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Date: 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"

Okay, folks...

The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
ground.


IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
tangible or intangible, for C-Members? Be reasonable and realistic,
please. "Free coffee for life" isn't gonna happen, and unreasonable
and unrealistic demands will only provide fodder for those who wish
the program to remain on the ground.

I ask this because the SCAA Board has several new faces and the
organisation has a new Director. I was specifically asked what
benefits C-Members might be interested in by a new SCAA Board member,
but I could only fumble for lame ideas and suggestions. Put it in
this thread, and I'll point it out to folks who might be able to do
something about it. Don't look for anything at this convention beyond
what we put together ourselves; there just isn't time.





 
Date: 23 Apr 2007 06:41:52
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Barry Jarrett wrote:

>
> I ask this because the SCAA Board has several new faces and the
> organisation has a new Director. I was specifically asked what
> benefits C-Members might be interested in by a new SCAA Board member,
> but I could only fumble for lame ideas and suggestions. Put it in
> this thread, and I'll point it out to folks who might be able to do
> something about it. Don't look for anything at this convention beyond
> what we put together ourselves; there just isn't time.
>

I've been to 3 SCAA conferences. To say the least, attention to
c-members has been inconsistent. My best learning experiences came from
taking classes that were offered to the "pros" but c-members have been
closed out from pro classes in recent years. There was talk of a green
bean store for c-members but it never materialized. One year I
participated in a c-member panel discussion that was well attended by
the pro community. It was a great experience for me but I don't know if
c-members reflect the tastes and buying habits of the coffee drinking
public in general.

R "who views the SCAA conference as a good opportunity to get together
with AC friends from all over the world" TF


  
Date: 23 Apr 2007 14:07:00
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 06:41:52 -0400, Moka Java
<rtwatches@fishyahoo.com > wrote:

>R "who views the SCAA conference as a good opportunity to get together
>with AC friends from all over the world" TF

Are you coming?

Marshall


   
Date: 23 Apr 2007 23:49:55
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
"Marshall" <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote in message
news:6cfp23dgevsvac89qervgqptej85pfi2ku@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 06:41:52 -0400, Moka Java
> <rtwatches@fishyahoo.com> wrote:
>
>>R "who views the SCAA conference as a good opportunity to get together
>>with AC friends from all over the world" TF
>
> Are you coming?
>
> Marshall

yeah, we're expecting to see you now . . . .

ken




    
Date: 24 Apr 2007 06:25:35
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Ken Fox wrote:
> "Marshall" <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:6cfp23dgevsvac89qervgqptej85pfi2ku@4ax.com...
>
>>On Mon, 23 Apr 2007 06:41:52 -0400, Moka Java
>><rtwatches@fishyahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>>
>>>R "who views the SCAA conference as a good opportunity to get together
>>>with AC friends from all over the world" TF
>>
>>Are you coming?
>>
>>Marshall
>
>
> yeah, we're expecting to see you now . . . .
>
> ken
>
>
Unfortunately, I have a family/social commitment for that weekend.

R "lots of frequent flier miles for next year" TF


 
Date: 19 Apr 2007 14:34:39
From: Dave b
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Apr 19, 10:36 am, "Ken Fox" <morceaudemerdeSnipT...@hotmail.com >
wrote:
> "D. Ross" <r...@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu> wrote in message
>
> news:4626fcc0.3625272@localhost...
>
> > I just hate to see the coffee
> > industry advocacy of c-members like Marshall and Fortune taken for other
> > than what it is.)
>
> > - David R.
>
> I've posted a number of times, mostly in another venue (Home Barista dot
> com), that self-respecting enthusiasts need to maintain some distance
> between themselves and their would-be industry proponents who can, will, and
> in fact "should," try to "use" us to their own benefit, or we risk becoming
> mere shills for the industry. This is simply the application of Economics
> 101 as it applies to using the internet age "core online enthusiasts" to
> sell your wares.
>
> I was more or less burned at the stake in online fashion for suggesting that
> barista competitions offer little (or maybe nothing) to the enthusiast
> community whereas they offer cafes an opportunity to motivate their staff
> and publicize their cafes (and coffee in many instances). I see this as but
> one example of where the interests of the enthusiast community do not run in
> parallel with those of the business community, even that part of the
> business community that would like to curry favor with us.
>
> Being able to attend the SCAA annual meeting is a privilege, but beyond
> question it is a privilege that we pay for. I've preregistered and paid $70
> to be able to walk the floors for a couple of days, something I'm glad to do
> and I'd imagine that my financial contribution as well as that of those
> other consumers who pay up to attend will provide at least some financial
> benefit to the SCAA beyond it being a mere token gesture.
>
> In any event, the SCAA is but one of the many resources available to
> enthusiasts who want to further their coffee education. Whether our
> presence (which as others point out has not ever really been exploited to
> benefit the SCAA) is on balance a net positive or a net negative for the
> associaton is the association's call. If we are a net negative then either
> they should try to make it into a positive, or eliminate it (e.g. us and our
> membership category) altogether. Before there was a C-Member category there
> still were enthusiasts, and there will be enthusiasts afterwards if the
> category is abolished. I have been fortunate to be able to get to know a
> number of people in the industry, more often than not without the help of
> the SCAA; I'm sure that those relationships will continue with or without
> C-membership.
>
> ken

***************************************
Well, it's not like they have tried to "use" the enthusiast community
so far!

"e-members"

I'm certain if we begin to receive any special considerations
whatever, we will notice and discuss such consideration(s).

looking forward to special treatment -- ANY special treatment at
all??!!

Dave
www.hitechespresso.com



 
Date: 19 Apr 2007 06:12:37
From:
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
This thread has been so interesting tome. I think the first SCAA show
we went to was in New Orleans or perhaps Philadelphia (sorry),- maybe
10 years ago. Weird, but I see the same issues in this thread that I
felt then.

The SCAA is trying to be all things to all coffee people. I remember
the elegant balls (think fancy country club- maybe black tie?) the
Friday night before the Trade Show began.. The names on the BOD then
were all highly successful coffee *retailers*. One year in
Philadelphia, they had a farmer giving a presentation and Bob and I
were quite excited---finally from a farmer's point of view. Well this
farmer from SA had thousands of acres, he spoke at length at the
church and schools he had built for his workers. It was very
interesting, the speaker was earnest, but it was again at the
opposite end of our spectrum.

Now some years later, it is obvious that the SCAA IMHO has attempted
to reach out to "all" people, not just the upper echelon. Even the
Friday night "do" before the show opens, is more down to earth.

I guess we have to remember that the SCAA can not be all things to all
people.
Just my $.02

aloha,
Cea



 
Date:
From:
Subject:


 
Date: 18 Apr 2007 07:11:36
From: Dave b
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"

>
> I love the online community. I spend way too much time on it. But,
> when I write that a lot of professionals look askance at the Popular
> Mechanics side of it, I think people should know there is a basis for
> it.
>
> Marshall "loves machine talk when he has a problem, too"

similar to the 'audiophile' community

HUGE interest in the HARDWARE, less so in the music.

dave
www.hitechespresso.com



 
Date: 18 Apr 2007 06:04:19
From: Nick Cho
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Apr 18, 4:41 am, r...@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D. Ross) wrote:
> Marshall, even if you are correct about this, the comment by Nick that
> triggered my reaction was that the SCAA has everyone's interests at heart,
> whereas we enthusiasts are just interested in coffee for selfish reasons.
> I'd be surprised to hear that you agree with this.

