Selected roasters, importers, producers, operators from all continents and the world’s best companies find HostMilano the ideal meeting point for the entire business revolving around coffee. The October edition promises to be full of special events, and preparations have already begun to host SIC, the Coffee Salon. Meanwhile, HostMilano, through its network of international contacts, investigates current trends, including overseas trends, such as those that emerged from the Re:co Symposium.
The myriad forms and formulas of coffee on stage at SIC
A coffee – or a “latte” – for first prize? This can only be enjoyed at Host 2023. The historic SIC – International Coffee Week is back again this year, where the major players in the entire supply chain present their innovations and exciting national and international competitions return, which contribute to making SIC the world reference for the world of coffee. Coffee is a passion not only because it is the most popular hot drink in the world, but also because it is probably the one that has seen the most interesting evolutions in recent years, as evidenced by the numerous events that will be organized during the event. The Milano Latte Art Challenge, the professional competition now in its fifth edition created by Trismoka, promises to be a great show. This is in fact the definitive challenge for Latte Art artists in which twelve of the best baristas in the world will compete. Nine disciplines, starting with simple and traditional shapes and gradually moving up to increasingly complex figures and techniques, from the classic “leaf” to etching and free design. The champion to beat? The Korean Um Paul, current holder of the title.
The appointments in collaboration with ALTOGA – National Association of Coffee Roasters and Importers and Food Wholesalers also stand out on the schedule. Three unmissable appointments in partnership with AICAF – Italian Academy of Coffee Masters. After the success of 2021, Coffee Addition, the original “traveling” format curated by Gianni Cocco, a coffee master with two Guinness World Records under his belt, is back. Also within the context of the SIC, the eighth Italian Cafeteria Grand Prix will take place, which will test the competitors with a timed challenge, i.e. to prepare two cappuccinos, two espressos and two cold coffee-based drinks in 13 minutes which have an Italian food and wine product inside. The Moka Challenge 2023 aims to reward those who can extract the best coffee using the “Moka” method. ALTOGA also works in partnership with Latte Art Grading System for THE LAGS BATTLE and THE WLAGS BATTLE (World Championship of the System): one of the most important circuits in the world in the sector of latte art competitions, which has thousands of certified baristas in over 50 countries in the world.
Growth under the sign of quality
Some of the macro-trends that have characterized the last decade in coffee production and consumption are confirmed and continue this year. This is according to the April 2023 Coffee Report and Outlook taken from HostMilano, the biennial report that provides an updated picture based on a new methodology of production, consumption and prospects for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 coffee seasons. In particular, we are seeing high volumes of coffee produced in Brazil – with a 10% growth compared to last year – in Vietnam and Colombia, the three global leaders, and continued growth in Honduras and Uganda, two countries that have greatly increased investment in coffee production in recent years. And according to producers from the specialty community, noteworthy are the proliferation of experimental post-harvest processes, such as various variations of the “honey” method, which combines elements of dry processing with those of the wet method, and the interest in Fine Robusta from countries that traditionally cultivate Arabica.
The numbers relating to the quantities of coffee produced reflect a growth in its consumption throughout the world, with particular attention to Asia and the Middle East. In Italy it is generally stable, but there is an increase in the demand for special and high quality coffees, especially among young people from Generation Z, who want to find an ethical, sustainable and traceable drink in their cups.
Coffee where are you going? Trends from overseas
Many of the trends monitored in recent years in the coffee sector, such as the range of taste preferences, the interest in sustainability, including social sustainability, the increase in the domestic sphere, continue to be relevant today. In several cases, these aspects converge in a more general trend, transversal to sectors, which sees consumers reflecting on their own consumption choices. This is what HostMilano reports following the SCA Re:co Symposium in Portland, where it was highlighted how consumers often consider their choices as a way to contribute to the future they would like to see, for example by making more informed choices. But a different vision of the specialty with its challenges and opportunities has also emerged, and the diffusion of quality coffee, increasingly appreciated by new groups of consumers. There was talk of green coffee and proposals related to iced coffee, a different modality at the forefront of expanding the base of coffee consumers; and the growing diversity of coffee use in packaged and ready-to-drink products was explored.
HostMilano is at fieramilano Rho from 13 to 17 October 2023. In the Coffee area you will be able to immerse yourself in a wide range of products, history, tradition, moments of personal training and unmissable challenges.
www.host.fieramilano.it, @HostMilan, #Host2023