What a finish to another great Golden Bean event in North America.
We returned to Columbus Ohio for this years’ competition which saw over seven hundred coffees entered from nearly 300 roasters. The event was also well attended by 60 coffee companies, all helping to judge the amazing submitted coffees.
The Overall Champion for 2023 was Bonlife Coffee from Tennessee who now hold The Golden Bean record-breaking achievement of being the overall winner for three times now. The large franchise winner was Canterbury Coffee from Canada who has also won this award three times as well as the World Championship franchise once. The small franchise saw a new player, Theory Coffee from California take out the Reg Barber Trophy.
This year’s awards hosts were MC Sam LaRobardiere and Scott Angelo who had the fun task of presenting all the medals. We had a surprise keyboard rendition from Geoff Weaver of Koine Coffee, who provided his Golden Bean-themed version of the Piano Man. We are so lucky that many of our Roaster Family have some great hidden talents.
I have to say that the competition coffees are becoming so much better as the event grows. We are seeing this in the judging with very high scores, grouping many of the roasters together near the top end of the scale. Roasters are now treating The Golden Bean as a challenge to better their personal skill set and are taking away new flavor trends they are discovering at The Golden Bean Roasting Competitions.
I would like to thank Mel from Life Vineyard Church for letting us utilize her team and space, making this competition run seamlessly. The Golden Bean would not work without the volunteers pitching in and covering all the multiple tasks you have when you brew thousands of coffees in four days. A massive thank you from Kristine and I for making our life easier and following the guidelines of The Golden Bean competition.
This year the Green Bean Zone buying day was very well attended and it was good to see roasters travelling long distances to be a part of the event. We had a diverse range of cuppings on offer from the best green bean suppliers in the world and it was rewarding to see buying decisions occurring on the day. We trialed some live roasting demonstrations this year by Stronghold Technology, adding more value to our education sessions. We always like to let our sponsors introduce new products and services to the attending roasters via seminars between the judging sessions, having the experts in their field enlighten our forum.
We had another ‘first’ with nominating our young women into the Roasters Hall of Fame. Stacey Lynden graciously accepted the award. Stacey is a great mentor to women in coffee and generously gives her time and knowledge of coffee roasting freely to all who ask and is a top contributor to our network as a head and category judge.
We feel we are completely back on track with The Golden Bean and can see the event resuming to our pre-covid numbers as the economy strengthens. The main reason I started The Golden Bean initially was to bring roasters together to network and increase their skill and knowledge base. The competition was the vehicle and now my goal is to get more roasters to the event and be part of the judging panel. We have set the dates for the World Series, which will be in Melbourne on the 26th and 27th February 2024. The World Series will be open to any past gold and silver medalists who have competed in the North America or the Australasia events. We will include a tour on Wednesday the 28th February of some of Melbourne’s best coffee roaster and cafes models. Melbourne is truly a coffee mecca and will not disappoint the coffee tourists coming to Australia to compete in The Golden Bean Worlds Series.
Congratulations to all The Golden Bean North America medal winners and competitors who made the effort to submit beans. All medals will be posted out within the next 14 days and results will be published on The Golden Bean website. You will also be able to view your results and feedback on the Award Force portal.
Thank you all and we will keep you informed with next year’s dates and venue as we research a new location.