A couple of months ago I couldn't believe my head was on the SCAE website because I was nominated for one of the SCAE awards for Coffee Excellence, as a Hidden Treasure.
Most generally I'm not so fond of being in meetings and organisations and having myself on the front page, but apparently that was a little bit the reason I was nominated as 'Hidden'.
So after a Friday with 13 hours of work and starting very early at the bar Saturday Bert and I raced toward Köln on Saturday afternoon.
Even without excessive speed it only took us 2 hours and 15 minutes. Easy.
Once arrived at the fare it was nice meeting so many coffee friends and business partners and greeting the large Belgian representation.
In the evening we were at the Gala Diner sitting at what later became a prestigious table. Peter, the newly crowned Latte Art Champ is an Antwerp Barista as well, so it was no surprise we joined up. Across of me Jeanne Gennar. For a couple years we only met at Championships, which she organises, but since she's also organising Coffee Consulate workshops and distributing Weber and CC we starting knowing one another better and even noticed we were born in neighbour villages. First price of the evening was for Jeanne who became the National Coordinator of the year. Congrats Jeanne and well deserved.
Then time for the other awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award : Neal Robinson (Bunn)
Young Entrepeneur Award : Filip Akerblom. Bart and Peter Deprez were also nominated for this award!
Passionate Communicator Award : Franz Grunwald
Outstanding Producer Award : Ipanema Coffee's Brazil
Coffee Photography winner : Johanna Wechselberger
Hidden Treasure Award : Rob Berghmans.
Although experienced with speeches in a past profession it felt weird to be there on stage in front of all these coffee experts and enthusiasts.
Very proud but still not understanding all of it, I continued the eve. It all sank in better after a couple of beers with the Barista's Gwilym, Colin, Ben, Stephen, Bert, Kim, Peter and others. That's more my habitat I guess.
Ok, enough self confidence and energy to keep on working like I did last couple of years. Very hard and with a coffee bean in the heart. Greetz. Rob