New York Coffee Con - 2018
New York Coffee Con - 2018

2018 Presenters  


Kenneth Davids at CoffeeConNY 2018

Kenneth Davids

Kenneth Davids is editor, chief cupper/writer and co-founder of Coffee Review. Since its launch in 1997 Coffee Review has become one of the leading interpreters of the new world of coffee to consumers. Ken has been involved with coffee since the early 1970s and has published three books on coffee, including the influential Home Roasting: Romance and Revival, now in its second edition, and Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies in five editions with a sixth edition scheduled for 2019. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents. He is Professor Emeritus of Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. In 1996 he was awarded a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Coffee Literature by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

Paul Schlader at CoffeeConNY 2018

Paul Schlader

Paul Schlader is a co-founder of Birch Coffee, specialty coffee roaster with 10 coffee shop locations in NYC and roastery in Long Island City.

Nick Wright at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Nick Wright

Nick Wright has extensive bar experience at the highest levels, across Europe and in New York, and now works as Brand Ambassadors for Grey Goose.

Joe Beam at CoffeeConNY 2018

Joe Behm

Joseph Behm, Inventor and designer of the Behmor 1600 an award winning home coffee roaster employing patent pending smoke suppression technology. The Behmor 1600 was the recipient of the SCAA Best New Products Award in 2007, and listed on the prestigious Imbibe Magazine’s “Top Gear” list.  Behm also invented the world’s first consumer brewer to have accurate temperature control via on board calibration with altitude correction with on board system memory. The Brazen Brew System was voted the Best New Product (People’s Choice) at the SCAA 2012 Expo. 

Behm’s latest project involves social justice as he’s recently given away coffee roasters and brewers to coffee growers in a singlehanded effort to increase coffee awareness throughout the coffee cycle. 

David Castillo at CoffeeConNY 2018

David Castillo

David Castillo manages the training and education program at Joe Coffee Company in New York, NY. He has spent the past six years working as a barista, educator, manager, and trainer. In addition to overseeing barista training and in-store quality control at Joe, he also heads the public education department, developing curriculum for coffee education courses and events. This past April, David won fourth place at the 2018 United States Barista Championship in Seattle, WA. 
Selim Vural at CoffeeConNY 2018

Selim Vural

Selim Vural is the founder of interior design & architecture firm Studio Vural, which specializes in hospitality design.

Selim completed his undergraduate studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul where he was exposed to a Bauhaus model education while studying Byzantine & Ottoman masterpieces.

Upon his immigration to the NY, Selim started his architectural studies at Pratt Institute and obtained a Master’s of Architecture degree in 1996.

After 12 years of experience with prominent firms in such as Eisenman Architects, Skidmore Owings and Merrill, and Swanke Hayden Connell Architects, Selim established his own firm Studio Vural in 2009.

Studio Vural currently is designing 2 espresso bars, a restaurant and a boutique hotel in Manhattan. His company Studio Vural at has a specialty in cafe design.

In addition to his practice, Selim has taught architectural studio classes at the University of Arkansas, New York Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Selim lives with his wife and young son in Brooklyn.

Travis Clifton at CoffeeConNY 2018

Travis Clifton

Born in the UK before moving to USA for work in 2002 Travas Clifton is the Founder of specialty coffee company modcup based in Jersey City. Travas began his professional career as an auctioneer so his live lectures are always entertaining.
modcup coffee began in 2013 with a simple vision, that specialty coffee
be easy to understand and accessible to everyone. The company began by selling
coffee from a cart on the streets of Hoboken roasting on a 3lb roaster in a Jersey City Garage.
Fast forward 4 years and modcup has 4 retail establishments and a 2000 sq ft roasting plant all located in Jersey City.
Dave Kozuha at CoffeeConNY 2018

Dave Kozuha

Dave Kozuha is a former home roaster and founder of Greenwood Lake Roasters. Greenwood Lake Roasters is a certified organic and fair trade small batch craft coffee roastery that opened in May 2017. We feature new and old world coffee from Africa, Indonesia, Central and South America and roast coffee on our custom built coffee roaster to bring out the natural, flavorful qualities of the coffee. Dave also focus on educating our customers on the unique aspects found in the different coffees from around the world. Hudson Valley Magazine recognized us at the Best of Hudson Valley 2017. Our coffee has also been on NBC NY with Gus Rosendale, featured on the national radio program Dining Out Radio and at Cup of the Valley held at the Culinary Institute of America. 
Edward O’Hickey at CoffeeConNY 2018

Edward O’Hickey

Edward O’Hickey works as an Educator for Toby’s Estate in Brooklyn. Throughout his time working in coffee, he has worked with specialty roasters in California, Japan and New York. At Toby’s, Edward teaches retail, wholesale, and public classes, with an aim toward making coffee both interesting and accessible to everyone.
Emma Cash at CoffeeConNY 2018

Emma Cash

Emma Cash has been in the coffee industry for the past two years working as both a barista and coffee roaster, most recently she is the Team Leader of Allegro Coffee Roasters café in Whole Foods Market’s flagship store located in Gowanus, Brooklyn. They roast Allegro Coffees micro-lot line in house to be served in their café and have a strong emphasis on training baristas to have a comprehensive understanding of the product they are working with and the many steps it goes through before it is brewed. Her biggest focus is making coffee knowledge and enjoyment more accessible and sharing this incredible product with her community.
Cameron Mascia at CoffeeConNY 2018

