Editors Note: This lengthy news post, detailing CoffeeWars 3.0,
was kindly done by our dear Coffee Warrior Foofus. Thank god he did a writeup,
because we all know my lazy ass wouldn't get it done for a good long
while. *grin* - Rob
The third annual CoffeeWars took place at
Defcon 10 in Las Vegas on Saturday,
3 August 2002. This web page summarizes the results. Please have a
look at the following very exciting topics:
It was the smallest year yet for CoffeeWars, but we had a great
time, and are very much looking forward to the next iteration.
This page is long and comically
verbose, but I had a great time making it, and I figure there
are probably a couple people out there who might be interested in
as much CoffeeWars information as they can get. After all, it'll
be a while until CoffeeWars 4!
- Official Results: Just
the facts; this is what you came for, right?
- More Information: The
statistics don't paint much of a picture, do they? This
section has more information about the actual coffees.
- Behind the Coffee: The
epic saga of the making of CoffeeWars 3.0, complete with
all the gossip and inside stories you need in order to
feel like you were really there.
- Photos: Some people
took pictures of the event, and you can look at them.
- Shouts Out: It takes a
lot of love to start a Coffee War, and here's where we
pay proper respect to those that contributed.
The Results, In Brief
This year, there were only two entrants. They both tasted very
good, and we made two pots of each. Several people participated
in the rating process, but we made no effort to be quantitative
and calculate scores. In the end, we declared a tie between
How did we decide it would be a tie? We just did. It wasn't hard.
The truth of the matter is that with only two entrants, it's not a
very exciting contest, and there's no real point in declaring a
winner. Besides, doing so would make 50% of the staff real sad, and
neither of us wanted to make the other sad. When the time came for
us to wrap up, we were just happy we made the effort.
Plus, like the sign on the Alamo says: we're all winners.
The Whole Saga, Except For The Results
At first, it seemed as though this year's CoffeeWars might be
doomed. Rob (the founder) wasn't going to make it. Jay Dyson
(who had previously been instrumental) also wasn't coming.
Nobody wanted to be in charge. After some discussion, a loose-knit
coalition of Coffee Heroes was formed, and they agreed to meet
and conduct (a smaller and less rigorously organized) CoffeeWars
on their own.
This seemed like a great plan, and everyone was quite excited
about it. E-mail was exchanged, and lists of tasks were compiled.
Then Friday morning came, and disaster struck. Actually, that's
an overstatement. Really, only frustration struck. But strike it
did-- hard, and in two forms:
There were no coffee makers in the Alexis Park rooms. Since
no participants had room in their suitcases to bring coffee makers
from home, this was a crippling blow.
Some people didn't show up. In fact, only Mark and Foofus
showed up. Shrdlu was there, but (as is perfectly reasonable)
didn't want any part in organizing the event. Where the heck
were the others? I have no idea.
With heavy hearts, and with several mumbled utterances of excerpts
from Shrdlu's Second Theorem of Coffee (see hyah), the die-hard
team of Mark and Foofus had no choice but to postpone CoffeeWars
until Saturday morning. This, obviously, brought the event into
conflict with the DefCon shoot, but what can one do? Good coffee
demands sacrifices. Besides, we weren't armed.
Foofus and Maureen went to Wal-Mart to get coffee makers. Shrdlu
went someplace else, and picked up cups. Mark organized a big
vessel for water. All was ready. The tension was palpable. I
don't even know what that means, really, but there you have it.
The time came, the whole thing happened, as described. We were
happy. We had good coffee. Nice people came to help us drink
it. It was a good time. One advantage to doing things on
Saturday morning was the relative scarcity of people asking
where to register, and whether or not we knew where stuff was,
and what we were selling, and so on, and so on.
As we were setting up, a member of the Alexis Park Building and
Grounds (get it, "grounds") staff approached us. He was nervous
about the fact that seemingly unofficial folks were setting up a
table with appliances and hot water in a hallway during the
convention. Who could blame him? Indeed, for a moment, we felt
as though we might be in a tricky spot, since we really didn't
have any official permission to do what we were doing. When we
told him that we were mentioned in the conference program, though,
he relaxed, and in fact he helped us (along with a nice goon) to
make sure our table was off to the side, and not likely to be
struck by oncoming pedestrian traffic.
The bartender inside the main bar was also a very nice guy. When
Foofus showed up with a huge jug, he patiently filled it, asking
no questions. Of course, 9:30AM isn't the busiest time in the bar,
even during DefCon, but still, it was great being able to get the
water we needed, since the jug wouldn't fit under a normal sink
Later that day, I cornered Dark Tangent for a couple of minutes,
and asked him the best way to get him the results, and if we could
give away our coffee makers at the closing ceremony, since we had
no means to transport them home. Thank goodness, by the way, for
the availability of cheap and functional coffee makers. He seemed
pleasantly surprised that CoffeeWars had actually taken place, since
he had noticed that the official
web site had not been updated in a long time. (Whaddya know, Rob?
People actually do look at it! Rob says 'Oh, kiss my ass.')
The coffee makers, by the way, were white Sunbeams, with a 10-cup
capacity. They were emblazoned with "CoffeeWars 3.0 -- Official
Brewing Gear" in black Sharpie marker. They were awarded to a
gentleman who was able to answer a trivia question about the
password for the Master Control Program in the movie TRON.
And thus the story of 2002's most anticipated coffee-related
hacker experience draws to a close. I sure had fun, and I hope
that (if nothing else) my narrative has conveyed that fact.
Some people took pictures. Here are the ones I have been able
Pictures from Foofus:
Pictures from David:
Mark: Mark Renouf stands
proudly, sipping a magnificent cup of coffee at the
vaunted CoffeeWars facility.
People: Phen-phen, Otto Eyebiter,
Maureen, Foofus, and Mark.
Close-up: Otto Eyebiter, Foofus,
Thanks and Salutations to the Following:
- Etaoin Shrdlu: Went and picked up the cups.
The coffee would have been too hot to handle otherwise.
- Maureen: General all-around help, especially
with going to get the coffee makers, and with cleanup.
- Dark Tangent: He was very encouraging to us
about the event, and gave us elite black badges.
- David: He took nice pictures.
- The Alexis Park Buildings & Grounds Guy: He
helped us get our table set up.
- The Alexis Park A.M. Bartender: He let us refill
Mark's huge water jug from his special squirty thing.
- Rob Nielsen: The original Coffee Warrior,
who had the idea for the event.
- Jay Dyson: We're pretty sure he was
there with us in spirit.
- Foofus / tweaked for this site by Rob