Coffee Cup
"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2022 - All rights reserved

Coffee Cup
172
All Quiet On This Front
- or -
Goodby SCA

Saturday, August 6, 2022
all text and photos unless otherwise noted ©2022 - All rights reserved

    It has been some time since I have posted any reviews or details about new devices related to coffee. My past reviews have been proven to be helpful not only to “high end” enthusiasts but also to folks who just like coffee. While you can count on less than one hand reviews which were negative (I think there were two), there have been many reviews which have assisted users in finding exactly what they needed and which also have helped businesses be more successful. An early review of mine for Espro was their first “official” review. My review of “The Force Tamper” has helped a lot of folks decide to get one. Dare I mention being credited by the consul for the SCAA that Hottop would not have gotten a start here if not for me.
    So why no new reviews here for over the last few years?

    My coffee journey started in late 2000 as you are likely aware. I attended my first SCAA show in 2002 in Anaheim. For the next sixteen years I attended a total of thirteen exhibitions. Quite a few were as a media representative and number of them in dual capacity as media and as a representative of Hottop USA working in the Hottop booth. It gave me the opportunity to meet so many of the Hottop users I had assisted in my role there, and also the liberty to walk the floor with a media badge so that I could see what was new and get leads on items to review. The shows I attended:
2002 - 14th - Anaheim
2005 - 17th - Seattle
2006 - 18th - Charlotte
2007 - 19th - Long Beach
2008 - 20th - Minneapolis
2009 - 21st - Atlanta
2010 - 22nd - Anaheim
2011 - 23rd - Houston
2012 - 24th - Portland
2013 - 25th - Boston
2014 - 26th - Seattle
2016 - 28th - Atlanta
2017 - 29th (or the 1st exhibition for the "SCA") - Seattle

    In 2018 I lost my home to a wildland fire and it took some time to recover to the point before I could even think about attending. But in 2019 I contacted a friend we lovingly refer to as my “coffee wife” (A coffee enthusiast whose enthusiasm makes me look like a Folger's drinker) and it was decided my friend would cover the show for me as I was living in an RV trying to reassemble my life.

    I gave her permission to register under the name of my webtie, etc. (or maybe did the registration myself- can't remember). This was received by her:

Dear C*** G***** [I removed the name here]:
    Thank you for applying for Media Credentials to cover the 2020 Specialty Coffee Expo. I regret to inform you that your application has not been approved.
    For questions, please contact me at press-expo@sca.coffee.
Sincerely,
    Vicente Partida
    SCA Director of Communications

    That was a shock to us both. So I personally contacted the SCA through the e-mail they provided, sending them the following letter:

My name is Randy Glass. Since late 2000 I have maintained a non-commercial, enthusiasts' website www.EspressoMyEspresso. During those nineteen years I have covered thirteen SCAA/SCA exhibitions, and many of the reviews of those exhibitions are still available in the blog portion of my website.
    I had planned to attend the exhibition this year in Portland, but unfortunately I cannot. We lost our home in the California "Camp Fire" in November of 2018 and are living in an RV on our burned out property. We are just a few weeks short of beginning construction. For a number of reasons I have to remain here on the property. C*** had worked for me at a previous exhibition and so I had asked C*** to cover the exhibition once again.
    Beyond being a friend, C*** published a music magazine for years in the past and her knowledge and experience in the coffee industry combine to qualify her in regards to this request.
    I hope this message suffices to allow C*** to have a media pass to attend as my representative. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

    Maybe I should not have called it 'an enthusiast's website,' but I thought that would at least create a response, but it did not. So I sent the entire text once again with the following at the top:

To whom it may concern, I am at a loss as to why I have not yet received an answer to my original message. The request I sent you asking for a reason why the media reporter I chose to represent my website and myself at the 2020 Portland SCA exhibition remains unanswered.

    Here is the response I received:

Hello Randy,
    Thanks for your message. I understand that you've been granted media badges by the staff who once managed our press room but our rules around these badges have changed.
    The media badge is reserved for representatives of news organizations who will be attending to cover the event.
    We ask that coffee enthusiasts, or those who represent a company, consultancy, or government agency, please consider visiting the show as an exhibitor or attendee. 
    I hope you will understand.
    Kind regards,
Vicente Partida
Director of Communications
Specialty Coffee Association

    So there you have it. Even though I review the show and try to add as many reviews of consumer items as I can in the review section of this website, and do so in a positive and factual way, and even though I have helped a number of companies along the way, I do not qualify as “media” and am regarded as 'an enthusiast.' And why would you not want an enthusiast with my track record reviewing the exhibition?
    As a newspaper owner in the past (creating a print newspaper for a good 12 or 13 years) I am not seen as media by the SCA. Even though my reviews are lauded as being among the most thorough and objective on the Internet, I am not media. Even though all my information online is presented without advertising, without the need to log in, and with nothing for sale (except one poster I created which doesn't sell much anyway), and have been doing it for nearly 22 years, my presence as media is no longer needed.
    And, sure. I could go as 'an attendee,' but without the official SCA media pass I could not present myself as such to exhibitors with any weight in terms of my presence in the industry.
    So unless companies who what their items reviewed here contact me directly, the likelihood of seeing more reviews here on ”Espresso! My Espresso!” are unlikely. Maybe if I offered free monthly advertising to the SCA on my website I would qualify as media in their eyes? Good luck! Before that happens I would delete this entire website and move on with my life (yes, I do have a life outside of coffee).
    I will miss the shows. Yes, I am an enthusiast but also a coffee professional as well as a teacher, not to mention the owner of 'a real media.' Those facets of my life combine to have formed the jewel that is this website and all it holds. But more than that, I will miss all the wonderful people I have met along the way. These exhibitions were the only place I could see them in 'full reality, real life, 3D.'
    Just thought my readers would like to know.
Coffee Cup
  -   -   - Silvia
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