Last year, in May (yes, MAY!) I drove through a snow storm to get to CoffeeCON 2013 in the suburbs of Chicago. It was an awesome event where I was able to meet four twitter friends in real life (IRL) and have some fabu coffee. I also took classes and learned a lot about coffee. And got sick. Really, really sick.
You see, with all that coffee there, I was like a kid in a candy store and I had ODd by around 11 a.m. I was hoping to go back this year and was absolutely thrilled to be invited as a media guest.
This year, I knew I would pace myself so I could fully enjoy the day and the coffee. And the visiting, of course. CoffeeCON 2014 was held at the Zhou B Arts Center in Chicago. It’s on the same street, a few blocks down, from the park formerly known as Comiskey.
It’s such a cool old building which I loved almost as much as the coffee. I have this fascination and love of doors and had to take a photo of one to complete my day.
This year, I was not too sick to try the Kopi Luwak coffee from Indonesia. If you aren’t familiar with that, in a nutshell, civets (a catlike animal) eat the coffee berries and they are processed after elimination. Sounds gross but the story behind why they originally did this is very interesting.
I found the coffee to have an interesting, sort of nutty taste. The little coffee cracker cookies they had at their table were delicious!
It was fun to go around and talk to the vendors and sample their coffee. I absolutely got goosebumps when I tasted Rustico from Counter Culture and I had to take that one home. Their website describes the coffee as having a kaleidoscope of flavors and it truly does.
I also got a Sowden Oskar pot which I haven’t tried yet but plan to this a.m. In the Sowden class, the man said it was simply the easiest way to make a good cup of coffee. I’m looking forward to that. The thing that struck me even more, though, and made me choose it over the Aeropress (which I’m sure I will get one of these days) is that it is like French press coffee, which I love, but the filter is so fine, less particulates are left in the coffee when it’s poured. I’m hoping this will help it to be coffee that David enjoys better, too.
The winner of the contest I held last week was Dwana, a long time twitter friend of mine. I was so happy I would get a chance to meet her. Our first reaction to each other, IRL, was “OMG you’re tall, too!”.
My only regret for the day was that we didn’t take a photo together but I did make my CoffeeCON movie staring Dwana and the Aeropress.
We were introduced to the iCup
machine by iCoffee.
I enjoyed the presentation we were given. The iCup will take a K-cup and turn it into a good tasting cup of coffee by steaming and aerating the grounds, extracting the Co2 before dispensing the coffee. It also plays a little Mozart!
Although I’m not a Keurig user, I’ve had coffee from one a couple of times and found it to be bitter. The coffee we tried from this machine was much tastier. A real improvement!
Of course I can’t forget about the fun coffee roasters outside. I know I talked about the heat gun lady and popcorn popper guy all year and they were there again.
The popcorn popper roaster had a new addition this year: a Weber grill. Ingenious!
One of the ladies outside gave me my own little packet of green coffee beans. I’ve decided that I will make Beauty Pageant Roast by using my blow dryer and curling iron.
Once again, I had a great time at CoffeeCON. Well, I actually had a better time than last year since I paced myself. Thank you, again, to Kevin Sinnott for inviting me.
There are other CoffeeCON events planned for this year in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. Check the website for further information and Carpe Java!