On the ground at the 25th Hotelex Show in Shanghai

The 25th Hotelex Show Happens  This Week With First Ever World Coffee Events Championships Held in China

Hotelex the mammoth, sprawling trade show for the hospitality industry held annually in the equally mammoth and sprawling city of Shanghai opened its doors this week for its four day run. Once again the show brought thousand of exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of attendees to the Shanghai New International Expo Center.

25th Hotelex Show
Attendees head for the seemingly innocuous gate to the 25th Hotelex show, but are they ready for what they’ll find on the other side?


25th Hotelex Show
This is a typical scene at one of the entrances to this giant show.

Once here the attendees  explore the miles of aisles filled with everything they might need to make their hotel exceptional, their restaurant four stars, or their café a trendsetter for specialty coffee in this rapidly growing market.

25th Hotelex Show
Customized Astoria machines at the Coffee in Good Spirits bar commemorate the first time this championship has been held in China.

Of course the attendees can also spend some time watching the Chinese Barista Championship, or the Chinese Master Bartender competition, or the pizza making championship, in addition to competitions for baking, hotel room design, and gelato craftsmanship.

But those things happen every year.

25th Hotelex Show
The World Cup Tasters Championship is being held for the first time in China.

This year, to celebrate a quarter century of success, Hotelex upped its game by bringing four of the World Coffee Events championships to China for the first time ever. Hotelex is hosting the world championships for Latte Art, Coffee Roasting, Cup Tasters, and Coffee in Good Spirits.

25th Hotelex Show
Packed crowds watch the World Latte Art Championship as Miriam Aldana representing Mexico competes.

So in addition to the hundreds of thousands of attendees wandering the show floor, one might also run into some friendly baristas from far and wide here to compete or support competitors. It definitely gives dedicated coffee halls (three of the twenty-one overall plus three temporary buildings) an international flavor.

25th Hotelex Show
2015 World Latte Art Champion Caleb Cha takes a break from doing demos to throw us a shout out!

Additionally, you can attend a cupping with 2015 World Barista Champion Sasa Sestec, a latte art demo with 2015 World Latte Art Champion Caleb Cha, or sample some of Ninety Plus’ finest with 2014 Brewers Cup Champion Stefanos Domatiotis.

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Sasa Sestic, the 2015 World Barista Champion, leads a packed cupping session.


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One of the dozens of electric mini trams that ferry attendees around the enormous 25th Hotelex show.

So while you’re riding in one of the mini trams, which move people from one section of the compound to the other, plan your time wisely. There’s an awful lot to do and see here this year, and not much time to do it. The show runs through April 1.

25th Hotelex Show
You might be greeted by some very happy cups of coffee on your way into one of the halls.
About Ken 262 Articles
Kenneth R. Olson (he/him) is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Huskies, and public libraries.