Specialty Coffee Expo breaks attendee and exhibitor records

Specialty Coffee Expo

From 12 to 14 April, about 17,000 coffee and tea professionals from over 85 countries gathered in Chicago, United States for the 35th annual Specialty Coffee Expo, North America’s largest coffee trade show and host of the World Coffee Championships.

The Expo, owned and produced by the Specialty Coffee Association, saw a 23 per cent increase in attendance from the previous largest show which took place in 2019, and an exhibit hall featuring 602 companies, the most to ever participate in the history of the event.

This year Specialty Coffee Expo offered two new features areas. The Green Coffee Connect program, provided interactive programming for anyone selling or buying green coffee. The coffee industry retail buyers also had an opportunity to gain access to the Retail Buyers Lounge. The Retail Buyers Lounge Pitch Slam winner is Sam Schrup of AudienceTap.

Attendees also enjoyed long-standing interactive features including the Best New Product Competition, Coffee Design Awards, Cupping Exchange, and Roaster Village.

The 2024 Best New Product Awards winners are:

  • People’s Choice: Squeaky – Alsa: The Espresso Shot Cooler
  • Commercial Coffee Preparation and Serving Equipment: Ground Control – The New Ground Control
  • Consumer Coffee Preparation and Serving Equipment: ZERNO – Z1 v2
  • Coffee Accessories: Acaia Corporation – Astra
  • Open Class: Grain Pro – GrainPro Compostable Hermetic Pouch
  • Specialty Coffee Beverage Additive: Noosh – Noosh Barista Almondmilk Concentrate

The 2024 Coffee Design Awards winners are:

  • Branding: Coffein Coffee Co. (Designer – Dr. Jennifer “Kat” Bechkoff from Clovis)
  • Spaces: Ministry of Roasters-Chiang Mai (Designer – Anuwat Kobnampetch from Chiang Mai)
  • Packaging: Speckled Ax Wood Roasted Coffee (Designer – Murphy Empire from Portland)

The 2024 Sustainability Awards celebrated for-profit and non-profit companies that showcase innovation, collaboration, and positive impact across the coffee value chain. The 2024 Sustainability Award winners are non-profit Root Capital and for-profit Sancoffee.

The World Coffee Championships were held in the US for the first time since 2019, with the World Brewers Cup and World Cup Tasters Championship taking place at the Specialty Coffee Expo. The 2024 World Cup Tasters Champion is Dionatan Almeida of Brazil. The 2024 World Brewers Cup Champion Martin Wölfl of Austria.

The 2025 Specialty Coffee Expo will be in Houston, Texas from 25 to 27 April 2025.

For more information, click here.

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