2016 is here, and hence we bring you the obligatory 2015 “wrap-up” blog post!
The coffee industry, like most, has its own conventions, trade shows and competitions. Coffee events occur at local, regional, national and world levels each year. Here is a wrap-up of ten coffee- related events that took place around the world in 2015. They’re ranked in no particular order.
1 & 2 – Annual Cafe’ Show and World Coffee Leaders Forum – Seoul, South Korea
These two separate events ran concurrently in the same location in November, 2015; drawing tens of thousands of coffee enthusiasts, barista competitors and industry business people from all over the world. The cafe show is just that. A huge coffee trade show with everything for the enthusiast laid out in one of the largest trade show floors in Asia. Different and interesting competitions were held as well as classes and seminars to improve your coffee game.
The World Leaders forum featured guest speakers including the World Barista Champion, the heads of several specialty coffee companies and the World Latte Art Champion. Activities included opportunities to talk with industry leaders, continuing education and even sightseeing tours of the South Korean capital city.
3 – CoffeeCon – all over the U.S.
CoffeeCon events occur annually in major cities across the U.S. 2015 events were held in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. CoffeeCon is the place to taste all the best new coffee, try new brewing techniques and learn all about the latest innovations in equipment and procedure. All classes and seminars are included in the price of the ticket and event-goers have many opportunities to learn from their favorite brewmasters and learn about the business of being a specialty coffee company.
4 – Coffee Fest
Primarily a Pacific Northwestern event originating in Seattle, Coffee Fest expanded into Portland,OR ,NYC,Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago in 2015. This event is known nationally and internationally as the biggest and best trade show related to everything about the coffee and tea business and included an immense trade show component as well as the America’s Best Coffeehouse competition.
5 – Barista Championships, National and World
The National championships in 2015 were held in Los Angeles , CA. Competitors came from all over the country to vie for the title of National Champion and the opportunity to move to world level championships held in Seattle , WA in April, 2015. Sasa Sestic of Australia was this year’s winner and will have a chance to defend his title in 2016 when the competition resumes. Mr. Sestic is the second Australian to win the coveted title.
6 – Golden Bean North America
The Compak Golden Bean Roasters Competition and Conference was held at the Flex Space in Portland, Oregon in September of 2015. This event has run successfully in Australia for ten years. Organizers brought it to the states as a means to promote and support the American Coffee Roasting industry. Competitors are judged in ten categories in a blind tasting format by fellow-roasters and attendees of the three day event.
7 – SCAE World of Coffee
Specialty Coffee Association of Europe’s annual event was hosted in Gothenburg, Sweden in June of 2015. The event included a trade show, forums and various competitions for brewers, roasters and baristas. Past competitions were offered for online viewing and logged 57,000 unique viewers.The 4th World Brewers Cup was among the coveted titles sought at this year’s event.
8 – World Latte Art Competition
36 of the top international latte artists took the stage in Sweden to compete for the World Championship title. Each competitor was required to pour a free-pour macchiato-sized drink, a free-pour latte, and a designer latte that allowed the use of etching tools and additional ingredients. They were also asked to pour two sets of each drink in an attempt to replicate the original designs they produced at the opening of the pouring session.This competition is the most-photographed of all the world level coffee competitions..
9 – Specialty Coffee Association of America – 28th annual exposition
This annual event was held in Atlanta, Georgia in April, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center.The event included classes, a lecture series, demonstrations of new products, tastings and an extensive trade show exhibition. Billed as the largest gathering of coffee professionals in the world, the exposition hosted national championships for baristas, brewers and roasters.
10 – Specialty Coffee Association of Japan – Annual Conference and Exhibition
This 11th annual event was held in Tokyo at Big Sight on September 30, and ran through October 2nd, 2015. The focus of this event was on specialty coffees, with 100 vendor booths exhibiting. Participants included importers, manufacturers, roasters, distributors and retailers. Participants from around the world participated in this specialty coffee extravaganza whose theme was “Invitation to Diversity.” The competitions included a Roast Masters’ Team Challenge, Japan Cup Tasting Championship semi-finals and finals, and World Siphonist Champion.