Specialty Coffee & Tea Convention 2009 kicks off

Published November 11th, 2009 - 01:40 GMT

Specialty Coffee & Tea Convention 2009, the first international specialty coffee and tea event crafted for the Arab World, has commenced today (Tuesday, November 10, 2009) at the Al Bustan Rotana Convention Centre with over 50 global companies showcasing the latest products, equipment and trends in the specialty coffee and tea industry. The first-ever National UAE Barista Championship, which is a major highlight of the Convention, will concurrently hold its preliminary competitions starting today with the championship round to be held on November 12, the culminating day of Specialty Coffee & Tea Convention 2009.


Organised by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and IC&E, the Convention features a focused exhibition, a high-profile conference, targeted educational sessions and workshops, and a wide range of opportunities for networking, business sourcing and market intelligence. On the other hand, the National UAE Barista Championship gathers professional baristas from all over the UAE who are vying for a spot in the 2010 World Barista Championship (WBC) in London.


Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, International Conferences & Exhibitions (IC&E), organisers of the event said, "This exclusive meeting of prominent personalities and leading experts in the regional and global beverage industry will help enrich the quality of specialty coffee and tea products in the region and enhance the level of competency of professionals working in the industry. Specialty Coffee & Tea Convention 2009 will feature an array of discussion points that are crucial in the growth of the regional industry, while various networking activities have been organised to facilitate a wide range of investment opportunities and optimise the business potential of all participants."


"The inaugural National UAE Barista Championship is also an important component of the Convention as it illustrates the significant progress that has been achieved in the specialty coffee and tea industry. This groundbreaking competition has received a huge response from the barista community and from the public in general, which reflects the great potential of the National UAE Barista Championship to be an exciting, crowd-drawing event in the UAE," added Godinho.


A special conference with the theme “In Pursuit of Sustainable Quality: From Seed to Cup” is being featured in the Convention, focusing on global trends in coffee and tea consumption, regional investment opportunities and other urgent issues on quality, sustainability and corporate responsibility. Renowned international experts and professionals led by Ric Rhinehart, Executive Director of SCAA, and Jose Sette, Head of Operations of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), are attending the conference.


Key topics at the conference include Global Trends in Coffee Consumption, Opportunities and Threats; Improving the Quality of Coffee – Service and the Product; Promoting the Health Benefits of Coffee; The State and Future of Coffee in the GCC Region; Differentiating Tea - History and Trends; Local Investment Opportunities, Franchising and Setting up in the Region; Assessing Consumer Liquidity – Supply and Demand; and Corporate Social Responsibility and Fair Trade Focus. There will also be networking activities and workshops on Espresso Fundamentals, Basics of Cupping, Roasting and Specialty Tea.


Prominent industry figures speaking at the Conference include Tracy Allen, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brewed Behavior (USA); Judith Ganes-Chase, President and Founder of J Ganes Consulting LLC (USA); Mohamed Moledina, President of Moledina Commodities (USA); Ellie Hudson-Matuszak, Vice President of Training and Operations of Coffee Solutions (USA); Jeff Vojta, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Stockton Graham & Co. (USA); Andrew Hetzel, Founder and President of Cafemakers LLC (USA); Daniel Stokes, Senior Manager of Resource Development, Transfair USA; Tammo de Buhr of HTH Hamburger Teehandel GmbH Im- & Export; and Stephen Morrisey, 2008 World Barista Champion.


The National UAE Barista Championship is the only one of its kind in the region accredited by the World Barista Championship, the world's biggest and premier coffee competition. Competitors will be required to serve each of the four sensory judges a single espresso, a single cappuccino and a signature beverage of his/her choice (espresso-based and alcohol free) for a total of 12 drinks, during a period of 15 minutes. Participants will be judged by four sensory judges, two technical judges and a head judge.


The World Barista Championship (WBC) is a non-profit organization jointly owned by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Specialty Coffee Association of Europe. The first annual WBC competition took place in Monte Carlo in October 2000, followed by competitions in Miami, Oslo, Boston, Trieste, Seattle, Berne, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Atlanta. Visit www.worldbaristachampionship.com.

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