Cameron Mascia

Cameron comes from a strong hospitality background with a father and uncle leading well known culinary ventures. His experience ranges from fine-dining service and polish to managing various chefs positions and large scale event coordination. Well versed in several languages, Cameron has pushed himself to the forefront of progression with his usage of newly developed nitrous oxide systems in coffee cocktail programs. These innovations continue to drive his work in a 4 year tenure with La Colombe Torrefaction.
Jess Barron at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Jess Barron

Jess Barron is the Editor in Chief of provides the blueprint for simple, healthy living. With an audience of 32 million unique visitors monthly, and a network of experts and elite influencers in wellness, fitness and food, is the number one healthy living site in the U.S.  Prior to working with, Jess was the business leader of Beachbody’s online subscription website with digital videos and online tools. Jess also honed a deep understanding of the types of headlines and content that appealed to all demographics of people when she ran the editorial content team for the Yahoo! home page, which at the time was the most popular site on the Internet.
RICHARD BASTAR IV at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Jeremy Lyman

Jeremy Lyman is a co-founder of Birch Coffee, specialty coffee roaster with 10 coffee shop locations in NYC and roastery in Long Island City.

Douglas Graham-Leigh at CoffeeConNY 2018

Douglas Graham-Leigh

Doug has extensive bar experience at the highest levels, across Europe and in New York, and now works as Brand Ambassadors for Grey Goose. 
Becca Woodard at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Becca Woodard

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Becca Woodard has been in the coffee industry for 4 years. She is currently the Head Trainer and Wholesale Account Manager for George Howell Coffee and the 2018 United States Brewer’s Cup Champion. She decided to start competing this year, and has taken a whole new approach to the Brewer’s Cup competition; from using the stage and the voice it gave her as a platform for a message, to showcasing innovation in pouring and brewing techniques. Her message is about the systemic problems on both ends of the supply chain. On the cafe end, there is a large imbalance of cis white men dominating behind the bar and in competitions. On the farm end growing practices are often doing more harm than good to the Earth and the coffee plants. Using competition as a way to talk about these issues and bring them to the attention of others is what drives Becca to push boundaries and give it everything she can into her performance.

Joseph Monett at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Joseph Monett

Joseph Monett is the Director of Training and Development for Cafe Grumpy. Joseph partners with retail managers and wholesale directors to grow teams and educate staff. With over a decade in the culinary world, Joseph knows what drives an excellent craft company—connecting with customers, creating a vibrant community, and celebrating the hard work of your team.

Joseph not only trains employees and wholesale accounts, but holds extensive experience teaching classes to the public and has also been featured in publications from Eater to Business Insider.

Robert Wallach at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Robert Wallach

Robert Wallach is a founding partner and co-inventor of the Coffee Freshness System which utilizes pressurized CO2 gas to preserve the freshness of roasted coffee beans. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering and has previously worked in the Semiconductor Industry of Silicon Valley. The search for a better way to preserve coffee beans for home brewing led Robert to study the science of coffee staling extensively and in 2012 to partner with a Mechanical Engineer and develop the Coffee Freshness System. Robert is passionate about the field of Coffee Freshness and is eager to share his knowledge on this subject at CoffeeCon.

RICHARD BASTAR IV at CoffeeCon New York 2018


Richard Bastar has worked in the water treatment industry for 5 years with Nalco, and Ecolab Company, and Voltea, and also served as a U.S. Army Officer for 8 years.  He brings a level of professionalism, critical thinking, and attention to detail that is much needed in water treatment.  Through travel around the U.S. and EU to better understand water and quality, he has developed a level of appreciation for specialty coffee that drives passion across our team.  Richard holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (ChE) and continuously strives for excellence throughout his career and within the Voltea team.

 Steve Myers at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Steve Myers

Stephen Myers is USA Trade Advocacy for Mr Black in the US. Steve’s history is booze rather than coffee and his liquor industry experience spans over fifteen years and across four continents.
Chuck Herrera at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Chuck Herrera

Chuck Herrera is long time coffee enthusiast turn pro. Three years ago he quit his job as graphic design after being completely enamored with the desire to balance well made coffee, hospitality and the esthetics of the third wave coffee culture. In these few years Chuck has been involved in coffee shop start ups, small batch roasting, coffee directing, cafe management and consulting and worked at the top West LA coffee bars like Cognescenti Coffee, Menotti’s Coffee Stop and Bar Nine Coffee Roasters.

Recently Chuck opened his own coffee bar with his fiancé Jenna, Good People Coffee Co in West Los Angeles. Taking a very different approach to specialty coffee Chuck crafted drinks that are tailor to suit every palate, high scoring single origins as well as homemade, handcrafted sweet lattes. Most days Chuck can be found on bar at Good People. 

Patrick McKeown at CoffeeCon New York 2018

Patrick McKeown

Patrick McKeown is Head Roaster for Allegro Coffee Roasters’ Bowery location. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sustainability from Stony Brook University where he realized the global impact of the coffee trade. After co-founding a small roasting company on Long Island, the opportunity to be part of the specialty coffee scene in NYC was too good to pass up.​ Day-to-day he manages the roasting, packaging, and distribution of ten single origin coffees and two blends; he hosts public events like cuppings or extraction classes and still enjoys getting behind the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle to make drinks for guests. 

Patrick McKeown at CoffeeCon New York 2018

James Steiner

James was presented with coffee and its industry four years ago after moving to New York City from Buffalo. After being blessed with a trip to Costa Rica, he became determined to highlight quality in coffee, and accept the many opportunities of how one can use such a product. Working with Abbotsford Road, James is able to offer businesses his unique perspective of seeing things: both from a consumer and a customer point of view. His hopes are to personally and professionally grow with Abbotsford Road, bringing with him the opportunity to form long lasting relationships.