Royal New York

RNY On Location: SCA Expo 2024

This year’s SCA Expo in Chicago was an absolute flurry of activity! After months of preparation, collaboration, and actually attending the show, we’re happy to sit back, relax, and reflect on this special event. Team RNY had the opportunity to connect with customers and suppliers, discover new trends in the industry, and work with Royal Coffee from California. After showcasing how together we provide “Specialty Coffee from Coast to Coast,” we’re excited to recap some of our favorite moments from the trade show.

SCA Expo Trader Recap

TJ Salvatore

I had a great time at SCA! It was astonishing to see so much of the coffee industry under one roof. There were people from each stage of the process: growers and suppliers, importers and exporters, and roasters and café owners. This unique experience allowed the latter to meet those who grow their coffee.

When I was able to step away from the booth, I did a lap around SCA Expo and learned that cold brew is currently huge trend. Even with the warmer weather right around the corner, cold brew has been a year-round staple in many cafés. People have been loving it! Furthermore, I had the privilege of attending Agnese Santanatoglia’s class, “Unveiling the Science of Coffee Acidity: From Fundamentals to Extraction Influence.” Santanatoglia explained coffee’s acidity at the molecular level and what factors affect how much acidity is in a cup of coffee. In fact, there are four categories that influence a coffee’s acidity: origin, processing method, roasting, and preparation.

Lastly, I had the opportunity to meet with a lot of people from every part of the industry. While I speak with customers and suppliers on a weekly (if not daily) basis via email and phone calls, I have no idea what they look like! It was nice to finally meet them in person and put faces to voices and email signatures.

Caitlin Normann

SCA Expo is always a blast, and it was great to have our own booth and represent tea! Displaying a variety of teas was a great way for our customers to see a small selection of our offerings. Moreover, being able to touch, smell, and taste tea is an entirely different experience than just looking at pictures online.

While tea isn’t the primary focus of SCA, there was definitely a stronger presence than past trade shows. It was exciting to see how far tea has moved forward in becoming a vital piece of the puzzle for roasters, cafés, and more!

Evan Kluender

My favorite part about working in the coffee industry is meeting so many interesting people. This made SCA a particularly great time for me! To start, I was able to finally meet a bunch of awesome roasters in person for the first time. These are people that I’ve known for years, making this a wonderful experience.

On top of that, we had some suppliers hang out at our booth and talk about their coffees throughout the course of the weekend. While we brewed up some featured lots, this gave me the opportunity to connect with friends old and new. Demilson from Legender Specialty Coffee and Nanci from STC and CoopeTarrazu are two of the nicest people you’d hope to meet, so seeing them was as fun as it always is. I also met Gaudam Anbalagan from Muraho Trading Company and Yonatan Gonzales from Cuatro Vientos, the sources of many of our Rwandan and Colombian Huila offerings, respectively. Truly, I could not have asked for two people more pleasant or cool to have spent some time with!

I also have to shout-out the manufacturers of the brewers we brought to SCA, Etkin Design. While the brewers themselves are fantastic, their team is ridiculously friendly and even stopped by our booth to say hello and drop off some supplies for us! Overall, this was a great experience, and I’m already looking forward to the next SCA Expo.

Mike Ward

SCA is always an amazing event. Getting to spend time with the people we work with is honestly my favorite part of being a trader at Royal New York. Expo is a great opportunity to share a few laughs and put faces to the names of roasters and suppliers that I speak with all of the time on the phone or through email.

teams rny and royal at sca expo

Andrew Blyth

This was a unique and special year for RNY at SCA Expo. As many of you know, Royal Coffee New York and Royal Coffee California are related, but separate, companies. Royal New York began as an East Coast offshoot of Royal California in the early 1990s, and this quickly evolved into our current relationship where Royal New York services roasters east of the Mississippi River, and Royal California handles those west.

Fast forward a few decades to SCA Expo being hosted in the Midwest, creating the perfect opportunity for a joint exhibition! It was great to collaborate on designing our booth, coffees to serve, producer meetings, and our big party full of clients and shared suppliers. Our team at Royal NY really enjoyed working alongside our old friends from Oakland, CA, and it’s always a privilege to spend time with roasters and our friends from origin. Thank you to all who made time for us, and we hope the show was fun and productive for all.