Checking out the show floor, the global competitions, and more at Europe’s biggest specialty-coffee show.
BY CAROLINE CORMIER
SPECIAL TO BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Cover photo by Caroline Cormier
This week, thousands of coffee professionals from around the world converged on Berlin for the 2019 World of Coffee event. Barista Magazine Online was on-hand to take in some of the happenings on the show floor and at the coffee competitions. Read our first installment of show coverage here, and read on for the second part.
Walking through the doors of the convention center at World of Coffee each day, visitors were greeted by the newest espresso machine from La Marzocco, the KB90, which aims to improve both efficiency and ergonomics for the modern barista. Attendees were eager to try out the two most hyped features, namely the Straight In Portafilter and the Steam Flush system. With the machine released only in February, World of Coffee marked the first time the KB90 has made an appearance at a European coffee expo.
Before entering the main exhibition halls, visitors had the opportunity to view the Design Lab entries, which are focused on showcasing great design in the coffee industry. Over the first two days of WOC, judges considered the entries of each of the four categories: Vessels, Packaging, Branding, and Spaces. Winners were announced late Friday afternoon during the show.
Carrow Coffee won the Spaces competition for their eco-friendly wooden roastery in rural Ireland. According to Andrew Willis, who heads up the operation with his wife, Paola, “The aim of the project was to create an efficient production space that blended in with our rural setting and was also welcoming to our local specialty community.”
SIMPLo, a no-fuss premium coffee company founded by award-winning roasters, was selected as the winner of the Packaging category for their distinctly bold design. According to their submission, their design was “inspired by the challenge of simplifying the complexity of coffee, while staying true to our brand and mission.” They partnered with Planeta Design to apply their bold, vibrant identity across a series of packaging options that would stand out for consumers.
The Champion’s Signature Collection—a functional collaboration between ceramicist Ben Sutton, internationally recognized ceramics brand Loveramics, and 2017 World Barista Champion Dale Harris—took home the award in the Vessels category.
Guatemala’s Café Nahual won the top award in the Branding category. Their brand is entirely inspired by Mayan spirituality: The colors used are based on the Mayan flags, and every design used by the brand has been approved by Mayan priests.
Back at the show floor, and the Victoria Arduino booth, the team from Kaffa in Oslo had taken over the Berlin-inspired VA388 Black Eagle T3 espresso machine for the afternoon to serve up their Pedro Padilla espresso from Peru to visitors.
With a rotating lineup of baristas from Röststätte, Nordbeans, Kalve, Kaffa, Hard Beans, Doubleshot, Connect Coffee, and Five Elephant, baristas were challenged to “taste their temperature” by using the machine’s T3 technology to set three temperatures for brewing, water infusion, and steam to extract the best flavors from each coffee blend.
The Roest display was also very busy on Friday. Brothers and cofounders of the company, Trond and Sverre Simonsen, were on-site to demonstrate and answer questions about their award-winning 100-gram-batch sample roasting machine. Wojtek Bialczak, who finished fifth at this year’s World Barista Championship in Boston, also dropped by on Friday afternoon to share his knowledge about espresso roasting. Later in the day, the parents of the Simonsen brothers stole the show by serving up some delicious Norwegian waffles and traditional brown cheese for visitors.
At this year’s WOC, Manument launched Francesca, which received a warm welcome among coffee professionals at the show. With a multi-flow heater system, Francesca is an energy-efficient espresso machine that does not require pre-heating. The exact amount of water for steam or a shot of espresso is heated just moments before coffee extraction or milk frothing. The machine has a manual water-flow system that enables you to determine the desired intensity of water flow to the ground coffee. It’s also the first spring-lever machine that makes it possible to maintain a stable brewing temperature, at the optimum level for coffee extraction.
Over in the competition area, excitement built throughout the weekend as four World Coffee Championships events got closer to crowning their champions. This culminated on Saturday as the competitions named their 2019 winners: Dan Fellows of the United Kingdom repeated as the winner of the Coffee In Good Spirits Championship; Daniel Horbat of Ireland won the World Cup Tasters Championship; Manuela Fensore of Italy won the World Latte Art Championship; and Sergey Blinnikov of Russia won the World Cezve/Ibrik Championship!
After busy days on the show floor, attendees would flock to one of many parties to continue mingling as they enjoyed tasty beverages. This was seen in particular on Friday, as those who were inspired by the World Coffee In Good Spirits competitors finished off the day by heading over to Happy Baristas to enjoy a few coffee cocktails. Known for being specialists in world-class coffee cocktails, Happy Baristas teamed up with European Coffee Trip to welcome WOC visitors from around the world for an evening of coffee and great spirits, networking, and live music.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Caroline Cormier is a freelance writer from Canada. She currently lives in Berlin, where you can find her digging through archives to discover forgotten stories of the past for her Ph.D., exploring the city’s art and culture scene, or simply enjoying a good cup of coffee at a local café or farmers market.