The Moscow Coffee & Tea Expo always attracts some of the biggest names in specialty coffee, and this year will be no exception.
The Moscow Coffee and Tea Expo will be returning to IEC Crocus Expo Centre on September 23 “26. In 2013, MCTE hosted over 100 events on 6 stages: workshops and seminars from internationally recognized experts, business lectures, and endless networking events to meet the world’s top coffee personalities.
To get you ready for this year’s event, we wanted to bring some of the celebrated speakers to you up close and personal! Below, see our interviews with Rob Stephen, Gloria Pedroza, Asli Yaman, Christopher Tara-Browne, and Erik Rosendahl.
Rob Stephen is a certified Q Grader and a Q Grader Instructor with 20+ years of experience at all levels of the coffee industry. He is a Past President of the SCAA and of Coffee Kids, and represents the USA at the ISO TC34:SC15 council on international coffee standards. He has lectured extensively at coffee events and trade shows around the world, and conducts training sessions regularly for the SCAA, CQI, and for private companies.
What is your favorite coffee?
My favorite coffees tend to be from East Africa. I’m very fond of coffees from Kenya.
What brought you to the specialty-coffee industry?
I started as a part-time barista while I was waiting for my music career to œtake off. (It never did.) One day, they brought me to the roastery for a training session, and my whole life changed. That was 25 years ago.
How many cups of coffee a day do you drink?
Drink? 2. Taste? Sometimes well over 100.
What do you like most about the specialty-coffee industry?
The people. By definition, the specialty industry is about finding things that are new and interesting and different, and so it attracts people who are interested in new things. Working with people who are creative and curious makes life interesting and rewarding!
Has coffee changed your life somehow?
Coffee has been my career and has shaped my worldview. I’ve traveled the world and learned more than I ever thought possible. I can’t imagine how different my life would be if I had not found coffee.
If you could take 3 things on an uninhabited island, what would they be?
A wine cellar, an iPad (with internet connection!), and a surfboard. Flavor, knowledge, and exercise ”my 3 favorite things!
What have you been dreaming of lately? For example, today?
Having a dog. I guess I really want a dog!