I never wrote, "selfish reasons." I wrote: "the SCAA strives to be a
'mutual benefit' organization, while
'consumers' by nature are there for your own interests alone. Make no
mistake... there's NOTHING wrong with being a 'consumer.' We're all
consumers most of the time."

That is not a slight against enthusiasts whatsoever. Clearly there's
an enthusiast community as well. However, the professional SCAA
members and enthusiasts are coming to the table for clearly different
reasons. One is not better or more important... just different. That
disparity has been (as I stated before), in my opinion, the key to the
'underachievement' of the cMember program.

There's clearly a point of intersection between these two distinct
communities where both find real value, which is the only way that a
program like the cMembers can be viable and sustainable.



  
Date: 19 Apr 2007 05:32:32
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Nick Cho <portafilter@gmail.com > wrote:



   
Date: 19 Apr 2007 08:36:32
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
"D. Ross" <ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu > wrote in message
news:4626fcc0.3625272@localhost...
> I just hate to see the coffee
> industry advocacy of c-members like Marshall and Fortune taken for other
> than what it is.)
>
> - David R.

I've posted a number of times, mostly in another venue (Home Barista dot
com), that self-respecting enthusiasts need to maintain some distance
between themselves and their would-be industry proponents who can, will, and
in fact "should," try to "use" us to their own benefit, or we risk becoming
mere shills for the industry. This is simply the application of Economics
101 as it applies to using the internet age "core online enthusiasts" to
sell your wares.

I was more or less burned at the stake in online fashion for suggesting that
barista competitions offer little (or maybe nothing) to the enthusiast
community whereas they offer cafes an opportunity to motivate their staff
and publicize their cafes (and coffee in many instances). I see this as but
one example of where the interests of the enthusiast community do not run in
parallel with those of the business community, even that part of the
business community that would like to curry favor with us.

Being able to attend the SCAA annual meeting is a privilege, but beyond
question it is a privilege that we pay for. I've preregistered and paid $70
to be able to walk the floors for a couple of days, something I'm glad to do
and I'd imagine that my financial contribution as well as that of those
other consumers who pay up to attend will provide at least some financial
benefit to the SCAA beyond it being a mere token gesture.

In any event, the SCAA is but one of the many resources available to
enthusiasts who want to further their coffee education. Whether our
presence (which as others point out has not ever really been exploited to
benefit the SCAA) is on balance a net positive or a net negative for the
associaton is the association's call. If we are a net negative then either
they should try to make it into a positive, or eliminate it (e.g. us and our
membership category) altogether. Before there was a C-Member category there
still were enthusiasts, and there will be enthusiasts afterwards if the
category is abolished. I have been fortunate to be able to get to know a
number of people in the industry, more often than not without the help of
the SCAA; I'm sure that those relationships will continue with or without
C-membership.

ken




 
Date: 17 Apr 2007 14:42:19
From:
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Apr 17, 1:57 pm, bernie <bdig...@zianet.com > wrote:
> Barry Jarrett wrote:
> > Okay, folks...
>
> > The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
>
> Big Snips...
>
> Interesting thread. I'm neutral on the whole thing but find it
> interesting that there seems to be so much interest.
> Bernie (over-using interesting, intrestingly)

What's worth noting (interesting?) is that the interest is so
diverse. Even in this very small pond, there are hobbiest-
enthusiasts with all degrees of passion, expertise, and background;
those with more or less commercial interest; those who participate
rarely, often, constantly, and so forth. Not surprising that a C-
Membership consensus doesn't pop out. If I were filling out the Altie
Report Card, I'd have to comment:

"A very bright bright group. Sometimes has trouble playing well with
others."

Martin



  
Date: 17 Apr 2007 22:09:02
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On 17 Apr 2007 14:42:19 -0700, coffeeemail@gmail.com wrote:

>
>"A very bright bright group. Sometimes has trouble playing well with
>others."


it's pretty much been that way since Day 1. :)



   
Date: 17 Apr 2007 16:12:20
From: I->Ian
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:09:02 GMT, Barry Jarrett
<barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>On 17 Apr 2007 14:42:19 -0700, coffeeemail@gmail.com wrote:
>
> >
> >"A very bright bright group. Sometimes has trouble playing well with
> >others."
>
>
>it's pretty much been that way since Day 1. :)

Would you have it any other way?


    
Date: 18 Apr 2007 00:14:35
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:12:20 -0700, "I- >Ian" <someone@nowhere.com>
wrote:

>On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 22:09:02 GMT, Barry Jarrett
><barry@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
>
>>On 17 Apr 2007 14:42:19 -0700, coffeeemail@gmail.com wrote:
>>
>> >
>> >"A very bright bright group. Sometimes has trouble playing well with
>> >others."
>>
>>
>>it's pretty much been that way since Day 1. :)
>
>Would you have it any other way?


not a chance. :D



  
Date: 17 Apr 2007 17:06:10
From: notbob
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On 2007-04-17, coffeeemail@gmail.com <coffeeemail@gmail.com > wrote:

> "A very bright bright group. Sometimes has trouble playing well with
> others."

LOL!....

nb


 
Date: 17 Apr 2007 14:57:07
From: bernie
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Barry Jarrett wrote:
> Okay, folks...
>
> The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
>

Big Snips...

Interesting thread. I'm neutral on the whole thing but find it
interesting that there seems to be so much interest.
Bernie (over-using interesting, intrestingly)


 
Date: 16 Apr 2007 09:36:40
From: DavidMLewis
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Apr 14, 11:16 am, Barry Jarrett <b...@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:
> Okay, folks...
>
> The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
> reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
> organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
> individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
> hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
> ground.
>
> IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
> in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
> tangible or intangible, for C-Members? Be reasonable and realistic,
> please. "Free coffee for life" isn't gonna happen, and unreasonable
> and unrealistic demands will only provide fodder for those who wish
> the program to remain on the ground.
>
Hi Barry,

Without reiterating what others have said well, I'd like to emphasize
that for me the benefits revolve around education, and secondarily the
opportunity to occasionally meet the people I've come to know here.
Whether it takes place at a homecoming in Long Beach, at a convention,
or at a local shop, making myself a more knowledgeable consumer is the
highest benefit. One of the things I greatly value about coffee, as I
do about wine, is the opportunity to continuously learn, and to feel
myself part of a whole chain of people who care passionately about
what they're doing. I understand that this has to be paid for, but it
could be made smoother. Probably the opportunity to hear Ted Lingle or
Ken Davids or Willem Boot, or you isn't going to happen very often, or
at less than a national gathering, so the educational tracks at the
conventions are of value. Another thing would be to create a series of
"canned" workshops that would make it take less time and
organizational effort for a local shop, say, to put on an evening with
the Nez du Cafe kit, or perhaps a DVD of someone of national stature
that could be played along with a cupping of coffees with known
characteristics or flaws.

