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Australia’s Golden Bean Roasting Competition is Coming to Portland


A longtime Australian coffee roasting competition and associated conference, The Golden Bean, is coming to the United States for the first time this September, in Portland, Ore.

Officially called the Compak Golden Bean Coffee Roasters Competition and Conference, the Australian version of the event has been running for 10 years under the direction of Café Culture, receiving some 1,200 competition entries each year, representing more than half of the Australian roasting industry. Roast Magazine is proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural event, which will take place Sept. 16-19, including announcements of the winners, educational seminars, and networking opportunities.

Competition entry forms and more information can be found here, and here’s more straight from Café Culture International Managing Director Sean Edwards:

The coffee and café industry has traditionally focused heavily on the baristas, which has been great in keeping the quality of service of this beverage in the frontline of a café business. However ten years ago, after studying the growth cycles of the wine industry the team at Café Culture International decided that it was time to put our coffee roasting masters on a pedestal amongst their peers.

Coffee companies submit their entries on a predetermined date and the coffees are judged through a blind tasting format, in over 10 different categories and brew methods. The coffees are judged by roasters that attend the event to participate and enjoy the three-day competition and conference.

The Compak Golden Bean invites roasters to not only send in their entries but also to participate in the seminars and fun sponsored evenings. This creates a valuable opportunity for roasters to network with each other and form great alliances within the industry.

Speakers will include two time Australian Golden Bean winner and Head Judge Anne Cooper. There will be a marketing presentation from the coffee king of Australia, Mr. Phillip Di Bella on how he built a company from scratch to a 50 million dollar business in ten years. Matt Milletto from Bellisimo Coffee will also give a review of the North American market and deliver the first ever Pulse Data report on the North American coffee industry. Other seminars will include keynote speakers from North America covering water technology, green bean procurement and fire safety practices.

This year’s event in Portland will be co run with Bruce and Matt Milletto from Bellisimo Coffee, the force behind The American Barista School, long term educators of coffee businesses in North America. We have been researching this project for over three years and have made many visits to the USA and Canada talking with roasters and aligning friendships and business relations before we set the dates.

We are looking forward to starting our roaster marketing in June and personally visiting the hundreds of roasters in North America so we can answer question directly about the event and help support this great industry that is experiencing the same changes that Australian market has gone through in recent years. The Compak Golden Bean Roasters competition is about education first then all the other great benefits will follow, making this a smarter business model.

We are very conscious of the fact that each country has slight differences in their coffee businesses so we will tailor the event for the North American market to suit. We are very excited about the size of the market and how the industry is already strong with their associations and business acumen. We know from our own experience that the Golden Bean will unite an industry and grow with the marketplace. The event has some major sponsors line up that will assist in subsidizing many of the cost within the event, making it realistically priced for roasters to attend.


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