The Best New Product Awards at Expo—as well as the Coffee Design Awards—showcased modern, cutting-edge design while embracing classic coffee traditions.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo by Skandia Shafer courtesy of the Specialty Coffee Association
This year at Expo in Boston, the SCA hosted two competitions in addition to the U.S. CoffeeChamps: the Best New Product Awards and the Coffee Design Awards (previously known as the Design Lab Showcase).
Every new year of coffee technology innovation often finds an interesting balance between stepping back in time to the “good old days“ versus technology that’s hyper-optimized—and further, creating solutions that simplify longtime problems we’ve never thought to solve. This year’s winners of the SCA Best New Product Awards included some that strived for simplicity, along with a few products that are going to seriously challenge today’s golden standards for coffee equipment.
Best New Products
Coffee Accessories: Weber Workshops – Unifilter Unibody 58mm Portafilter
It’s a basket-free portafilter. While I’d be more concerned about losing the screw that attaches to a dispersion screen, this does mean one less thing to lose in the nighttime cleaning procedures!
Commercial Coffee Preparation & Serving
Victoria Arduino – Black Eagle Maverick Espresso Machine by Simonelli Group
Some big-name barista champs are behind this espresso machine, whose ad reads like a cool Vans sneakers commercial (and I am 100% into it). A big distinguishing feature of the Black Eagle Maverick is the PureBrew technology, which pulsates water as it dispenses from the portafilter, and has a conical-style filter attached to it.
Consumer Coffee Preparation & Serving (Electrical)
Marco Beverage Systems – POUR’D
It’s one of those “didn’t realize how much I needed this“ kinds of products. Picture this hassle: pulling open the fridge during a customer transaction, bending over underneath the counter, propping the door open with your foot, and hastily pulling out a pitcher of cold brew with a tiny spout that will take 30 seconds or so to dispense your coffee. OR, you can recall the dreaded boiling hot-water tower with a volatile pull-tab. This simple countertop liquid dispenser solves both of those hassles.
Consumer Coffee Preparation & Serving (Non-Electrical)
Fellow – Clara French Press
It’s a French press—nothing new about the brewing method. Fellow characterizes it with the brand’s typical minimalist design and matte shading to make it a Fellow product, with insulation capabilities that remind me of the classic stainless-steel models by SterlingPro.
Plant Tap/Numilk – Numilk Pro Countertop Fresh Plant-Based Milk Machine
This is a DIY nut-milk maker with its own unique nut products, bringing a new user-created alternative milk option to the table.
Roasting Equipment & Tools
ROEST – ROEST L100
This sample roaster seems to live and breathe the ethos of a Nordic lifestyle. Light wood design, first-crack detection, and Nordic Approach-approved? The push to make light roast the forever standard is still strong and alive, folks!
Specialty Coffee Beverage Additive & Specialty Non-Coffee Beverage Standalone
Many of us may still be black-coffee purists, but the sugar rush in the specialty-coffee world continues to get stronger and tastier as well.
Coffee Design Awards
The Coffee Design Awards also crowned winners at the 2022 Expo in three categories:
Tropicália Cafe – Specialty-coffee pros and aficionados alike would likely desire a second home with a nap room inside this lazy yet luxurious Bogotá-based café.
Colectivo Coffee – This longtime roaster has always had a colorful yet classy yet approachable vibe over its years of rebranding and re-wiring to match today’s market trends.
Roast Runner – This Thai roaster’s bright-yellow and black packaging is attention-grabbing yet not over the top in its presentation.