Best,
David



 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 19:17:08
From: Nick Cho
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Apr 14, 6:43 pm, Marshall <mrf...@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:
> On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22 GMT, Barry Jarrett
>
> <b...@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
>
> >Okay, folks...
>
> >The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
> >reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
> >organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
> >individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
> >hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
> >ground.
>
> Complaints about the C-Member program have been rehashed here several
> times over the years. Before people launch a new one, a few problems
> will have to be addressed.
>
> 1. SCAA is a volunteer organization, and the C-members turned out to
> be lousy volunteers. SCAA will provide infrastructure, but depends on
> members to spearhead and act as volunteers for programs. Fortune
> repeatedly begged for help in writing and editing the newsletter and
> got very little response. I urged members to work with SCAA to
> organize "Homecomings" in their own regions, and no one came forward.
> Basically, the C-members viewed SCAA as a company they were buying
> services from, not a club they were supporting with anything other
> than dollars.
>
> 2. Perhaps as an extension of Problem #1, some C-members treated
> professional SCAA volunteers and staff as servants for hire and
> treated them poorly. When you reduce a well-loved volunteer to tears
> and demand the owner of a respected roastery act as an errand boy to
> find your missing door prize, word gets around. This happened in
> Charlotte.
>
> 3. Regular members pay a LOT of money to join SCAA and attend the
> Conference. They will not tolerate subsidizing discount registrations
> for consumers for the very same programs, especially when many of the
> C-members have more disposable income than they do. In Charlotte,
> three farmers from Nepal registered as C-members, because they saw it
> as the budget-wise way to register. They asked Tim Castle for
> suggestions on irrigation at his "consumer" presentation. That won't
> fly, either.
>
> 4. The recent changes in the SCAA leadership are weighing toward the
> retail and mid-size roaster side of the membership. This is
> potentially good for consumer enthusiasts. But, the leadership may be
> more interested in pushing down consumer programming to the local
> level than hosting more C-track extravaganzas. While the programming
> will probably not be as elaborate as at the old C-tracks or the
> Homecomings in Long Beach, it will be accessible to a lot more people.
> I think quality, local programming is the way to go.
>
> Marshall

Marshall... VERY poignant post.

I'll "out" myself as the new SCAA Board member that Barry mentioned.

Do it right, or don't do it. I'm interested in taking (somewhat) of
the lead on doing an assessment of the C-member program, and making a
big change to it: either just kill it, or kill it and bring it back in
a new, improved, viable, and sustainable form. It's clear that the
current C-member program has been a failure, and I think Marshall's
points are very, very important (I thought the same sort of thing,
while observing from afar). I also think that Jim Schulman makes
great points as well.

There's a lot to overcome. Along the same lines of Jim and Marshall,
the SCAA strives to be a "mutual benefit" organization, while
"consumers" by nature are there for your own interests alone. Make no
mistake... there's NOTHING wrong with being a "consumer." We're all
consumers most of the time. However, this unreconciled disparity in
purpose and reason for engagement somewhat doomed the program from the
beginning.

I agree with Marshall that one seemingly viable possibility is
shifting activity to a more local level. However, that would
necessitate a more engaged retailer base than we seem to have right
now (engaged meaning active SCAA members). Improving retailer
involvement is one of my personal missions as an incoming Board
member. That's why I'm (personally) asking stakeholders to brainstorm
viable options for a new consumer-enthusiast program... with the
understanding that the best thing for everyone might be to kill the
program altogether.

None of what I'm talking about can happen unilaterally. I'm hoping to
engage the SCAA as a communicative and active advocate for the groups
within the industry that I best represent (retailers, baristas,
"enthusiasts"), but though I ask and encourage the a.c community to
hold me accountable, I'll do what I can... but change takes time and
lots of work... and support from the right places.

Let's see what is possible.



  
Date: 15 Apr 2007 12:46:20
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"


  
Date: 15 Apr 2007 23:37:38
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
(My apologies if this shows up twice, I am having server problems.)



   
Date: 15 Apr 2007 20:14:10
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 23:37:38 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:

>Many of us on these forums have been specialty coffee enthusiasts for a long
>time - only 30 years for me, substantially more for others. In the old
>days, here in the US anyway, the landscape was pretty bleak - you could get
>good coffee and equipment from a few isolated gourmet kitchen supply places
>(eg Zabars, Fante's) or rare specialty shops in odd Bohemian neighborhoods
>(like North Beach) and college towns (eg Coffee Connection in Harvard
>Square). If a new roaster opened up, especially in the hinterland, it was
>usually by someone who was in it first for the love of the bean, and as an
>enthusiast I usually felt welcomed in such shops not only as a customer but
>also as someone with whom a passion could be shared.
>
>Over the years, as specialty coffee came to be increasingly dominated by
>larger concerns (not just Starbucks and Peets and Caribou, but also small
>roasters made large), it seemed to me that a distance grew between the
>customer - even the enthusiast - and specialty coffee professionals. Many
>of the newer small shops that have popping up seem to take more after their
>larger brethren in this regard than after the small shops of old.

To some extent this is true. Specialty coffee was something special
when I first returned to the US (1975). The growth of specialty coffee
as a market sector basically proceeded by dilution -- moving away from
specialty coffees that appealed to only few people and towards
specialty drinks that appealed to many.

To this group, we coffee enthusiasts are a no factor, except the
ritual "yikes, amateurs at our slushie fest trade show" complaints by
cafe owners who never will know nearly as much as any of us have
forgotten. Marshall takes these reports of our boorishness seriously,
but he, above all, should consider the credibility of such hearsay,
or even better, it's likely source.

The group with which we have contact, and the usual family love/hate
spats, is the new generation of roasters who want to grow actual
specialty coffees. Call them third wave, or super specialty, or
whatever, (a good name would be nice), we owe them a lot -- the
coffees I can get today are superior in every sense to anything I've
had in the past 20 years, and this is due to their efforts in
sourcing, roasting, and selling them.

The key here is that this group wants to expand the fine coffee
public; and they want us to help. I would think that from that point
of view, most of us fall rather flat. Instead of reaching out to
others, we mostly come across like semi-insane techno geeks who insist
that one can't get good coffee without spending a bundle of money and
time. They would be far more comfortable with us if we had our
espresso at cafes, and enjoyed our home brew with French presses and
Zasses.

We, on the other hand, want the latest news and know how of all
aspects of commercial coffee practice, especially espresso. This does
have some positive effects -- we act as critics, applauding the good,
and questioning the questionable. But this is unlikely to endear us to
anyone, especially since there's probably no lines at the door when we
give some place a rave.

Growing real specialty coffee is our problem too. The pros doing this
are gambling their livlihoods on quality, so they have a huge amount
to lose. But the high quality coffees we are seeing now from auctions
and relationship buys are going to dry up unless there's a wider
buying public. And that will certainly be a big loss for us.


