2018 Seattle Presenters
Kenneth Davids – Author, Editor, Coffee Review
Kenneth Davids is editor, chief writer and co-founder of Coffee Review. He 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 2017. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents. In 1996 he was awarded a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Coffee Literature by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.
Becca Roebber is the Marketing Director and COO of indi chocolate, in Pike Place Market. She has worked with cacao farmers for over 10 years passionately telling the story of direct trade chocolate to consumers through education, events and classes that all include tasting dark chocolate. Becca and indi chocolate love to work collaboratively with other local businesses so that chocolate can be shared with all different communities in Seattle and beyond. She travels to cacao growing regions as often as possible and works with communities to increase their standard of living through the production of cacao.
Scott Nakamoto is the Wholesale Manager and Trainer for Slate Coffee Roasters. With experience in both coffee and agriculture, Scott is fascinated by coffees that have a uniqueness or a special characteristic about them. We’ll break down how information on the region, district, elevation, and processing informs brew recipes and flavor with the classic Chemex coffeemaker. Not only will you get the very best brewing tips but will have an opportunity to learn hands-on at several in class brewing stations.
Alex Choppin is a Customer Support and Coffee Specialist at Baratza. He has extensive experience as a barista, trainer, competitor, equipment service technician, and shop manager. Alex is also a seasoned Brewers Cup competitor placing 3rd in the 2016 USBC. In addition he is a qualified USBC Judge. These combined skills and expertise enable him to better support customers use of Baratza grinders. As the Coffee Specialist, Alex provides education and outreach about grinding and its effect on cup quality through Baratza’s blog and support resources. You may run into him at coffee industry events, competitions, and shows, where he’s busy providing training, support, or otherwise helping out as Baratza’s liaison to SCA and BGA.
Pierce Jens is the Customer Support Manager at Baratza in Bellevue WA. He manages the growing support team and has brought great process to Customer Support enabling Baratza to maximize the various team member skills to provide faster and improved service to both domestic users and the expanding international importer base. His innate mechanical ability, knowledge of Baratza grinders, concise communication skills have been key to the strength of the team wisdom in solving customer’s problems. He also shines as the resident Baratza Support video star!
Kala Wolfe, Director of Product
Kala’s role at Onda Origins is to ensure that our product offerings meet Onda‘s high quality and sustainability standards; vetting not only the beans themselves, but also working with our partners to ensure that best practices are in use at every step along the supply chain. She is also here to serve as a resource for our wholesale and retail clients interested in coffee education and outreach. She first caught the coffee bug by way of an academic background in ecology and environmental management at Penn State and Duke University, and has since fallen deep down the rabbit hole. Prior to joining Onda she has worked in the coffee industry as a barista and cafe manager in the US, and in El Salvador as a production roaster, quality control and cupping lab manager for a small farm, and as a coffee shop owner.
Scott Tupper, Founder of Onda Origins and Yave
Scott is pioneering the use of blockchain to create transparency in coffee’s supply and value chains through Yave, his second start-up. Yave’s blockchain transaction technology provides democratization and transparency for all coffee growers. The technology provides an online secure framework for sharing ledgers and transactions, enhancing record keeping veracity while saving time. Scott’s journey was influenced by his former research post in Samoa, where a government-funded development project failed because no one spoke with the local community first. Scott was inspired to create a business model that invested in people, rather than mandated solutions for them.
Kevon Grennan oversees Coffee Blossom Honey, where he is committed to strengthening coffee farmer relationships through bee education, honey production, and supply-chain management. Kevon is also the Director of Emerging Markets at Onyx Coffee, a Guatemalan Coffee importer dedicated to connecting Guatemala’s best coffees to quality driven roasters around the globe. In his role at Onyx, Kevon is responsible for leading process improvement and elevating standards to deliver the finest Guatemalan Green Coffees to the World’s Best Roasters. Before joining Onyx, Kevon spent 10 years building teams and leading innovation at PACCAR, a Fortune 500 company and global technology leader in the design, manufacture, and support of commercial vehicles.
Ken Selby comes to us from Seattle, WA where he works with Vashon Coffee heading up their Production, Education, and Quality Control aspects of the business. Professionally, Ken is a recent winner of Coffee Champs in the 2018 US Cup Tasters Championship and will represent the US this November in Brazil on the World stage. Outside of coffee Ken is a competitive Killer Queen player by night, which is a 10 player arcade game split by two teams of 5 going head to head. Outside of Ken’s love of coffee and Killer Queen he frequents breweries, restaurants, and the occasional animal shelter as he hopes to one day find and raise a raccoon as his choice pet.”
