From Sean Edwards - Head Bean
We are all on track to run one of the biggest Golden Bean competitions to date. We are holding the event this year in Columbus Ohio from the 16th to 20th August.
Interest in the event is very high and I believe it is due to moving the event to Columbus Ohio. A great location that is very central to some of the largest cities in the USA and Canada. The entries are constantly flowing in, and we can see numbers reaching around 1000 entries this year.
This means we will need over 100 judges to get through the huge volume of entries. We are now offering complimentary VIP attendance tickets to competitors who enter 6 or more coffees.
Attendance VIP means you get to judge and be a part of all the seminars, best of all it also covers all the hospitality (food and drinks) of the social events, including the awards night.
Our Golden Bean “Mum”, Jan Weigel, has done a great job of rounding up sponsors for this year, pulling together some great products and services. The Gold Bean sponsors will be supporting the event with educational seminars, purchasing opportunities at the Green Bean Zone, which has become a crucial part of the Golden Bean.
The Green Bean Zone will be run at the end of the event, on Saturday 20th August, and it gives the attending roasters a chance to cup some of the best coffees in the world. We also have lots of other products and equipment which will also be available to sample and trial on the day.
This year’s social events will see some fun activities. Columbus has several unique venues, and we will be picking some of these spaces to get together and network. The Awards Night this year will be themed ‘the 80’s’, so pack the disco outfits as there will be live entertainment after the overall winners have been announced.
Reg Barber has again supported Golden Bean and is making this year’s overall winners’ trophies for the independent and franchise categories. Reg has come out of semi-retirement to be a part of this event, saying he is happy to be available for special projects for the industry. Reg is a real craftsman and was a big part of the world coffee industry in the development of the tamper.
We are very excited to have our Plant Milk Category back, developing a great relationship with Planet Oat who we helped launch in Nashville in 2019. Planet Oat Barista the number one Oat Milk in the USA will be used in this category, and it will be judged as a latte/flat white format. If you want to practice with Planet Oat pre-event, please reach out to us now and we will send you a few practice cartons.
We will be heading to the Midwest two weeks before Golden Bean this year, visiting Roasters and Cafes. Please look out for our team as we will more than likely be calling in and helping roasters understand the Golden Bean judging format.
Some tips and tricks to having a winning entry this year is to treat this competition differently to what you do for your present customer base. The last ten years of running the Golden Bean in multiple countries we have seen the gold medal winners design their roasted coffee to what’s on trend in the market in the following. Roast profile and color, flavor profile and unique points of difference.
Being edgy is sometimes risky, but in our world the planned risk takers end up setting the standard and create new trends. We have created the Elite coffee category exactly for these ‘risky coffees’, like coffee that is fermented, barrel aged, and yeast processed. Flavored coffees are not allowed and will be disqualified. We are testing the full skillset of the roaster and what they can achieve with their chosen beans.
My big tip is to treat Golden Bean like the Olympics, find a coach and start listening to the global marketplace and use the experience as a guide to improve your own business. Please put the ego in the cupboard and look at what award winners do to stay on top. We all know you never stop learning and innovating in this business.
My last tip is to read the rules and guidelines on the Golden Bean website. Print out the rules and follow them to the letter of how we need you to enter the competition. Look at the FAQ’s as they have been designed off past inquiry calls.
I am very excited to see all our past Golden Bean family and am looking forward to some new faces joining our group.