History of the Organisation
The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe was formed in a meeting among representatives of the speciality coffee community and coffee enthusiasts held in London on the 5th June 1998.
Alf Kramer, who was elected as the first President of the Association, said:
"As coffee enthusiasts, we will be better heard as a strong association than as individuals. As businessmen, we will have the pleasure of enjoying an expanding total market for coffee both in value and in volume. We hope to become a 'cake baking organisation', so that our members have a larger cake to share when they go out and fight for their place in the market. In the aim of promoting 'the perfect cup of coffee for the consumer', the SCAE will be significantly different from other European coffee associations.
It will have a vertical structure, and will be recruiting members committed to coffee quality from every level of the coffee chain - farmers and farmer associations, coffee boards, exporters and exporter associations, organisations and media, transporters, shipping lines and warehouses, importers, traders, processors, equipment manufacturers, roasters, retailers, coffee bars, and even end consumers."
The initial aim was to gather 50 committed individual and companies who would be prepared to become "Pioneer Members" who would each contribute €500 as seed money to get the Association off the ground. We succeeded, and the Association was able to get off to a magnificent start with everyone working on a volunteer basis. The first Board of directors was appointed on the recommendation of the President Alf Kramer, but it was emphasised at the time that Board meetings would be open to all members who wished to participate.
The formal structure of SCAE was put into place on the 10th August 1998, when the Registrar of Companies at the UK Companies House registered "Speciality Coffee Association of Europe" as a Private Limited Company under UK law.
Board of Directors
The first elections for members of the Board took place in 2000 and the following members were elected:
* Patrick Bewley, Ireland
* Alf Kramer, Norway
* Tomasz Obracaj, Poland
* Simeon Onchere, Kenya
* Charles Prager, UK
* Roberto Pregel, Italy
* Vincenzo Sandalj, Italy
* Vincent Schlüter, Germany
* Colin Smith, UK
* Mick Wheeler, UK
* Samuel Zenger, Switzerland
Patrick Bewley took over the Presidency from Alf Kramer for the year 2000/01.
The following people have all acted as President of the Association:
* 1998/2000 Alf Kramer
* 2000/01 Patrick Bewley
* 2001/02 Mick Wheeler
* 2002/03 Trygve Klingenberg
* 2003/04 Vincenzo Sandalj
* 2004/05 Tom Obracaj
* 2005/07 Colin Smith
* 2007/09 Max Fabian
* 2009/11 Nils Erichsen
* 2011/- Marc Käppeli
All office holders are elected at SCAE's AGM, which is normally held in May or June each year. Under our by-laws, however, the Vice President automatically succeeds to the Presidency in the following year.
As the Association went from strength to strength, it rapidly became clear that we could no longer operate on a purely volunteer basis, so the Association appointed Betty Attwood as its Secretary and Luca Doimi in charge of Membership Services.
In January 2003, the Board appointed Patrick Bewley as the Association's Executive Director on a part time basis. He resigned from this position in January 2005 and the Board appointed Mick Wheeler as his successor, also on a part time basis.
In July 2005, the Secretariat moved into its first dedicated offices in Chelmsford, Essex, UK but these proved to be far too small and the office moved to its current location in Bicknacre, Essex, UK in January 2006.
In October 2000, we held our first ever Conference and Exhibition in Monte Carlo; at this event, we also held our first ever World Barista Championship, which attracted 14 contestants. The Monte Carlo event was well attended and certainly proved that there was a strong appetite for such gatherings in Europe. Since then we have held the following events:
* The SCAE Alpine Coffee Meeting, Berne, Switzerland 24 -26 May 2001
* The SCAE Top of the World Conference and Exhibition, Oslo, Norway 14 - 16 June 2002
* The 3rd SCAE World Speciality Coffee Conference, Exhibition and EspresShow, Rimini Italy, 31 January - 3 February 2004
* The World Barista Championship, Trieste, Italy 18 - 20 June 2004
* The 4th SCAE World Speciality Coffee Conference, Exhibition & Events, Athens, Greece 4 -7 March 2005
* The World of Coffee 5th World Speciality Coffee Conference, Exhibition & Events, Bern, Switzerland, 19 - 21 May 2006
* The SCAE Coffee Fiesta, Antwerp, Belgium 18 - 20 May 2007
* Wonderful Coffee Copenhagen, the 6th SCAE World Speciality Coffee Conference, Exhibition & Events, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19 - 22 June 2008
* Wonderful Coffee Cologne and the Coffeena Exhibition, SCAE Conference, Workshops and World Championships, Cologne, Germany, 26 - 28 June 2009
* The SCAE Event, World Barista Championship and the 2010 Caffè Culture Exhibition, London, UK, 23 - 25 June 2010
* The SCAE Event, World of Coffee, at MECC, Maastricht, Netherlands, 22-24 June 2011
Competitions: World Brewers Cup, World Cezve/Ibrik Championship, World Cup Tasters Championship, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Latte Art Championship. Competitions managed by World Coffee Events (WCE).
* SCAE World of Coffee, Messe Wien, Vienna, Austria, 13-15 June 2012
Competitions: World Barista Championship, World Brewers Cup, World Cup Tasters Championship, Cezve/Ibrik Championship. Competitions managed by World Coffee Events (WCE).
* SCAE World of Coffee, Nice, France, 26-28 June 2013
Competitions: World Latte Art Championship, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Cup Tasters Championship, World Coffee Roasting Championship. Competitions managed by World Coffee Events (WCE).
The first edition of our newsletter Café Europa was published in September 1998. This was a four-page publication outlining the aims of the new association and explaining what the Association was all about. From these humble beginnings, Café Europa has grown significantly, and the publication is now a glossy magazine covering all aspects of the speciality coffee world. Café Europa is now published in four languages per issue.
(Digital versions of the latest issue of Café Europa, along with the most recent back issues are now available from the Publications section of the website; click here.)