Presenters


 

Mokhtar Alkhanshali at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Mokhtar Alkhanshali

A Yemeni-American, Mokhtar Alkhanshali hopes to serve as a bridge between Yemen and the World by connecting the farmers of the world’s oldest, rarest cultivated coffee varietals with coffee enthusiasts that can fully appreciate it. Combining a blend of his knowledge of specialty coffee production and progressive infrastructure strategy, Mokhtar has helped to change the face of coffee in Yemen. Through extensive travels in 32 different coffee producing regions in Yemen, working on the ground with farmers along every single step of the coffee value chain, Mokhtar has been able to source coffees with flavor profiles that surpass the rarest of geishas. His harrowing escape from war-torn Yemen on a fishing boat across the Red Sea to Africa may have put him in the news, but it is his work with Yemeni farmers and families that endures.

Ben Blake at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Ben Blake

Ben is part of the incredible team at La Marzocco Home in Seattle, Washington. He teaches home baristas and espresso enthusiasts how to make better coffee and how to use La Marzocco’s Home Espresso machines—the GS3 and Linea Mini. He spends most of his time developing educational content online, organizing photo and video shoots, and traveling to events—he also runs social media for @lamarzoccohome.
Ben grew up in Northeast Ohio and majored in Psychology at Taylor University. After getting involved in the coffee industry through illustration and design, he’s lived in Bologna, Italy, and Washington D.C., where he was a barista at Peregrine Espresso. Ben and his wife Amber moved to Seattle in June of 2014 where he managed Street Bean, a non-profit multi-roaster café that help street-involved youth reclaim their lives through employment and barista training. He started with La Marzocco in December of 2015.
Tim Beall at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Tim Beall

Mr. Beall has over 42 years of experience in field of Water on Water RO systems. A senior executive with proven achievements in general management, P&L, business analytics, international business, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Primary focus on residential, light commercial water systems. Strong background in developing, marketing and commercializing both new and existing water treatment technologies, capital equipment and aftermarket services.

Chuck Herrera at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Chuck Herrera

Chuck Herrera is long time coffee enthusiast turn pro. Two years ago he quit his job as graphic design after being completely enamored with the desire to balance well made coffee, hospitality and the esthetics of the third wave coffee culture. In these few years Chuck has been involved in coffee shop start ups, small batch roasting, coffee directing, cafe management and consulting. Currently he is part of the Menotti’s Coffee Stop Team and actively competing including taking second place at the Bar Nine “Anything Goes” Barista Competition making three completely different AeroPress recipes at the same time. You can usually find Chuck on bar most mornings in Venice, CA and when not he’s usually riding his bike, hunting for vinyls, shooting candids, visiting other coffee shops or playing music with church buddies.  
Heather Perry at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Heather Perry

HEATHER PERRY is the Vice President and Director of Training and Consulting for Klatch Coffee, a 20 year-old Los Angeles based coffee roaster and retailer. Ms.Perry has that all-too rare quality that comes from working in the retail stores, honing her skills to compete in Barista Competitions to win many titles. She is past Chair of the Barista Guild of America where she helped to design and launch their Certification Program. Ms. Perry has also used her vast industry knowledge in a consulting capacity, advising companies such as Mars, Breville, Got Milk, Krups, and Nestle. In her spare time, Ms. Perry is a Director on the Board for the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Co-Chair of the Professional Development Committee.

Jay Ruskey at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Jay Ruskey

This Hollywood born agronomist and exotic fruit farmer is paving the way for California’s newest crop: coffee. Jay has been farming for 25 years along the coast of Santa Barbara and specializes in developing markets for rare fruits. He has been growing coffee in the ground for the last 13 years and has led the way for others to join him. Through his nursery, Jay has provided over 20,000 California adapted coffee trees to commercial growers in this region over the last few years. His coffee can be tasted at the A Taste of California Grown Coffee on Sunday (ticketed event). Jay will also be presenting California grown: coffee with LAtitude and on the panel for Can Coffee be Sustainable?

Marcus Boni at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Marcus Boni

Marcus has had the sincere pleasure of being a member of the Specialty Coffee Community for the past 15 years and is the Director of Coffee & Partnerships with Espresso Supply. In his role, Marcus strives to connect the world of Specialty with consumers, helping create product, content, and experiences that ultimately manifest into amazing coffee at home. Marcus has also held leadership, marketing, and operational roles with Intelligentsia Coffee and Saint Louis-based Kaldi’s Coffee, as well as Director of Community Development with the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Marcus holds a bachelor’s degree in both computer science and business management, and is currently the chair of World Coffee Events. He is proud to call Chicago home.

