Hello Fellow Coffee Technician Guild members! Gene Lemos and I were honored to represent the U.S. chapter of our guild at the World of Coffee in Budapest, Hungary last month.
World of Coffee Budapest had a lot of familiar faces with many American and European companies exhibiting, and a highly-energized specialty coffee community in attendance. Budapest is an amazing historic city and former center of the Austro-Hungarian empire, with amazing architecture to match.
During the 3-day show, we talked to a number of interested techs and companies and gave a 30-minute talk explaining our mission, who should join, and what benefits we can provide.
As it was our first official presence in Europe, we were not sure what to expect in regards to participation at the meeting. We started with a small group of 5-7 individuals, and by the end of the presentation, we were close to 25! The energy in our audience grew throughout the meeting and we had a number of comments and conversations following the talk. Equipment companies and technicians alike clearly recognize the potential benefits and I believe we will see a growing membership.
Fostering a global coffee technician community will not be without some challenges, however. Certification will mean something different in Europe than in the United States, with many European countries already requiring some type of licensing to service coffee equipment. Water treatment also seems more broadly recognized in Europe, with multiple systems specifically targeted at the challenging water conditions in those markets.
Overall, I believe we had a very successful meeting. There is a strong interest in creating a technician community in Europe and I believe we will see a number of the techs and companies enthusiastically joining the guild in the following weeks and months.
Your Humble Technician Gearhead,