Coffee Wars 5: The Complete Story
The road to Coffee Wars 5 was a long and twisty one. The two biggest
pre-war discussions revolved around the shirts, and how much of a hassle
to give Rob about whether or not he was going to be there this year.
There was much work done on graphic arts, for posters, and for the
shirts. There was lively debate. There were jokes. There were plans.
There were discussions with other folks. There were e-mails traded with
potential contestants, with goons, and with complete strangers. We had
many things, my friends, but we lacked the one thing we crave the most:
And so it was that on the day before the con, all the pieces had been
put in place, thanks to a great deal of cunning and hard work on the
part of many:
You'd think that at this point, all the hard stuff had been done. But
- The Coffee Wars gear was on its way to Vegas from the official
Coffee Arsenal, in the custody of Shrdlu
- The Judges were on their way to Vegas, via various modes of
- BlackBeetle had arranged a lovely color layout in the con
program, as well as a space in the contest area
- An official announcement had been distributed to a number of
e-mail lists, so that prospective contestants could get their
Everyone arrived-- so far, so good-- but there were some logistical
troubles. It seemed that this year DefCon traded promptness for
execution. By the time CoffeeWars got underway, most everything was
running late: registration, speaker badges, and entry into the contest
room were all obstacles. Although these things all seemed disconcerting
to a coffee-deprived staff, none of them wound up being a problem, and
everything wound up going smoothly.
The war itself is a hectic scene, as is to be expected from a battlefield.
Lots of stuff happens simultaneously: entries, questions, purchase of
shirts, and (lest it be forgot) grinding, brewing, drinking, and voting.
There were some unexpected highlights, which bear mentioning:
Let's see. What else have we managed to achieve? Five gallons of
liquid consumed. Sixteen entries, and only one disqualification
(for shame, Sera White: flavored beans). Saw some old friends. Made
some new friends. And we sold shirts-- proceeds were donated to the
- John Galt was there! For, like, six years I have wanted to
shake hands with that guy, and he actually entered some damn
- In an incredible double-header of good coffee fortune, both
DT and Priest managed to swing by the table during the contest
and get a cup of coffee. Usually, when things are done, one
or the other (or both) will be all sad that they missed out,
but this year we got lucky.
- I think we actually managed to give coffee to all the contestants
who could hang around, and also the goons who were managing the
room... never hurts to cultivate goodwill with the goons.
- We planned well enough that we didn't run out of entry forms,
judging forms, or water. In past years, all three have been a
DefCon maintained a live-update ticker on the Alexis Park TVs this
year, and we gave a couple updates, to make it look like we had our
act together. Meanwhile we were furiously tabulating the 112 ballots
(with six votes per ballot, for a mindbending 672 actual votes) and
calculating our scoring metrics.
Vann Harl once again volunteered to donate the grand prize, which is
a much-appreciated gesture. When we realized the winner was going to
be someone who, well, won the same prize last year, we printed up a
commeorative t-shirt as well.
Then it was time for the awards ceremony. Foofus and MadHat did the
honors, and Hook did the accepting, for the second year in a row.
CoffeeWars 5 had come to an end, and it was time for us all to reflect
on the event, and the powerful effects it has on us all.
So take a breah, shut your eyes, and ponder the profundity of Coffee
OK. That's all till next year.
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Please direct any comments to foofus at foofus dot net.