World AeroPress Champ, Christmas shopping, Barista League & more
From AeroPress finals to coffee equipment shopping, New Ground rounds up the top things to look out for this December.
As 2022 steams towards the finish line, the world of coffee has a lot to reflect on. It’s been a topsy-turvy year for many, with the lingering effects of Covid-19 overlapped by soaring inflation and rising energy costs.
But it’s also been a time for celebration, with the widespread return of coffee festivals and trade shows around the world, a series of exciting new product releases – from Heylo Coffee to the Carimali SilverAce – and, of course, the launch of our very own New Ground.
December tends to be a quieter month in the coffee industry as many wind down for the holiday season. However, that’s not to say there isn’t still plenty to see and do, from the World AeroPress Championship to the coveted Barista League – plus lots of great products that offer the perfect gift for a loved one.
Here is a roundup of this month’s most interesting things to look out for:
The World AeroPress Championship | Dec 1-3
“All you need is a genuine AeroPress and a passion for brewing coffee with it,” reads the World AeroPress Championship (WAC) website.
Considered one of the most accessible – and most fun – coffee competitions in the calendar year, the WAC arrives this month at The Pipe Shop Venue in Vancouver, Canada for its 14th instalment.
The competition has gained global recognition since launching in 2008 and now spans 120 regional and national events, which take place in over 60 countries.
This year, more than 3,000 competitors have been involved, with the winners from each country qualifying for the WAC. Last year, the event was held in Melbourne, Australia and was won by Tuomas Merikanto from Finland.
The WAC marks the end of a long run of coffee competitions in 2022, which has included the World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup.
Coffee equipment Christmas shopping | Dec 1-24
Finding the perfect present for the coffee obsessive is no easy feat.
With so many products having flooded the market in recent years, it can be a headache trying to pick out a bag of coffee, let alone the right equipment.
Fortunately, this holiday season, there are a few items that have emerged as guaranteed winners, from grinders to home espresso machines.
For the prosumer, the Bellezza Valentina Leva espresso machine is a no-brainer. Featuring temperature adjustment, shot timer, and adjustable preinfusion time, it is the perfect gift for those who want to take their home espresso making to the next level.
When it comes to improving the quality of a friend or family member’s grind, look no further than the Slingshot.
Said to have “revolutionised” coffee grinding when it first came out, its rise to fame was largely thanks to an innovative volumetric system, which combined the benefits of an on-demand grind without compromising on speed. Basically, the ideal accompaniment to the serious home barista.
The Barista League travels to Mexico City | Dec 3
The Barista League launched in 2015 in response to the glaring need for more community-driven and accessible events in the coffee industry.
Since then, it has grown from a grassroots coffee competition in the outskirts of a small Swedish city to a globally recognised event, drawing hundreds of attendees every year.
This year, The Barista League journeys to Mexico City, where it will bring together 12 of Mexico’s most talented baristas in the newly renovated BUNA La Tostadora.
There, they will battle it out in front of a jury made up of six renowned judges, who will have the difficult task of assessing the baristas’ skills, knowledge, and creativity to determine an overall champion.
As usual, the event will include coffee tastings from selected local roasters, a special master of ceremonies, as well as music well into the evening.
Ethiopian coffees showcase in London | Dec 17
The first exhibition to exclusively showcase Ethiopian coffees in the UK is scheduled to take place at the Ethiopian Embassy in London later this month.
A partnership between the Embassy and Michael Haile, CEO of ETHIOCOFFEE Importer & Distributor, the event is aimed at highlighting the vast potential of coffees from the East African country, giving professionals the opportunity to find out more about the birthplace of the bean.
The event will include cupping sessions, roasting technique demos, coffee tasting, and short presentations by coffee professionals from across Ethiopia.
With more than 30 exhibitors lined up, including traders, roasters, and industry heads, it will also be an excellent opportunity to network and form lasting relationships with those who have a deep understanding of the Ethiopian coffee market.