I really like Seoul so far, even though I haven’t seen all that much of it yet. The people are friendly and so excited to have visitors, and the innovations I’ve seen on the floor of the Cafe Show ”one of the biggest coffee shows in the world with 100,000 attendees ”have ranged from spectacular to silly to just plain strange. It’s a lot of fun.
I’m here as a speaker at the World Coffee Leaders Forum (WCLF), which is held in conjunction with the Cafe Show as its symposium for thinkers. The WCLF Organizing Committee has brought speakers from the UK, Italy, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Netherlands, Brazil, Burundi, India, Brazil, China, Japan, Indonesia, and the United States together here in Seoul four the two-day event. (For a complete list of the participating speakers, go HERE.)On Wednesday and Thursday, these speakers taught sessions in C Market volatility, coffee leaf rust science and solutions, sustainability through certifications, and offered overviews of how the specialty coffee industries work and don’t work in their home countries.
At the end of the lectures each day, the day’s speakers participated in a panel discussion, which led to some lively debates, as well.
In between speeches, I was able to walk around some of the massive Cafe Show (not nearly all of it), see some friends, and check out some new products. I’ll go back today and Saturday to see more, and report back here with photos and experiences from Seoul, both on the show floor and out in the city.
Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.