Martin Diedrich at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Martin Diedrich

Martin Diedrich is well known as the founder of Diedrich Coffee, a coffeehouse concept he created in 1983 which grew to become one of the largest specialty coffee companies in the US. In 2004 Martin parted ways with Diedrich Coffee, and he and his wife Karen founded Kean Coffee, named for their son. Since 2005 Kean Coffee has grown to two coffeehouse locations and a thriving wholesale roasting operation, and has won numerous awards and accolades for coffee excellence, community popularity, and environmentally responsible practices. Martin learned about coffee farming and the craft of proper roasting while growing up on his family’s coffee farm in Antigua, Guatemala. Recognized in the specialty coffee industry as a leading coffee expert, Martin has traveled extensively throughout the world’s coffee growing regions and has numerous longstanding direct relationships with coffee growers. Martin was a close collaborator in creating the internationally recognized “Cup of Excellence” program, and was an active early co-creator in the “Q” market and auction program as well as the Rainforest Alliance sustainable coffee program. Martin received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Specialty Coffee Association (SCAA) in recognition of his pioneering efforts in the specialty coffee trade.

Peter Giuliano at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Peter Giuliano

In 1988, Peter Giuliano began his career in coffee as a barista in San Diego. Since then, Peter has worked in a variety of coffee occupations, including roaster, cupper, manager, trainer, and coffee buyer. Peter became involved in the Specialty Coffee Association of America in the 1990s, when a workshop taught at SCAA headquarters inspired him to become more involved as a volunteer and trainer. Since then, Peter has been deeply involved in SCAA training programs, serving as Training Committee Chair from 2005-2007. He has been a volunteer for the Coffee Corps and other CQI programs, teaching cupping, roasting, and marketing programs. He is a proud member of the Roasters Guild, and was a founder of its Executive Council, sitting on the Council from 2001-2007 and serving as its chair in 2004. Peter was the Director of Coffee and co-owner of Counter Culture Coffee, a wholesale roasting and coffee education company based in Durham, North Carolina. Today, Peter serves as the Chief Research Officer for the Specialty Coffee Association, a global coffee organization dedicated to making coffee better all over the world.

Troy Gardner at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Troy Gardner

Troy Gardner is a foodie hacker, innovator, CTO and Chief Brewing Officer at Cloud9 Brewing Systems, focused on making the best coffees ever created elevating the passionate coffee consumer and farmers committed to sustainable quality coffee, by entirely new ways of roasting and cold-brewing.
It’s been a strange journey from hating coffee to developing the world’s first cold brew ristretto, espresso and high brix drip, you can have anywhere at anytime anyway you want in seconds and no messes or brewing hassles.  Called OMGepresso (http://omgespresso.co), it offers more flavor than the finest cafes, more all natural caffeine than an energy shot, and more convenience than instant.  This month’s selection is made from high grade 91pt natural processed ethiopian. Come check it out at our booth while supplies last, and experience the future of coffee (the panel of which we’ll be talking at on Sat)
Lindsey Mesta at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Lindsey Mesta

Lindsey Mesta began her career working on a coffee farm on the Big Island. In 2012, she started at Good Land Organics and has found a niche in post-harvest processes, cup quality analysis and strategic planning. She is certified as a Q (Arabica) Grader and is also the lead roaster for Good Land Organics. Coffee brings together a number of passions for Lindsey including culture, education and culinary exploration. She will be hosting a cupping on Sunday exhibiting a handful of California grown varietals, A Taste of California Grown Coffee.

Marco Rocchio at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Marco Rocchio

Marco Rocchio is a sixth generation coffee roaster in the Rocchio Family’s proprietary coffee roasting tradition. Hardwood charcoal roasting – not gas, not propane – but an Old World coffee roasting method that has been handed down, generation to generation in the Rocchio Family. Marco spent six years as his grandfather’s apprentice – learning how to roast the different coffee varietals from around the world. Today, Marco continues the tradition – roasting small batches coffee by hand over hardwood charcoal.

Turgay Yildizli at CoffeeCon Los Angeles 2017

Turgay Yildizli

Turgay YILDIZLI began his Pilates journey in Istanbul Turkey and is now continuing his practice in New Orleans, Louisiana. He trained with Kristi White and Jennifer Pearlsteinand has been able to study with Rael as well through his workshops in Istanbul. He hopes to be able to continue and further his practice now that he is in New Orleans where he lives with wife and business partner Amy. Turgay actually combines the best of the original ibrik brewing practices with some unique twist, the most unique of which is his insistence that overground, preground coffee is not ideal for Turkish method, which makes him a perfect evangelist of this method at CoffeeCon.