   
Date: 16 Apr 2007 00:56:21
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 23:37:38 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:

>Over the years, as specialty coffee came to be increasingly dominated by
>larger concerns (not just Starbucks and Peets and Caribou, but also small
>roasters made large), it seemed to me that a distance grew between the
>customer - even the enthusiast - and specialty coffee professionals. Many
>of the newer small shops that have popping up seem to take more after their
>larger brethren in this regard than after the small shops of old.

I've seen exactly the opposite. The owners of these shops (I'll call
them "third wave" for want of a better term), have actively engaged
the enthusiast community, only partly through CoffeeGeek and
Home-barista.com. Counter Culture, Intelligentsia, Groundwork, Oren's
Daily Roast, Gimme and Barefoot come immediately to mind, and I don't
follow the regional forums, except for the West Coast. There must be
lots of others.

>I had rather hoped that a flourishing c-member program, as well as the
>participation of coffee professionals in enthusiast-driven coffee forums,
>was evidence that my observations were wrong, and that the industry really
>does view the world of enthusiasts as more than a fan base, or captive
>clientele, or maybe a large focus group on whom to test new blends or
>equipment or ideas before going after the larger market.

Outside of the third-wavers you run into a fair amount of hostility at
SCAA. I see it coming from several angles, some understandable, others
not.

SCAA is always short of cash, and retailers tend to feel they have not
been well served by the organization. As full dues paying members,
they want more focus on themselves and don't want to compete with
consumers for scarce SCAA resources. I think this was reflected in the
recent election results.

But, the average SCAA member, whether retail, wholesale or supplier of
"allied" goods (think syrups and mixes), likes the idea of an industry
centered on flavored lattes and blended cold drinks. These products
are arguably more profitable than straight coffee, and they don't
require higher-level skills or even the best coffees. Enthusiasts
don't share their view of the market, and they know it.

>However, then I see comments like the one I quote at the beginning, or this
>recent post on CG by a barista:
>
>"Coffeegeek ...are a small group that make it hell for business owners"
>
>...or the annual post-SCAA complaints about c-members distracting the
>exhibitors from the business they are supposed to be doing, and again I get
>a sense that the contributions of the enthusiast community - meager as
>these contributions are - are being overly trivialized by some people in the
>industry.

Some of the trivialization is well-deserved. Lots of industry people
read alt.coffee and CoffeeGeek, even if they don't post there. Some of
them come away with the distinct impression that most posters are more
interested in talking about machines than coffee. This turns off even
the really committed coffee people that enthusiasts want to reach. The
industry views alt.coffee, CoffeeGeek and C-members as pretty much the
same people.

Marshall "it's not easy having a foot in each camp"


    
Date: 16 Apr 2007 04:34:16
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Marshall:



    
Date: 16 Apr 2007 04:37:27
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
(My apologies again if *this* shows up twice, I am *still* having server
problems. Should be fixed soon!)


Marshall:



     
Date: 17 Apr 2007 16:57:49
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D. Ross) wrote:

>(My apologies again if *this* shows up twice, I am *still* having server
>problems. Should be fixed soon!)
>
>
>Marshall:
>
>


      
Date: 18 Apr 2007 01:21:46
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 16:57:49 -0700, Randy G. <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com >
wrote:

>Additionally, I would think that a majority of people who like really
>good coffee do not grow coffee and do not roast their own coffee. The
>one area in which they have control is with their grinder and
>coffee-making equipment, and so a lot of discussion centers in that
>area. Additionally, if you buy five pounds of coffee that you don't
>like, no big deal- in a month or so it is gone. Spend $1500+++ on
>coffee equipment for the home and don't like it and you can be stuck,
>or at least, faced with a loss on the investment and the hassle of
>getting rid of it. $150 would buy a lot of coffee samples in a search
>for what you like. The same cannot be said of equipment.

It's not that simple. F'rinstance... I am on the GS3 waiting list. I
am intensely interested in the quality of coffee that machine will
produce. I pulled several shots on a late-beta model last summer, was
very impressed, and I want to know how the final changes affect the
shots.

When ESI sent out beta models earlier last year for testing, the
on-line reports from professionals were not only ecstatic, but quite
detailed as to the quality (and qualities) of the shots. Their posts
persuaded me to join the list.

Several weeks ago, the first production models starting shipping, and
I eagerly followed the posts of the early adopters on CoffeeGeek. The
threads talked a little about the espresso (very little), but went on
forever about, ta da, steam nozzles. It was very frustrating, but very
predictable.

I love the online community. I spend way too much time on it. But,
when I write that a lot of professionals look askance at the Popular
Mechanics side of it, I think people should know there is a basis for
it.

Marshall "loves machine talk when he has a problem, too"


       
Date: 18 Apr 2007 08:41:45
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Marshall <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:



       
Date: 17 Apr 2007 22:17:36
From: Randy G.
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Marshall <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:
>[snip]
>Several weeks ago, the first production models starting shipping, and
>I eagerly followed the posts of the early adopters on CoffeeGeek. The
>threads talked a little about the espresso (very little), but went on
>forever about, ta da, steam nozzles. It was very frustrating, but very
>predictable.
>
>I love the online community. I spend way too much time on it. But,
>when I write that a lot of professionals look askance at the Popular
>Mechanics side of it, I think people should know there is a basis for
>it.
>
In that sense it is just like reading user reviews of just about
anything on sites like Buy.com, Amazon.com, etc.com. Any thread can
degrade into near-uselessness, so you have to pick through to find
what you need, want, or desire. You can find the same sort of thing in
tube vs. solid state amps, iPod vs. Zen, Trojan vs. Ramses, etc. ;-)

Any given forum on any given day, but here in alt.coffee, white-noise
aside, we have, if not led the way, certainly created a lot of useful
data points that seem to have shown up on the commercial side. For
example, in Seattle I spoke to a Rancilio rep about the pressure mod
being done to the Silvia (re: adding washers to adjust the brewing
pressure downwards). He said that they had tested a group of machines
off the assembly line and that they were all in spec. Just over a year
later (IIRC) we see adjustable pressure relief valves as standard
equipment on Silvia. And PID ubiquity started here, if I dare say so,
and there is even a machine factory equipped with one, for WAY under
$12000- under $500 I think. I wrote to the manufacturer but have not
heard back, and I do not believe it is available in the states
(vaporware?).

Seems like it's wheat and chaff, and who wants to take the time to
weed out one from the other. I have my chaff filter on high- ;-)

If professionals want to gain information from knowledgeable
enthusiasts, all they have to do is ask. Some don't, some do, and some
do but don't listen.. Not much we can do about that. On the other
hand, do they care? With so many coffee shops selling septic dredgings
mixed with enough fat and calories to feed a family of four for a week
and calling it coffee, why should they care what we think? (rhetorical
question).