Born and raised in South Florida, Ashley has been a part of the hospitality industry her entire life. At various times she has worked all front of house positions—but her true calling was behind the bar. Her first bartending experiences were in the high paced setting of nightclubs and sports bars; eventually experiencing the joys of making cocktails with fresh ingredients in 2007 at SushiSAMBA in Miami Beach, FL.
Mike Cannon is a well-liked and respected barista within the Northwest coffee community. He took second place in the 2011 U.S. Brewers Cup Championship and 2nd place in the 2016 U.S. Aeropress Championship. Mike has spent the past five years roasting coffee and can be currently found behind the bar at Nomad PNW in Wilkeson, WA.
Nelson Icenhower found his love for coffee through the culture of hospitality. In hosting folks and being hosted, coffee found its place as means of gathering people and something to share over conversation. With a background in wrenching on motorcycles, Nelson became the tech at a cafe with serial #2 Slayer, and began a relationship with Jason Prefontaine, Slayer’s owner. He is now the educator for Slayer Espresso, developing and teaching coffee and tech classes worldwide.
Sarah Dooley fell in love with coffee shop counter culture and the retail experience 21 years ago as a Pike Place Starbucks Barista. Growing up in an entrepreneurial household the message has always been, “get out there and make your own job”. Embracing the creative and risk taking nature of her upbringing she found her voice and roles in community building, product development, R & D and the liaison between the engineering team and user experience for coffee equipment. Sarah is currently the Director of the Customer Experience | Product Ambassador for Slayer Espresso, an espresso machine designed and hand crafted in Seattle, Washington. Her favorite daytime beverage is a well prepared and served espresso. Follow Sarah Dooley or connect with her on social: Instagram Twitter Facebook
Antonio Madeddu began his coffee career in 2007, starting out as a part-time barista at Caffè Umbria in Portland during his college years. Since graduating he has immersed himself in coffee quality & education. He currently oversees quality assurance programs for Caffè Umbria wholesale clients & cafes and fuels a vibrant coffee culture through his training curriculum and drink innovations. Antonio also holds Level 2 barista certification from the Specialty Coffee Association.
Katherine Nolte Ferguson, Coffee Trader and Sustainability, Sucafina
Kat has dedicated her career for improving economic opportunity for African smallholders. She has worked in coffee trading and finance, international business strategy advising, and green coffee supply chain development with a specialization in East African coffee. She recently opened Sucafina’s West Coast quality lab in Seattle. Kat currently sits on the Sustainability Advisory Council of the Specialty Coffee Association.
Nate broke into the coffee industry in 2009. After managing the technical department for a local Seattle coffee roaster in 2012, he joined Slayer in January of 2017. And by June of that same year, Nate began managing Slayer’s tech department. As part of a customer-focused department and expanding the training department, Nate has been motivated to create a truly helpful and inspiring resource for those who work with Slayer. Inspired by Slayer’s company mission: “Make Coffee Better”, Nate’s department has become committed to: “Making Technicians Better” –– and it’s working!
Kevin Sinnott is the Creator and Host of CoffeeCon. He is also the author of the books The Art and Craft of Coffee and Great Coffee, blogger at CoffeeCompanion.com and producer of Web TV series Mission Coffee Can. He’s appeared in Oprah Winfrey, ABC-TV’s 20/20 and many other television shows talking about coffee. He’s frequently quoted as an independent coffee expert.
Sinnott created CoffeeCon, “Because I wanted to attend it” in 2013 in Chicago suburb Warrenville, Illinois. Sinnott: “There are all sorts of coffee trade events. Most of them ignore the consumer. I wanted an event that would allow us to come taste a region’s various roasted coffees side by side. Then I wanted all sorts of classes so we can learn more about how to brew coffee.”
Sinnott, a Chicago-based writer and producer, began writing about coffee when a client, Larry McManus was irritated with Sinnott’s taking 20 minutes to make coffee while they were working. He jokingly suggested Sinnott might be happier writing about coffee and that weekend Sinnott published his first newsletter, which included hardware-style technical reviews of coffee brewers and interviews with his favorite coffee industry leaders.