Seattle – Speakers
Kenneth Davids – Author, Editor, Coffee Review
Kenneth Davids is editor, chief writer and co-founder of Coffee Review. He has been involved with coffee since the early 1970s and has published three books on coffee, including the influential Home Roasting: Romance and Revival, now in its second edition, and Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies in five editions with a sixth edition scheduled for 2017. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents. In 1996 he was awarded a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Coffee Literature by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. This is Professor Davids’ fifth CoffeeCon event.
Turgay YILDIZLI – Roaster and Turkish coffee specialist
2013 World Cezve/Ibrik (Turkish Coffee) Champion
Istanbul native Turgay Yildizli, who now lives in New Orleans, is the founder of Specialty Turkish Coffee, a website which offers everything one needs to make specialty Turkish coffee, from equipment to tutorials. He works as a consultant around the globe, helping coffee companies to develop their Turkish coffee programs. Specialty Turkish Coffee also offers certification workshops in Turkish coffee brewing. Turgay has made it his mission to improve the standards of Turkish Coffee and raise it up to the place it deserves in the specialty coffee community. He is the 2013 World Cezve/Ibrik (Turkish Coffee) Champion, he has also represented Turkey in the Brewers Cup and Coffee in Good Spirits Championship.
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 speciality 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.
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.
The David Schomer talk on the art of espresso is actually quite scientific. The founder of the Espresso Vivace coffee shop in Seattle, Schomer specializes in quality control, roasting and training.
Schomer was a leader of coffee’s “second wave” which raised espresso preparation to an artform in the US, specifically Seattle, where his Cafe Vivace latte art became legend. An interesting hybrid of artist and engineer, Schomer gained experience in the United States Air Force as a metrologist at the Boeing Class A Standards Lab. He brings an engineer’s need for repetition and methodology to the epicurean artform.
An important name in the coffee world, David Schomer authored several works including ‘Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques,’ the ‘Engineering Mediocrity’ series of articles and ‘Espresso Coffee: 2013.’
Kevin Sinnott is the author of the books The Art and Craft of Coffee and Great Coffee, blogger at CoffeeCompanion.com, producer of Web TV series Mission Coffee Can and creator/host of CoffeeCon, the Consumer Coffee Festival. He’s appeared in Oprah Winfrey, ABC-TV’s 20/20 and many other television shows talking about coffee. He’s frequently quoted as an independent coffee expert.
Sinnott created CoffeeCon, “Because I wanted to attend it” in 2013 in Chicago suburb Warrenville, Illinois. Sinnott: “There are all sorts of coffee trade events. Most of them ignore the consumer. I wanted an event that would allow us to come taste a region’s various roasted coffees side by side. Then I wanted all sorts of classes so we can learn more about how to brew coffee.”
Sinnott, a Chicago-based writer and producer, began writing about coffee when a client, Larry McManus was irritated with Sinnott’s taking 20 minutes to make coffee while they were working. He jokingly suggested Sinnott might be happier writing about coffee and that weekend Sinnott published his first newsletter, which included hardware-style technical reviews of coffee brewers and interviews with his favorite coffee industry leaders.
He resides in Chicago with his wife and business partner Patricia.