Randy "off to find something to disassemble for another chapter" G.
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com




     
Date: 16 Apr 2007 16:52:13
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 04:37:27 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:

>Jim:
>
>


      
Date: 17 Apr 2007 14:07:34
From: roland koch
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 16:52:13 -0500, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>
>These new coffees, which I call super specialty, are better than
>anything I've ever had. I bought coffees at Zabars in the seventies,
>and my best friend's dad in Munich, where I grew up, was a coffee
>roaster, so I know what great coffees tasted like in the 60s and 70s,
>and I know what they taste like today.

Hello.

Might as well delurk and jump in here.
Coffee in Munich in the 60s for me is Tchibo:-((
0,10 DM for a cup of that acid, stomach ravaging beverage was all what
that young waiter could spend in those years.
Dallmayr (now Nestle owned) Eilles and Burkhof (both meanwhile part of
Darboven) were out of reach.
The first really good coffee I tasted in those years was in Rotterdam
from where I started for a few months as a steward on the Holland
America Line.

Munich today:
After the invasion of Starbucks, SFCC, Fellowes et al., Darboven,
Nestle and Tchibo are firing back, their machines are to be seen in
nearly every second shop, thus downsizing the quality. Give us time
and we will be at the level so many members of this group deplore.

I know from what I write, my door to door neighbour mutated to a sort
of convenience shop. Burkhof (Darboven) coffees a third less priced
than what I serve. At first, my chin was getting longer, watching
customers buying their "to go" coffee there;-((
Until it dawned to me that those where not, and would never be our
customers.
Our Jura Impressa X9 purrs while pouring the Rolls Royce of Italian
Espressi: Caffe Hausbrandt fom Trieste (yes there is Illy there too,
but you will find Illy in every Supermarket, not so Hausbrandt).
Said a customer who doesn't even drink coffee: your neighbours
espresso is cheaper but yours smell better!
So, we continue on our line of quality, sales even increasing since
the new cheap competitor arrived:-))
Says another customer: Monday, at last, I was missing my espresso!

Thank you guys for your posts which I have been reading several months
now.


roland a. koch
--
Auf den Spuren des Prinzen Genji - Erlesene Japanische Düfte
http://www.rorando.de


       
Date: 18 Apr 2007 05:36:09
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 14:07:34 +0200, roland koch
<orlando2@fantasymail.de > wrote:

>Might as well delurk and jump in here.
>Coffee in Munich in the 60s for me is Tchibo:-((
>0,10 DM for a cup of that acid, stomach ravaging beverage was all what
>that young waiter could spend in those years.
>Dallmayr (now Nestle owned) Eilles and Burkhof (both meanwhile part of
>Darboven) were out of reach.
>The first really good coffee I tasted in those years was in Rotterdam
>from where I started for a few months as a steward on the Holland
>America Line.

My friend's place was called Costaria, on the Neuhauser Strasse. They
owned the building, sold out for a fortune and retired when the street
became a pedestrian zone after the Olympics. Dallmayr was good too;
although their biggest competition for sales to cafes was the Vienese
roaster (forget the name) that had the moor-head on their napkins.


        
Date: 18 Apr 2007 17:01:31
From: roland
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 05:36:09 -0500, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>My friend's place was called Costaria, on the Neuhauser Strasse.

I remember vaguely a ship in their sign.

>They
>owned the building, sold out for a fortune and retired when the street
>became a pedestrian zone after the Olympics. Dallmayr was good too;
>although their biggest competition for sales to cafes was the Vienese
>roaster (forget the name) that had the moor-head on their napkins.

Julius Meinl. Still operating, THE coffee name in Austria.
http://www.meinl.com/aboutus.html

We sell with success organic coffee from Sonnentor. Based in Austria,
the coffee is roasted at Sacher's , another great Viennese name.


roland a. koch
--
Auf den Spuren des Prinzen Genji - Erlesene Japanische Düfte
http://www.rorando.de


         
Date: 18 Apr 2007 10:58:08
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 17:01:31 +0200, roland <orlando2@fantasymail.de >
wrote:

>their biggest competition for sales to cafes was the Vienese
>>roaster (forget the name) that had the moor-head on their napkins.
>
>Julius Meinl. Still operating, THE coffee name in Austria.
>http://www.meinl.com/aboutus.html

I am getting senile; they've even opend a cafe (with waiters and all,
although not all 60 year old men) in Chicago.


      
Date: 17 Apr 2007 04:21:37
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"


       
Date: 17 Apr 2007 20:26:44
From: Neal Reid
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
In article <4624450e.887456@localhost >,
ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D. Ross) wrote:
...
>


        
Date: 18 Apr 2007 08:54:53
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"


         
Date: 18 Apr 2007 06:01:26
From:
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Wed, 18 Apr 2007 08:54:53 GMT, ross@math.hawaii.NOSPAM.edu (D.
Ross) wrote:


>
>BTW, I am very skeptical that suddenly, based on support from a few
>roasters, there is new, better coffee being grown. The best coffee is
>usually from mature, well-established plants - I think most of Cea's plants
>are older than any "third wave" barista or roaster alive.
>
>- David R.
Thank you David. Yes most of our trees are over 100 years old. The
Kona Coffee Farmer's group has joined other groups in an attempt to
stop GMO coffee from being grown in our state for obvious reasons but
the GMO lobby of seed growers(mainly corn) is very strong and you know
who our Legislature listens to, their wallets.

Not only are our Kona coffee plants very old and beautifully gnarly,
they are so happy and vigorous and obviously growing where they choose
to

I think there will always be people who want better stronger more. But
when you have heritage plants that prove themselves with their
consistent vigor and consistent taste etc., why change it for more
better stronger, unless you are a research scientist who livelihood
depends on it.

aloha,
Cea


         
Date: 18 Apr 2007 10:05:33
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
>BTW, I am very skeptical that suddenly, based on support from a few
>roasters, there is new, better coffee being grown. The best coffee is
>usually from mature, well-established plants - I think most of Cea's plants
>are older than any "third wave" barista or roaster alive.
>
>- David R.

Very true. Most of the incredible "super special" coffees I've seen in the
last couple of years have been from heirloom varietals that have been
selected for individual processing, rather than any of the "new"
crossbreeds. The big difference is that these days growers and processors
(a) are better at identifying quality and (b) are more assured of a market
when they find it.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au




      
Date: 16 Apr 2007 18:13:01
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
I'm just hoping and praying that all the hybridization won't ruin 'specialty
coffee'. That wasn't much of an issue back in the 70's. Now many of the
old heirloom trees are being ripped out and replaced by hybrids that produce
greater crop yields and are more drought resistant, sometimes at the expense
of flavor. I long for Kenyas and Costa Ricans that taste as good as I
remember. They are out there, and are a real treat when I find one, but
many deemed 'specialty' Kenyas and CRs don't stack up.

In the '70's the term 'Specialty Coffee' was not used to my knowledge. It
was called 'Gourmet Coffee'. I'm not sure when the 'specialty' designation
came about, but I'd say it was early to mid eighties at the earliest. I had
my coffeehouse three years, 77, 78 and 79, and 'specialty' was not a term I
remember seeing.

