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Episode Info: With over a decade of experience in specialty coffee, Erika Vonie believes that coffee is for everyone. Like many before her, she started as a barista, and worked her way through management, events coordination, quality control, education, green buying, and importing. Along with being the 2017 Coffee Masters Champion and an Arabica Q Grader, Erika is committed to using her position to further the advancement of marginalized people within specialty coffee, using her unique platform as Director of Coffee at Trade to spotlight these issues in the media. Using hard data collected on customer feedback and SKU performance at Trade, Erika explores one of the trends they’ve found: Customers want naturally processed coffee roasted with longer development, butting up to second crack. It challenges the programs seen within many specialty roasters. Erika sees this as an opportunity to provide insight into gaining more customers, be more approachable with our coffee, and pump money back into the industry without compromising integrity. Is the next trend a well-developed dark roast? What stops us as an industry from achieving that/providing our customer base with that option? How do we thoughtfully push development in roast profiles? Does this mean we can continue to buy relationship coffees even in hard harvest years, so money goes to the producer AND have avenues to sell these coffees to consumers? Erika argues the answer to all of these is, “yes” - and that being more inclusive with our offerings will help specialty thrive in the face of the climate and socio-economic and political challenges facing the industry today. Special Thanks to Softengine Coffee One, Powered by SAP This episode of the Expo 2019 Lectures podcast is supported by Softengine Coffee One, Powered by SAP.  Built upon SAP's business-leading Enterprise Resource Planning solution, Softengine Coffee One is designed specifically to quickly and easily take your small-to-medium coffee company working at any point along the coffee chain to the next level of success. Learn more about Softengine Coffee One at, with special pricing available for SCA Members. Softengine: the most intelligent way to grow your business. Related Links Read a full transcript of this episode on SCA News Listen to other episodes of the SCA Podcast  Learn more about the upcoming 2020 Lecture Series at the Specialty Coffee Expo  Table of Contents 0:00 Introduction3:20 Background to Erika Vonie and drop-shipping roasting company, Trade7:20 Specialty coffee drinkers are very diverse and often do not conform to our expectations; many value simple flavor descriptors.15:30 How Trade creates easy-to-understand flavor groups and which are the most popular amongst their customers35:30 How specialty coffee should bring more people into the fold by embracing dark roasted coffees40:00 Audience questions51:50 Outro --- Send in a voice message:
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