What you missed at World of Coffee 2023
New Ground attended World of Coffee 2023 to catch up with industry trends and changes.
The industry’s biggest competitions, best products, and most innovative brands all gathered in Athens at the end of last week for the World of Coffee 2023.
There were approximately 10,000 people and 400 companies in attendance. For everyone there, it was an opportunity to explore the very best of specialty coffee.
Guatemalan Coffees held a large welcome on the morning of June 22nd. This was followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the event.
With a jam-packed schedule across all three days, we highlighted the standout moments of this year’s World of Coffee Athens.
Attendees certainly got a full show this year, as the world’s biggest coffee championship events were held across the three days. Approximately 140 competitors across all four major categories took part.
This is the first year in which baristas across all categories had to adhere to the updated rules and regulations laid out by the Specialty Coffee Association last December. One crucial change is that baristas are now allowed to use plant milks in the WBC.
World Barista Championship
On the Wednesday before World of Coffee, the WBC 2023 was kicked off. Competitors battled it out over four days, producing the customary four espressos, four milk drinks, and four signature drinks.
Boram Um of Brazil was crowned the WBC 2023 champion on Saturday. Boram used an anaerobically fermented Gesha from Janson Family Estates in Panama, as well as a coffee from his own family’s estate called Fazenda Um.
His theme was “Teamwork makes the dream work”. He talked about the role of Kai Janson (of Janson Estates), his team, and the judges in elevating the experience of coffee.
Placing after Borum were five finalists with exceptional routines. Ranked second to sixth, they were:
- Daniele Ricci, Italy
- Jack Simpson, Australia
- Isaiah Sheese, United States
- Dawn Chan, Hong Kong
- Patrick Rolf, Denmark
World Brewers Cup
The World Brewers Cup saw some incredible performances this year – showcasing new, innovative ways to manually brew filter coffee.
Carlos Medina was awarded the first prize. This represents the first-ever Brewers Cup win for Chile. Savina Giachgia from Greece placed second, and Garam Victor Um from Brazil placed third.
The World Cup Tasters Championship also took place in Athens last weekend. Young Baek took the win home for Australia.
World of Coffee 2023 was also host to the Cezve/Ibrik Championship, where baristas competed to make the best cup of coffee with the world’s oldest brewer (the ibrik).
World Barista Champion 2018 and brand ambassador for Carimali, Agnieszka Rojewska, competed in the Cezve/Ibrik Championship on Thursday, the first day of the event. The winner, Pierre de Chanterac, was announced on Saturday.
Best new product and display
The Best New Product Competition is always fierce, and this year was no different. Selecting the most innovative products to come out of the industry, it recognises quality in design and value added to the specialty coffee industry.
In the Coffee Accessories category, the Orion Nano was awarded first prize – Acaia’s new coffee dosing system.
Probat AG’s new hydrogen coffee roaster, the P05 H2, placed first in the Commercial Coffee Preparation and Serving Equipment category.
Meanwhile, the Hoop coffee brewer by Caedo took the prize for the Consumer Coffee Preparation and Serving Equipment category.
Innovation & craftsmanship on display
Beyond the product awards, World of Coffee was a space for brands to showcase further innovation and craftsmanship.
For coffee lovers with an appreciation for the vintage elements of the industry, Elektra’s was the booth to visit. Their espresso machines pay homage to the beauty of Italian-style manufacturing, and they stood out in contrast to the many modern machines that were on display this year.
“World of Coffee is very important for us because it is a chance for us to meet our customers, our community, and new potential partners,” said Alessio Pezzoni, CEO of Elektra Coffee.
He goes on to explain that Elektra’s presence was particularly special as World of Coffee was the stage for their new launch with at-home manufacturer Bellezza.
“Elektra is at a very important moment because we are launching our brand with Bellezza,” he said. “So it is important for us to meet people and explain our future products.”
While Elektra pays tribute to the traditional heritage of coffee machine manufacturing, it also focuses on the increased functionality needed to compete in today’s espresso machine market. As such, the World of Coffee was the place to be.
“The specialty coffee community is a very important part of the business now,” he said. “So it is very important to be here in order for us to share ideas and receive feedback from the customers and the community in general.”
There was another booth that was drawing in the crowds. Heylo’s espresso and milk modules were on full display, with a busy stand all three days of the event as the team demonstrated the machines.
All in all, World of Coffee was as ever an exciting time for the coffee industry. With three World of Coffee events to come in 2024 – taking place in Copenhagen, Busan, and Dubai – we’re intrigued to see what the next 12 months will bring for the sector.