--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************


"jim schulman" <jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote in message
news:16q723ljvubqhbq2ntgfuoob6uq0c8gieb@4ax.com...
<SNIP >
> Even a social networks guy like me would have a hard time making the
> case that the ripple effect of our hobby has created this market.
> There's a core group of between 100 and 1000 people on the boards, So
> either we would all need to be directly or indirectly influencing a
> thousand each; or alternatively, the high profile ones like Mark,
> Fortune or Randy would need to be influencing hundreds of thousands. I
> cannot see this being the case. I would be more comfortable claiming
> that internet coffee is accounting for about 10% of these top
> roasters' and cafes' business. Obviously, these are order of magnitude
> estimates.




       
Date: 16 Apr 2007 21:42:17
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 18:13:01 -0400, "Ed Needham"
<ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com > wrote:

>In the '70's the term 'Specialty Coffee' was not used to my knowledge. It
>was called 'Gourmet Coffee'.

You're right.

Of course, the small roasters and good cafes just called it coffee
usually adding " not sure what I'd call their stuff."


      
Date: 16 Apr 2007 22:06:33
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Mon, 16 Apr 2007 16:52:13 -0500, jim schulman
<jim_schulman@ameritech.net > wrote:

>Even a social networks guy like me would have a hard time making the
>case that the ripple effect of our hobby has created this market.
>There's a core group of between 100 and 1000 people on the boards, So
>either we would all need to be directly or indirectly influencing a
>thousand each; or alternatively, the high profile ones like Mark,
>Fortune or Randy would need to be influencing hundreds of thousands. I
>cannot see this being the case. I would be more comfortable claiming
>that internet coffee is accounting for about 10% of these top
>roasters' and cafes' business. Obviously, these are order of magnitude
>estimates.

It's hard for us to know how much ripple effect we have. People ask us
for recommendations, like what they find and become recommenders to
other people. I think that was SCAA's biggest hope behind the
C-Memberships: bring some taste leaders into the tent. Just this
weekend I convinced someone in an upscale restaurant to skip their
crema-less pod espresso and take a short walk to much better stuff
across the street.

On the other hand, a couple of coffee lovers on the L.A. Times staff
have done more in a few inches of ink for Groundwork, Caffe Luxxe and
Supreme Bean than I could do in a lifetime.

Marshall


  
Date: 14 Apr 2007 22:07:17
From: Johnny
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"

"Nick Cho" <portafilter@gmail.com > wrote in message
news:1176603428.777046.88420@e65g2000hsc.googlegroups.com...
> On Apr 14, 6:43 pm, Marshall <mrf...@ihatespamearthlink.net> wrote:
> > On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22 GMT, Barry Jarrett
> >
> > <b...@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
> >
<snip / >

> I agree with Marshall that one seemingly viable possibility is
> shifting activity to a more local level. However, that would
> necessitate a more engaged retailer base than we seem to have right
> now (engaged meaning active SCAA members). Improving retailer
> involvement is one of my personal missions as an incoming Board
> member. That's why I'm (personally) asking stakeholders to brainstorm
> viable options for a new consumer-enthusiast program... with the
> understanding that the best thing for everyone might be to kill the
> program altogether.
>
No need to kill it, it's already dead afaik.
I haven't renewed my c-membership, partly scared off by the financial
turmoil (anybody found the money or the absconder yet?) but also to what end
c-membership? I have enjoyed a couple of homecomings and a few other events
but have yet to receive a newsletter or any real direct attempt to organize
c-members to get together locally that wasn't a note in this newsgroup. The
newsletter died before I joined in 2004. I really appreciate the hard work
that Marshall has put into organizing the homecomings, they have all been
wondeful events but there has to be more to c-membership than a homecoming
per year. I'd happily just pay to go to the homecoming, c-membership didn't
add a whole lot. Locally organized events would be fine but how would SCAA
involvement improve an event we might organize? Sure it's a 2 way street but
from here right now I don't see what SCAA has to offer to support local
meetings.

Of course to do that SCAA would need a retailer base. I don't think they
have much of a one in this neck of the woods. San Diego SCAA member Cafe
Moto held a year-long series of mid-week evening events a while back that
were initially well-attended by local roasters, cafes, home-roasters and
consumers. This was quite well supported by the SCAA with talks by several
prominent SCAA members including Ted Lingle and TimCastle but in the end it
faded, not from lack of support from c-member types, who were the most
regular attendees, but from lack of support from local trade.

Cafe Moto has dropped that program, don't know where the trade meets now but
the local home roasters have moved over to a new host, Caffé Calabria, who
aren't (afaik) SCAA members, but do provide a wonderful experience for
coffee aficionados in terms of education and generous use of their
facilities. We in turn provide them with publicity. It's hard to say who
gets the better end of the deal but it isn't the SCAA. Calabria has also
snatched the local Barista competition away from Moto who held the first
local one.

There's almost zero SCAA members down here (around 6 last time I counted
("six is big?" ;-) ), out of 300+ cafes, roasters, etc) and SCAA has, as far
as I can tell, not shown a whole lot of interest in expanding its influence
in this region, despite overtures from local media over many years offering
to promote them. I suspect there might actually be an equal number of
c-members and ful SCAA members ;-) but I'll never know as SCAA has disabled
the member map on their website. I'd have thought they would want to promote
their members and membership but I guess they don't favor publicity for
their members. As a result it's not like SCAA can organize a quorum around
here.

SCAA has first to get a whole bunch of new full local members (i.e., >>2%)
down here, then we can talk about a "more engaged retail base...(engaged
meaning active SCAA members)".




 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 22:43:52
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22 GMT, Barry Jarrett
<barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>
>Okay, folks...
>
>The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
>reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
>organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
>individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
>hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
>ground.

Complaints about the C-Member program have been rehashed here several
times over the years. Before people launch a new one, a few problems
will have to be addressed.

1. SCAA is a volunteer organization, and the C-members turned out to
be lousy volunteers. SCAA will provide infrastructure, but depends on
members to spearhead and act as volunteers for programs. Fortune
repeatedly begged for help in writing and editing the newsletter and
got very little response. I urged members to work with SCAA to
organize "Homecomings" in their own regions, and no one came forward.
Basically, the C-members viewed SCAA as a company they were buying
services from, not a club they were supporting with anything other
than dollars.

2. Perhaps as an extension of Problem #1, some C-members treated
professional SCAA volunteers and staff as servants for hire and
treated them poorly. When you reduce a well-loved volunteer to tears
and demand the owner of a respected roastery act as an errand boy to
find your missing door prize, word gets around. This happened in
Charlotte.

3. Regular members pay a LOT of money to join SCAA and attend the
Conference. They will not tolerate subsidizing discount registrations
for consumers for the very same programs, especially when many of the
C-members have more disposable income than they do. In Charlotte,
three farmers from Nepal registered as C-members, because they saw it
as the budget-wise way to register. They asked Tim Castle for
suggestions on irrigation at his "consumer" presentation. That won't
fly, either.

4. The recent changes in the SCAA leadership are weighing toward the
retail and mid-size roaster side of the membership. This is
potentially good for consumer enthusiasts. But, the leadership may be
more interested in pushing down consumer programming to the local
level than hosting more C-track extravaganzas. While the programming
will probably not be as elaborate as at the old C-tracks or the
Homecomings in Long Beach, it will be accessible to a lot more people.
I think quality, local programming is the way to go.

