In addition to whatever other insanity flourishes at Defcon each
year, the last eight years have been witness to the amazing and
ridiculous contest known as CoffeeWars. This single ludicrous
event is really two contests. The first, and most important, is
the attempt to select the finest coffee from all of hacker culture.
The second is the loopy part: to find the upper limit on how much
coffee the staff can drink.
Every year, we succeed at the first task. Every year, we fail at
the second. Here is a useful list of key factors contributing to
the outbreak of coffee wars throughout history:
1 - because the Kona/JBM debate had to be settled
2 - because once was not enough
3 - because we went a little crazy
4 - because people responded to our brand of crazy
5 - because it is now an institution
6 - because we're actually getting good at running it
7 - because each year the competition gets more intense
8 - because of popular demand
9 - because you haven't yet had a chance to test your beans
What's that, you say? You only recall eight coffee wars? And the
list mentions a ninth? Very attentive of you, dear reader. The
ninth coffee war will take place exactly when you would expect: on
Friday, 8 Aug 2008, at the Riviera, at the opening of the con.
The rules remain as few and as simple as we can manage:
A. Whole coffee beans only: nothing ground, powdered,
aerosolized, crystallized, liquified, etc. Just
beans. If you submit something other than beans,
it won't count as an entry.
B. Unflavored beans only: we are trying to evaluate
coffee, not somebody's science experiment. If you
submit flavored coffee (and this includes stuff
with chickory or for that matter any non-coffee
ingredient), it won't' count as an entry.
C. No decaf. Seriously, submitting decaf to Coffee
Wars is like entering your Ford Granada* in the
Indy 500-- it might technically be a car, and maybe
it can actually complete a 500-mile distance, but
it detracts from the whole experience for everyone.
D. Time is critical. A coffee war lasts only a couple
of hours, and it turns out there are limits on the
intake capacity of the judges. If you wish to
enter, you need to get your coffee to us at or
before the opening of the contest area. If you
want to get your coffee back, you need to make a
plan for this when you submit it-- otherwise it
will become part of the CoffeeWars legacy. [secret
message to G Mark: it was agonizing having to turn
away your entry last year solely because of timing]
E. Volume is also important. We need to have enough
coffee beans to brew two pots, plus have some beans
left to pass around for inspection and smelling. 1/2
lb is a good amount; less than 1/4 lb is probably
not enough. If your coffee is really, really good,
you probably should submit as much as possible...
[secret message to G Mark: come on man, make with
Hey, look! In the Defcon contest area! It's CoffeeWars! Grab your
glocks and call the cops. Wait, no. That's what you're supposed to
do when you see Tupac. When you see CoffeeWars, you are supposed to
submit your best coffee beans for judgment, in the hope that you will
be awarded a much-coveted prize, plus 3.5 seconds of loving from the
crowd at the closing ceremony.
What do you say? Is your coffee good enough to endure the blazing
crucible of CoffeeWars 9? Will you join the previous eight winners
Only one way to find out, friend. So mobilize your beans and enter.
* If you have actually driven a Ford Granada, well, you know what we