What to expect from this year’s Barcelona Coffee Awards
Spain’s biggest coffee event is returning. Jenna Gottlieb speaks with Andre Barretto to find out what’s in store at Barcelona Coffee Awards 2023.
Spain’s biggest competitions, best products, and most innovative brands will gather in Barcelona at the end of this month.
Between 29 September and 1 October, the Nau Bostik Cultural Centre will hold the Barcelona Coffee Awards for the second time.
Last year, Barcelona Coffee Guide organised the inaugural Coffee Awards. The aim was to become the go-to event for specialty coffee shops, retailers, baristas, as well as small and large coffee roasters, all dedicated to fostering the burgeoning specialty coffee scene in Barcelona.
It was also founded with coffee enthusiasts in mind, offering cupping sessions and providing them with an opportunity to connect with people in the professional arena. Indeed, cuppings will take centre stage at this year’s event. Attendees will be able to taste coffees from Algrano, Belco, MAE Coffee, and The Coffee Quest, among others.
The event will also feature on-site exhibitions from notable names such as Hario, Aillio, and Commondante. Among these brands will be Heylo, who will be showcasing their espresso and milk modules. Heylo has taken an innovative approach to espresso machine design, with a modular approach that is becoming increasingly popular in coffee shops.
Additionally, their use of induction heating technology allows a new level of control over the brew process. The Heylo stall is usually busy with a line of attendees hoping to see the latest innovations in espresso machine technology – this year’s BCA is likely to be no different.
The second edition of the Barcelona Coffee Awards will include a broader range of coffee professionals than the first. Between the coffee equipment brands and roasters, there will be a number of live roasting shows and exclusive product launches.
“You can expect to have a full 360° coffee experience, where you can meet more than 60 brands and try 30 different roasters from Spain, Romania, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Ukraine and Poland,” says Andre Barretto, Chief Operating Officer at Coffee XP.
“You can enjoy masterclasses to learn how to improve making coffee at home or virtual reality experiences where you can take a ride in coffee farms and then taste the coffee you saw in person.”
The event will also host representatives from different coffee-producing countries. According to Andre, this is an essential part of BCA 2023.
“It is very important to bring producers closer to roasters and final customers, to value all processes in the chain and encourage recognition of this essential stage,” he says.
Competitions and awards
BCA will host coffee competitions that will test baristas and roasters from all over Spain – with the chance to win over €10,000 in cash and prizes across various categories.
This year, there will be a two-stage roasting competition, allowing participants to showcase their innovative roasting techniques.
“The competition takes place in two stages to select the best samples, which are tasted by a team of qualified Q graders to then form a table of finalists who compete for the title of the best roaster in Spain,” says Andre.
Additionally, Oatly will host the national latte art competition’s final round – gathering the country’s best baristas in one place to compete.
Beyond this, baristas and other coffee professionals will showcase their skills and compete for the BCN Coffee Award title across over 15 categories. Categories include Best Barista, Best Roaster, Creative Revelation/Innovation, Best Coffee Education, Best Coffee Shop and Best Service.
Food and beverage at the Barcelona Coffee Awards
There will also be non-coffee food and drink options at the event – from pizza and cakes to beer and cocktails. BCA is about celebrating Spain’s blossoming specialty coffee scene. Yet, it also embraces other exciting things happening in the food and beverage industry.
“One curiosity about seeking a more intense immersion is that in all food trucks, the public will be able to find a menu item where coffee will be used as an ingredient,” says Andre. “You can try burgers, pizzas, vegan options, pastries, among other foods that had coffee in their preparation.”
Delicious food aside, this year’s event is set to be bigger and better than the last. With so many brands vying for the Barcelona Coffee Award title, it’s not one to be missed.