Marshall


  
Date: 17 Apr 2007 03:58:00
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
"Marshall" <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote in message
news:nrk223d9rd9v9jkf8la79i4i6gbkd0la8i@4ax.com...
> On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22 GMT, Barry Jarrett
> <barry@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
>
>>
>>Okay, folks...
>>
>>The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
>>reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
>>organisation. >
>
> Marshall

There are parallels I can see in this situation to other interests I've had
in the past, in the trade-consumer interface. One that springs immediately
to mind is that when I collected wristwatches, a couple of times I went to
the annual watch and jewelry fair that was held in Basel, Switzerland. Back
in that time most of the big expensive watch manufacturers used to show
their wares at that show, and any consumer (most of whom were European,
especially Swiss) could attend for a modest fee. Later, there was
consolidation within the high end watch industry and the big players, for
the most part, wanted no part of having a lot of consumers attend their
trade show, which they saw as being a marketing effort between them and
jewelry store owners. The result was that a smaller show, closed to the
public, that was in Geneva, greatly expanded and the majority of the
producers switched to the Geneva show, effectively shutting out the public.
This happened maybe 8 years ago, and in part was probably a response to the
deluge of consumers attending the show.

Later, some people that I know in the US put together a travelling consumer
watch show and got manufacturers to participate, so in the end everyone
"won."

I can't speak for anyone else on what would be desirable here, and I come at
this from a different position than many or most. I very much enjoy
programs such as what Marshall has been putting together in LA each summer.
On the other hand, I don't "need" the SCAA to "educate" me, and if they
ultimately decide that they'd prefer not to have consumers bother their
exhibitors at the annual meeting, I'd be ok with that too. There is enough
talent in the consumer ranks, aided by the smallish number of SCAA
businesspeople that cares about us, to put on some occasional events that
will draw altie types to whatever venue they happen to be in and will
provide the opportunity for us to meet up in person. That's really all that
I want out of this.

As to contributions, consumer types can contribute in various ways. I try
to do a little research and to write about it, hoping that some people will
find it interesting and useful. Marshall puts his programs together, and
Jim (and Bob) do their tasting notes. Andy and Greg tinker with machines
and let us know how it turns out. Dan and Mark have their websites. The
list goes on and on, and I've only given several examples so the list is
just to illustrate that contributions come in various forms.

I see all of this stuff as contributing to my enjoyment of coffee, which is
really all I'm looking for, whether it comes from an organization or just
from the efforts of individuals.

ken




  
Date: 15 Apr 2007 06:17:33
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 22:43:52 GMT, Marshall
<mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:

>On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22 GMT, Barry Jarrett
><barry@rileys-coffee.com> wrote:
>
>>
>>Okay, folks...
>>
>>The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
>>reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
>>organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
>>individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
>>hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
>>ground.
>
>Complaints about the C-Member program have been rehashed here several
>times over the years. Before people launch a new one, a few problems
>will have to be addressed.

I seem to be geographically challenged about the South. Wherever I
said "Charlotte," I meant "Atlanta."

Marshall


 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 16:12:19
From: Ken Fox
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
"Barry Jarrett" <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote in message
news:q16223tcj5qri03bu3mnovlh6tv8e0mupe@4ax.com...
>
> Okay, folks...
>
> IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
> in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
> tangible or intangible, for C-Members?

I think you would have to look at it through the lens of what it costs, and
try to make the benefits balance the costs at least enough to motivate
people to pay up and either renew their memberships or apply as new members.
As it presently exists there is reason for anyone to do either.

If the $45 amount is not written in stone, and they want to reduce the rate,
I think they could offer less, or if they want to either keep or increase
the present rate they will have to offer more.

It sounds as if the person or people asking you this question have no or
limited knowledge of the fact that the program as currently constituted
offers essentially nothing that someone walking in off the street could not
receive. So, right now, we are at bottom. The program either adds
somethings that are of value or it dies. If they continue to offer
Marshall's program and the opportunity to attend the annual convention to
consumers, neither requiring C membership, I'd be ok with that option (e.g.
C membership ceases to exist). If they want to offer some content and some
benefits then they need to be commensurate in value with the price of
membership.

I realize this is not a specific answer to your question but having no idea
what options there are in what they might offer, I can't be any more
specific either. Not all of us live in big cities where local or regional,
in person, activities might be provided, so if what is offered is simply get
togethers for city dwellers, that is not worth much to someone like me even
if very cheap.

ken




  
Date: 14 Apr 2007 22:37:50
From: Barry Jarrett
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 16:12:19 -0600, "Ken Fox"
<morceaudemerdeSnipThis@hotmail.com > wrote:

>I think you would have to look at it through the lens of what it costs, and
>try to make the benefits balance the costs at least enough to motivate
>people to pay up and either renew their memberships or apply as new members.

personally, i think one of the factors that doomed it from the start
was the attitude amongst the powers-that-be that the c-member category
would be another "revenue stream" (oh, how i tire of hearing that term
when talking to scaa folks).

if they would view it more as a promotional or advertising expense,
aimed at growing public awareness of specialty coffee in general (odd,
isn't that the purpose of the association as a whole?), then i think
the benefits to c-members could be expanded in some way to make it
"worth it".

i'm not optimistic, but i felt i at least needed to put the question
out there.



   
Date: 14 Apr 2007 19:33:06
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Another factor, and maybe the biggest one that contributed to dooming the
c-member push was the chaos that ensued after the financial fiasco shook
them to their roots. Suddenly, a program for c-members took a back seat to
sheer survival of the organization.
--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************

"Barry Jarrett" wrote in message
news:pll223pv67pb6gm4rm258qsi3fnh0ti9ob@4ax.com...
> personally, i think one of the factors that doomed it from the start
> was the attitude amongst the powers-that-be that the c-member category
> would be another "revenue stream" (oh, how i tire of hearing that term
> when talking to scaa folks).
<SNIP >




    
Date: 14 Apr 2007 23:46:06
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 19:33:06 -0400, "Ed Needham"
<ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com > wrote:

>Another factor, and maybe the biggest one that contributed to dooming the
>c-member push was the chaos that ensued after the financial fiasco shook
>them to their roots. Suddenly, a program for c-members took a back seat to
>sheer survival of the organization.

True. It was another nail.

Marshall


 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 21:39:03
From: Lavarock
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Barry Jarrett wrote:
> Okay, folks...
>
>
> IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
> in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
> tangible or intangible, for C-Members? Be reasonable and realistic,
> please. "Free coffee for life" isn't gonna happen, and unreasonable
> and unrealistic demands will only provide fodder for those who wish
> the program to remain on the ground.
>
>

Not a member but have a couple suggestions:

Reduced rate for classes and so on.

Reduced entrance fee for attendance at trade show exhibit halls.

Encourage Member companies to offer a small discount to C-Members.
--

They said that someone has to live in Hawaii and I raised my hand first!


