It was bound to happen. Sacramento spends a week celebrating beer, bacon, cocktails ... so why not coffee?
“It’s a great way for people to learn more about signature beverages or to learn more about the roasting or brewing process,” says Kohmescher, who orchestrated the idea two years ago to help showcase the work of locally owned brewers. “There is a lot of great coffee out there; we want to show people how much work is involved in that process.”
Fellow organizer Edie Baker, of Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, spoke with The Bee about the partnership’s ambitious effort and the java craze in town.
Word is out that Specialty Coffee Week is set for October; what should caffeine connoisseurs look forward to at the inaugural event?
It will be a week of events hosted by different coffeehouses and roasters that will center on education, tasting and preparation. We hope to teach taste-education classes and some home-brewing. We are hoping to get some bartenders to make coffee cocktails and have chefs around the area add coffee to their ingredients in their foods. We want people to get really innovative with it.
How was the idea for Specialty Week initiated?
Sean (Kohmescher) invited us for a meeting about an idea that he came up with. I thought it was awesome. We celebrate everything else in this town (referring to Sacramento Beer Week, BaconFest, and upcoming, Sacratomato). It will demonstrate the Sacramento region as a great coffee town.
Specialty Coffee Week looks somewhat modeled after Sacramento Beer Week, yet coffee hasn’t had the same pizazz; why is that?
I haven’t participated in Beer Week, but we have some of the best coffee here. Sacramento has incredible coffee roasters and the customer base understands that. Coffee industry people (around the country) know Sacramento is doing a good job. We’re kind of surprised it hasn’t happened across the U.S. San Francisco has a great movement, Los Angeles keeps getting new roasters, and New York has gotten better the last 10 years. But Sacramento is an underrated place, so this is a good start to build on that.
We keep hearing about the exploding “third-wave’’ coffee scene. How would you describe its popularity?
Coffeehouses and roasters getting in touch with the quality of coffee, and that’s developing relationships with our farmers (in Guatemala, Honduras, and Brazil). Third wave is about roasting and bringing out those intricacies in the different flavors.
With a growing number of coffee shops and roasters extending beyond the central city, what is the driving force behind the growth in Sacramento?
Simply put: consumer demand. People are understanding the difference in coffee and are willing to pay top dollar for it. The more educated our consumers are, the more they will demand quality. A lot of people moved here from the Bay Area, L.A. and Seattle – coffee-craze cities – but there are a lot of locals too that have higher expectations.
What is your favorite cup of joe?
Every day I have an espresso and a cappuccino; I always taste the brews. But I take my coffee black.
Call The Bee’s Ernesto Garcia Morales, (916) 326-5577