World of Coffee 2017

It’s the premier European specialty coffee event on the calendar, but this year’s World of Coffee, which is being held in the Hungarian capital of Budapest, promises a little something more than usual. That is because the 2017 World of Coffee event will be the first to be held by the newly formed Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the amalgam of the Specialty Coffee Associations of America and Europe that officially came into being at the beginning of this year. Executive Director of the SCA Ric Rhinehart says it is an exciting time for the specialty coffee industry around the world as it is entering a new era of increased cooperation and collaboration. “World of Coffee Budapest will be our second big event this year under a unified organisation, and we’re expecting thousands of other like-minded and dedicated individuals who believe in the same future for specialty coffee that we do to join us.” Rhinehart says that the new structure will not undermine the local focus of the event. “Of course, we understand the importance of local knowledge and strive to connect every individual with the resources to improve their opportunities and make their voice heard on a global stage,” he says. “We’re listening to our members and are always trying improve our events … Being a part of this community means that we recognise the importance of collaboration, and we’re always striving to be better.” The focus of this event will be on finding common ground for all members of the industry to meet. “Collaboration and hospitality are the key words for this year’s event, as we’ve reached a point in our industry in which one cannot live without the other, and both are an essential condition for quality,” he says. A stalwart feature of the show is its Best New Product of the Show Awards, which always attracts a lot of attention and can signal future developments for the industry. “It’s always quite exciting, being an award that takes the innovation pulse in the coffee industry,” says World of Coffee’s Show Manager, Garret Buckley. “We look forward to seeing what this year’s exhibitors have to showcase in terms of innovation.”  With a jam-packed agenda for the days of the event, the World of Coffee will feature a number of seminars covering a wide variety of topics, with speakers from all walks of the industry touching on coffee from a complex array of perspectives. “Classes fill up rapidly, so attendees should register their interest as soon as the seminars go live on our website,” says the SCA’s Chief Education Officer, Susan Hollins. A huge feature at this year’s event will be The Village, which will showcase state-of-the-art roasters, cutting-edge technology, as well as representatives from the local Budapest coffee scene. “This is an area buzzing with cuppings, tastings, and conversations, as well a ‘get to know us’ opportunity for small roasters and baristas,” Buckley says. The World Championship rounds of the World Coffee Events competitions are always a highlight of any show they are staged at, and this year’s World Latte Art, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters and Coffee in Good Spirits finals are bound to be no exception. While these events continue to capture the imagination of the coffee industry and the general public alike, this year will see the introduction of new elements to keep things interesting. The World Latte Art Championship has been growing so much in popularity and participation that a new free-pour focused semi-finals round is being introduced. The World Brewers Cup is seeing increased service flexibility and tighter quality controls, while the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship equipment procedures are being streamlined to increase competitor accessibility. The World Cup Tasters Championship is set see the return of reigning champion Gabriel Céspedes who will be defending his crown for the third time in a row. Live streams of the competitions and updates will be available via the World of Coffee website. The Cezve/Ibrik Championship is also taking place in Budapest this year, and the competition’s rules have seen updates to staging and evaluation procedure to allow for more creativity and to reinforce consistency for all competitors. “We are grateful for being part of this global pool of experienced and talented individuals in our industry and work together towards a better, more sustainable future for each and every one of us – wherever in the world we are,” Rhinehart says. In addition to the show itself, the Re:Co Symposium will take place on 12 June at the historic Vigadó concert hall, followed by three days of sensory experiences, deeper speaker engagement, and other activities in an exclusive space at the World of Coffee exhibition hall from 13 to 15 June. Re:co Budapest will feature a multi-disciplinary selection of inspiring speakers, designed to provide the awareness and understanding necessary to act effectively in our rapidly changing global coffee landscape. Another addition to the main event is the Sustainability Forum, which is returning to World of Coffee for its second year after a successful debut in Dublin in 2016. “The Sustainability Forum was a big step forward for the community – it opened a conversation about existing sustainability approaches and initiatives in coffee, as well as exploring possibilities for improvement, and it included actors from the whole value chain, including coffee producers, NGOs, roasting companies, and others,” says the Specialty Coffee Association’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kim Elena Ionescu. Building on last year’s conversations, this year will see a more focused approach on to the specialty coffee actors involved in the seed-to-cup (value) chain. “The continuation of the Sustainability Forum is a unique opportunity for the SCA to reach a large audience with information to address the fundamental challenges facing the coffee value chain – both at present and in the future,” Ionescu tells Global Coffee Report. “Not only are we seeing the effects of environmental pressures, such as climate change, but also social and economic aspects which need to be viewed holistically, as they’re all interdependent. “The Sustainability Forum will keep the conversation going by reminding people involved at both producer and consumer ends of coffee how much of an impact we can have as an industry.” GCR

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