 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 16:35:21
From: jim schulman
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
On Sat, 14 Apr 2007 18:16:22 GMT, Barry Jarrett
<barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:

>IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
>in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
>tangible or intangible, for C-Members? Be reasonable and realistic,
>please. "Free coffee for life" isn't gonna happen, and unreasonable
>and unrealistic demands will only provide fodder for those who wish
>the program to remain on the ground.

As I said in the other thread, the real question for a C-member
program is "what's in it for them," that is the rank and file SCAA
membership.

If we were dealing only with roasters and cafes whose owners are
enthusiastic about coffee, there would be the possibility of a vital
c-membership program. The cafes could do events, the c-members would
guarantee a core audience and do their best to spread the word.

Even for this high end coffee professional group, a c-member program
where the average member has a few K of coffee gear, and harumphs at
anything that doesn't have LM stamped on it, is a waste of time and
money. We already are their customers, and they are looking to hugely
widen the public that appreciates great coffee.

The problem of lacking a common interest or basis for reciprocity gets
hugely worse if one expands the professional side beyond the coffee
people to the average rank and file that the current SCAA retail
committee serves. For them, it is even unclear whether a public
educated to appreciate very good coffee will be a boon or a bane.


 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 14:24:12
From:
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
For me, the entire "benefit" of C-membership has been to attend two of
the Long Beach "Homecoming" events that appeared to have been put
together largely / entirely by Marshall. One that I attended was two
days; another was a single day. These have been nicely reported on
here, and I won't revisit why they were so worthwhile. The more
salient point is that although SCAA generously scaffolded the events,
it appeared to be Marshall's VOLUNTEER efforts and personal
relationships that drew the mostly local, Southern CA, presenters and
attendees. These were no ad-hoc "get-togethers," but the well-
designed programs allowed lots of conversation and hands-on
participation.

I think that this can be a model for the larger organization
"supporting" small, high-level, geographically-diverse events built on
the efforts of enthusiastic volunteers who can make good use of
resources unique to their area (roasters, baristas, equipment vendors,
experts--amateur and professional, etc.). It was clear that the
expert presenters were not motivated by commercial self-interest, but
because they love coffee, enjoyed low-key interactions, and wanted to
mentor enthusiasts of all sorts.

Martin


On Apr 14, 11:16 am, Barry Jarrett <b...@rileys-coffee.com > wrote:
> Okay, folks...
>
> The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
> reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
> organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
> individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
> hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
> ground.
>
> IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
> in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
> tangible or intangible, for C-Members? Be reasonable and realistic,
> please. "Free coffee for life" isn't gonna happen, and unreasonable
> and unrealistic demands will only provide fodder for those who wish
> the program to remain on the ground.
>
> I ask this because the SCAA Board has several new faces and the
> organisation has a new Director. I was specifically asked what
> benefits C-Members might be interested in by a new SCAA Board member,
> but I could only fumble for lame ideas and suggestions. Put it in
> this thread, and I'll point it out to folks who might be able to do
> something about it. Don't look for anything at this convention beyond
> what we put together ourselves; there just isn't time.




 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 14:52:12
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
> The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
> reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
> organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
> individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
> hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
> ground.

It was, in small part, because of the meager support of the C-Member program,
and that you needed to be within driving distance of the SCAA office or annual
conventions to participate, that we formed the Homeroasters Association.

Not affiliated with any trade or commercial venture, it is a grass-roots group
dedicated to the homeroaster and guided by fellow homeroasters. It is a
democratic alternative that you might find worthwhile.

www.homeroaster.org

Dan Bollinger




  
Date: 14 Apr 2007 17:11:08
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
Might want to make that
http://www.homeroasters.org with an 's'.

--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************


"Dan Bollinger" <danNObollinger@insightSPAMbb.com > wrote in message
news:kP2dnZxGWNl2v7zbnZ2dnUVZ_uuqnZ2d@insightbb.com...
<SNIP >
> Not affiliated with any trade or commercial venture, it is a grass-roots
> group dedicated to the homeroaster and guided by fellow homeroasters. It
> is a democratic alternative that you might find worthwhile.
>
> www.homeroaster.org
>
> Dan Bollinger
>
>




   
Date: 14 Apr 2007 17:26:56
From: Dan Bollinger
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
> Might want to make that
> http://www.homeroasters.org with an 's'.

Yikes! Thanks, Ed! Dan


 
Date: 14 Apr 2007 14:37:28
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
I think the originally offered benefits were a good start. They just didn't
build on what they started.

- Having access to the annual convention for a reasonable fee,

- C-Member workshops at the convention and regionally as a way to educate,
network and meet some of the industry gods and learn from them. The floor
tour by luminaries such as Don Schoenholt (Atlanta 2004) was incredible.
The afterglow parties were also a nice touch and provided even more chances
for networking, sharing ideas and connecting with influential people.

There are a lot of very talented coffee folk who are not roasters or
retailers. I think SCAA could benefit from some of our enthusiasm and
talents, and we could benefit from them.

Just a few ideas.
--
*********************
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)
*********************


"Barry Jarrett" <barry@rileys-coffee.com > wrote in message
news:q16223tcj5qri03bu3mnovlh6tv8e0mupe@4ax.com...
>
> Okay, folks...
>
> The C-Member program was on rocky ground to start, if only for the
> reason that the SCAA is a TRADE organisation and not a consumer
> organisation. It came about through the concerted efforts of several
> individuals, but never climbed out of 'ground effect' and, further
> hampered by the SCAA financial crisis, was allowed to settle to the
> ground.
>
>
> IF, and that's a really big 'if', the C-Member program was resurrected
> in some form, what would y'all like to see in the way of benefits,
> tangible or intangible, for C-Members? Be reasonable and realistic,
> please. "Free coffee for life" isn't gonna happen, and unreasonable
> and unrealistic demands will only provide fodder for those who wish
> the program to remain on the ground.
>
> I ask this because the SCAA Board has several new faces and the
> organisation has a new Director. I was specifically asked what
> benefits C-Members might be interested in by a new SCAA Board member,
> but I could only fumble for lame ideas and suggestions. Put it in
> this thread, and I'll point it out to folks who might be able to do
> something about it. Don't look for anything at this convention beyond
> what we put together ourselves; there just isn't time.
>




  
Date: 14 Apr 2007 19:46:08
From: javagonzo
Subject: Re: C-Membership: "What's in it for me?"
I agree with Ed, below.

Gonzo

"Ed Needham" <ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com > wrote in message
news:cbqdnZ9GReRig7zbnZ2dnUVZ_smonZ2d@insightbb.com...
>I think the originally offered benefits were a good start. They just
>didn't build on what they started.
>
> - Having access to the annual convention for a reasonable fee,
>
> - C-Member workshops at the convention and regionally as a way to educate,
> network and meet some of the industry gods and learn from them. The floor
> tour by luminaries such as Don Schoenholt (Atlanta 2004) was incredible.
> The afterglow parties were also a nice touch and provided even more
> chances for networking, sharing ideas and connecting with influential
> people.