As we slowly make our way through the coffees collected at WOC Athens it gives us a chance to reflect on the event and its impact.
With WOC being held in Athens, it was a chance to experience an historic and diverse coffee culture. We drank our weight in freddo espresso and freddo cappuccinos. From a 100 year old cafe and roasting business in central Athens to Coffee Island, leading a new wave. Coffee Island's single estate offering showing how easy it is to feature a range of exciting coffees and let customers interact directly with them. It is the most innovative coffee menu curation in recent times. Though this promotionfrom @darkartscoffee also conveys coffee flavour remarkably well. We visited too many cafes and roasters to mention here, but if you go to Athens, get in touch and we will highly recommend a bunch of places.
Meeting producers - from being star struck by meeting Nestor Lassoand continuously lost for words at the work being done by Komal and Akshay of Moolah Manay at SICC. The excelsa tasting events attracted tons of interest and highlight how India's coffee is gaining well deserved attention. WOC and SCA Expo are attracting producers and producing countries because they are selling coffee, making it a worthwhile investment.
Innovation: We were very excited to offer a truly unique experience at WOC Athens - a rare species - Excelsa from the Moolah Manay farm, processed in 3 ways. It was roasted on the all new Nucleus linkby none other than Sam Corra who has been instrumental in developing the roaster to make it the precision sample roaster it is. The cofee was thenbrewed using Pure brew technology from VA, highly repeatable, really good filter brewed coffee, from an espresso machine. WOC is a fantastic showcase for the new trends today that will be a core part of the industry in the near future.
Stories - catching up with coffee friends from around the globe we are hearing about their latest news and developments. There are too many stories to recount but Mokha1450's new barista craft coffee where their baristas select a coffee, are featured on the bag, and share in the profits is a worthy highlight. Get a bag of the Minran coffee if you can.
The coffee - it wouldn't be a World of Coffee without many delicious coffees. These Czech coffee pros have been leading the way for many years. Doubleshotcoffee and Industra.coffee - The roaster's village has become so popular that there were 2 at the WOC, a minefield of phenomenal coffees being featured by smaller importers and roasters.
Competitions: with the new rules and sensory evaluations this WBC and WBrC was always going to be exciting. An amazing result for Daniele Ricci coming 2nd. This picture is pure focus, setting up on stage during the first heat. Congratulations to all the competitors, finalists and champions! Amazing to see the Brazilian champion, Boram Um, take the top spot in the WBC's. Carlos Medina of Chile won the World Brewers Cup Championship; Young Baek of Australia ibecame World Cup Tasters champion; and Pierre de Chanterac of France took top position in the 2023 Cezve/Ibrik title.
Speaking of competitions - the barista competition and mixology competitions on the Nuova Simonelli stands and VIctoria Arduino stands were also a lot of fun. Featuring different steaming and brewing technologies, they highlighted how baristas can use technology to increase precision and also broaden their repertoire of skills and menu items. I competed in and lost at both, which suggests I have some work to do.
Running: with all the coffee, and late nights, it seems like a lot of coffee people run off the daily and nightly excesses. It was hard not to bump into a few people while treading the pavement.
Lectures: experts from all discilplines come together to present on the topics shaping and holding back our industry. We're really excited about the developments with Dr. Christopher Hendons work in developing a new tool to measure the components of an espresso.Brush up on your electrochemistry so you can get ahead of the newest trend in espresso coffee, before it is even trending. This will have an impact throughout the coffee value chain. Also can't wait to hear the discussion from Noa Berger, a sociologist, Michaela Iordache, master roaster, and Dr Veronica Belchior whose muli-disciplinary discussion on 'Blends' in coffee will be featured on the Coffee KNowledge Hub in the SCA lectures series. Get your popcorn ready.
While you're waiting, you can start planning for the next WOC/Expo events.
January - Dubai
April - Chicago
June - Copenhagen
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