo launch party

The Specialty Coffee Association turns 35 this year. The years that have gone by have changed the association in many ways, but it remains at its core, a place for people to come together and fight for the greater good of everyone involved in the coffee industry. Thanksgiving Coffee’s Co-Founder and CEO Paul Katzeff was part of the team that founded the SCAA back in 1982, and has been an integral part of the association (and its president twice) through the decades.

Paul Katzeff at the Global Coffee Expo

Above: Paul Katzeff at the Global Coffee Expo launch party

The weekend was of course a whirlwind, full of lectures, meetings, walking the Expo floor, and naturally, lots of coffee breaks! We tasted coffee from Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nicaragua, India, and many more origins. We met old friends and new, listened to lectures from coffee professionals, and visited our Fairtrade certification.

We were also able to take a peek into the newest publications that have featured Thanksgiving Coffee recently: Fresh Cup Magazine’s article on coffee bag packaging, and Stir Magazine’s feature on our Congo Coffee, benefiting the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

One of the main highlights of these conventions is the opportunity to meet with our producers – the human beings behind the coffee farms. Throughout the year, we speak with these folks over email and telephone, but at rare moments like these, we’re able to spend time with them face to face. We get to catch up on life and family and learn how their farms and co-ops are doing. We got some fun shots with a few of our friends:

Congo Coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee

Above: the SOPACDI co-op team from the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Thanksgiving Coffee team from Fort Bragg, California

Sara Corrales and Joan Katzeff

Above: Sara Corrales of the Los Pinos Farm in Nicaragua, and Joan Katzeff, co-founder of Thanksgiving Coffee

Jacob and Lucas at the Global Coffee Expo

Above: Jacob Long, Roastmaster and Director of Coffee at Thanksgiving Coffee, and Lucas Silvestre of the Guayab Co-op in Guatemala

Fatima, Joan, Nicholas

Above: Fatima Ismael of SOPPEXCCA in Nicaragua, Joan Katzeff of Thanksgiving Coffee and Nicholas Hoskyns of Etico in Nicaragua


We here at Thanksgiving Coffee want to give a HUGE thank you to the volunteer team that worked so hard at the Global Coffee Expo. Conventions like these simply cannot happen without the help of volunteers, and we are all indebted to you!

Take a peek below at some of the fun we had while in Seattle at the Specialty Coffee Association convention. After the Roasters Guild mixers, morning presentations, photo booth fun, and walking tens of thousands of steps across the show floor, we are going to need the rest of the week to rest and catch up.

The Thanksgiving Coffee team at Global Coffee Expo, with Nicholas of Nicaragua, and Isak of Rwanda

Joshua Long, Jacob Long, Paul Katzeff, Joan Katzeff and Jen Lewis outside the Washington State Convention Center

The Seattle skyline from our Airbnb in Queen Anne

Marchelo Bresciani at the Fairtrade America booth

Jacob, Josh and Nathan inspecting new roasting equipment

Joan and Paul Katzeff, co-founders of Thanksgiving Coffee Company

Jen Lewis with Jennifer Pawlik of Amavida Coffee Roasters, a fellow B Corporation

At the International Women in Coffee Association (IWCA) breakfast 

Thank you, volunteers

Jacob Long and Joshua Long with Kenyan dancers at the Global Coffee Expo launch party

Attending the Fairtrade America cupping 


We’ll see you in 2018, Seattle!

Stay tuned for some individual posts from our team that attended the show!

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