Why go to Retreat

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Postby BillA » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:02 am

Why Attend Retreat?

It’s hard to believe it, but we are coming up on the 15th year for the Retreat and the Roasters Guild’s existence!

My first Retreat was 12 years ago. I was still in my first few years of roasting and I was a bit nervous about attending retreat. I had only just heard of the SCAA and the Roasters Guild, so I was unsure of what I should expect.

Would I be accepted by my fellow roasters, would my peers think I knew what I was doing? Would my boss feel I had wasted company resources?

Just for brevity's sake, my nervousness was unwarranted. I apparently knew enough about what I was doing and my boss still likes to send me off to Retreat. So I’ve got that going for me.

Other than the BMX community, I have never meet a group of like-minded people so willing to teach and learn, and that is so open and honest about what they do on a daily basis, without any hint of trying to guard some well keep secret.

So, if you are sitting there saying to yourself, “Well, why should I attend the RG Retreat?”
For starters, it’s the most fun you can have on the business end of a roaster, which does not involve the fire department! I mean, have you ever been on an assigned team of roasters and tried to profile coffee while in a tent outside? No? Come to Retreat.

RG Retreat is a great chance for you to connect, one-on-one, with other people who take the art and science (aka the craft of roasting) just as seriously as you do. (Not that you need to be serious.) You will also have the opportunity to take several SCAA classes to work on your Level 1 or 2 Roaster Certificate. Then, there are the lectures and roundtable discussions.

Oh, and did I mention the free beer during the hospitality portions of the weekend? Which, outside of the team challenge, the classes, and lectures, is probably the best part of the weekend (free beer). BTW did I say there would be free beer?

As an added bonus you have a chance to use roasting equipment you may have never used, and talk to the manufactures representatives. It’s a time for you to stretch your roasting wings and try something new without the boss telling you that you can’t do it. (Unless of course you are the boss, then disregard that last statement.) You have a chance to learn new things and maybe figure out one of those roasting puzzles you have yet to crack.
More info and registration: http://roastersguild.org/?p=events&sub=retreat
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:06 pm
First Name: Bill
Last Name: Anstedt
City: Minneapolis
State: MN
Zip Code: 55419
Company: Caribou Coffee
Occupation: Roast Technician III
Roasting Since (Year): 2000

Postby N3Roaster » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:51 am

Good stuff.

If you already have your RGL-1 cert, another option for Saturday this year are two classes in the new coffee buyer certificate track (coincidentally, the last two I'll need to pick up that certificate). Most of the other classes in that track are being delivered online before retreat and the ones that can't be delivered online are available on the Thursday morning at retreat so if you're interested in learning more about how the coffee gets from producer to roaster and working effectively with other parts of the supply chain, there's a good learning opportunity for that at retreat as well.

You mentioned the roasting tent. Last year we had a lot of machines in that tent: (video showing last year's machines) and I've been told that the assortment of roasters available this year is also good. It's a lot of fun to get to roast on a machine that's very different from whatever you use day to day or help someone out with a machine that you're very familiar with. Representatives from the manufacturers are often on hand if you have any questions about a machine and they've always been great about not trying to turn it into a sales pitch.

Roasters Guild Retreat is my favorite coffee event of the year. I've been going for many years and each year I still learn something new and return with a renewed enthusiasm for my work.

See you there.
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:30 pm
First Name: Neal
Last Name: Wilson
City: Racine
State: WI
Zip Code: 53405
Company: Wilson's Coffee & Tea
Occupation: Roastmaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2000
Website: https://typica.us
Location: Racine, WI
Twitter: N3Roaster
YouTube: N3Roaster

Postby charlieblasky » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:34 am

Not to completely repeat what Bill & Neal have already said, but seriously. Go. To. Retreat.
The educational opportunities at Retreat helped me turn roasting from a job into a profession, and a profession into a passion filled career.
And it not just the educational opportunities (and beer) that keeps me coming back. The camaraderie, sharing of successes and failures, & open exchange of ideas are continually driving our end of the industry forward & I am honored to be a part of that.
I'll raise my beer to 15 more years of this wonderful event.
See you all there.
-Charlie Blasky
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:08 am
First Name: Charlie
Last Name: Blasky
City: St Paul
State: MN
Zip Code: 55104
Company: Paradise Coffee Roasters
Occupation: Make beans brown

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