In the wake of the terrible weekend of widespread terror in Paris, the Barista Guild of Europe made the decision that CoLab Paris should carry on as planned in what was 3 days of talks from leading industry experts, coffee tasting, conversations and experiencing the ever expanding Paris speciality coffee scene.
In a fitting venue, the very Parisian cave under Nicolas Clerc’s Telescope cafe was the registration and first meeting of everyone heading along to the event, with familiar faces on hand for a chat and some tasty coffee to start the next few days off on the right foot.
A quick trip on foot led me to new customer and one of the best coffee stops in Paris, Honor, with a unique outdoor courtyard structure with a modular indoor space and the friendly face of Daniel Warburton, who along with partner Angelle Boucher has created a beautifully unique space.
As the evening rolled in we were hosted again in another beautiful cave-like basement at Lockwood cafe, owned by Christophe and Olivier Lehoux, it’s a power family of the Parisian drinks scene, with brother Thomas of Ten Belles cafe and Belleville roastery fame. Natural wine tasting from local producers ensured the conversation within the industry professionals was flowing in preparation for the next day’s highly anticipated series of talks.
After more coffee in the beautiful setting of Coutume instituutti (inside the Finnish institute) the Tamper Tantrum talks kicked off with Tim Wendelboe, whose insights on becoming a farmer and how controlling the ideal soil and growing conditions will hopefully yield some improvements in the quality of green coffee in the future. Next up was Stephane Cataldi of cafe Cataldi fame in Brittany whose insightful chat about the timings of finding yourself unemployed and following your hobbies and dreams can result in something great! The second session saw Patrik Rolff Karlsson from Five Elephant discussing that there is no perfect coffee on it’s own but a combination of good coffee, good roasting and good brewing recipes can make for the perfect brew. Katie Carguillo of Counter Culture gave a brilliant talk about her journey to where she is today in coffee and how this come about, in what was a very real and humble insight into the industry and how we can improve and portray quality – without the ego. Klaus Thomsen of Coffee Collective gave a very frank and honest account about the state of the industry and how the anonymity of the farmer is still an overriding issue and how we can be doing more at our end of the process, whether that be as a roaster, barista or retailer, something which rang very true for everyone in the room. Morten Munchow from Coffee Mind somehow discussed three research projects within 20 minutes on different topics to show that data and information and the appropriate application of this information can quantify our skills to ensure progress in the quality of what we produce across all areas of the industry.
This is such a brief overviews of each of the brilliant speakers their talks, heading over to the Tamper Tantrum when they are put up is highly recommended. We were lucky to be one of the coffee sponsors of the event and making coffee for everyone in each short break was a great experience, hopefully everyone enjoyed the coffee we brought along for the trip! A huge thanks goes out to Steve Leighton of Tamper Tantrum, Thomas and David of Ten Belles for the delicious food on the day, all the hard working Barista Guild of Europe people and of course the beautiful and resilient city of Paris.