Cafe Show & World Coffee Leaders Forum in Seoul

Is it any wonder there was a nonstop throng of people at the Kalita booth?

I really like Seoul so far, even though I haven’t seen all that much of it yet. The people are friendly and so excited to have visitors, and the innovations I’ve seen on the floor of the Cafe Show—one of the biggest coffee shows in the world with 100,000 attendees—have ranged from spectacular to silly to just plain strange. It’s a lot of fun.

I’m here as a speaker at the World Coffee Leaders Forum (WCLF), which is held in conjunction with the Cafe Show as its symposium for thinkers. The WCLF Organizing Committee has brought speakers from the UK, Italy, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Netherlands, Brazil, Burundi, India, Brazil, China, Japan, Indonesia, and the United States together here in Seoul four the two-day event. (For a complete list of the participating speakers, go HERE.)On Wednesday and Thursday, these speakers taught sessions in C Market volatility, coffee leaf rust science and solutions, sustainability through certifications, and offered overviews of how the specialty coffee industries work and don’t work in their home countries.

At the end of the lectures each day, the day’s speakers participated in a panel discussion, which led to some lively debates, as well.

In between speeches, I was able to walk around some of the massive Cafe Show (not nearly all of it), see some friends, and check out some new products. I’ll go back today and Saturday to see more, and report back here with photos and experiences from Seoul, both on the show floor and out in the city.

Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia Coffee gave an inspiring speech about building your company at the WCLF.

Geoff Watts of Intelligentsia Coffee gave an inspiring speech about building your company at the WCLF.

OK, you can't see it here, but this is the busiest show floor I've ever been on, by FAR.

OK, you can’t see it here, but this is the busiest show floor I’ve ever been on, by FAR.

This crazy cool espresso machine at the Coffee Libre booth is what everyone's talking about.

This crazy cool espresso machine at the Coffee Libre booth is what everyone’s talking about.

The booths on this show floor are decorated beautifully.

The booths on this show floor are decorated beautifully.

Love this Marzocco.

Love this Marzocco.

Always a crowd at the Loring stand.

Always a crowd at the Loring stand.

More coolness

More coolness, Simonelli style.

Cold brew in wine bottles!

Cold brew in wine bottles!

Siphons from floor to ceiling!

Siphons from floor to ceiling!

Gadgets, gadgets, everywhere!

Gadgets, gadgets, everywhere!

I could hardly walk into the Espresso Parts booth, it was so crowded!

I could hardly walk into the Espresso Parts booth, it was so crowded!

The theme of the year internationally seems to be on cool new brewers.

The theme of the year internationally seems to be on cool new brewers.

Wazzup, Snoop!?

Wazzup, Snoop!?

La Marzocco Korea is incredibly popular, and damn that's a cool van.

La Marzocco Korea is incredibly popular, and damn that’s a cool van.

Mira Song from La Marzocco Korea talks to a customer about the Linea PB.

Mira Song from La Marzocco Korea talks to a customer about the Linea PB.

La Marzocco is selling swag, all of the proceeds from which go to a nonprofit elder care program in Seoul.

La Marzocco is selling swag, all of the proceeds from which go to a nonprofit elder care program in Seoul.

This is the Korean Barista Championship. But it's not THE Korean Barista Championship, which will send its winner to the WBC. It's just a different Korean Barista Championship. It's very confusing.

This is the Korean Barista Championship. But it’s not THE Korean Barista Championship, which will send its winner to the WBC. It’s just a different Korean Barista Championship. It’s very confusing.

Nice way to showcase the barista competitors.

Nice way to showcase the barista competitors.

It's a walking, talking Franke machine!

It’s a walking, talking Franke machine!

Is it any wonder there was a nonstop throng of people at the Kalita booth?

Is it any wonder there was a nonstop throng of people at the Kalita booth?

So many awesome Kalita products...

So many awesome Kalita products…

I ran into La Marzocco friends and Luigi Lupi!

I ran into La Marzocco friends and Luigi Lupi!

Couldn't even get close to the Hario stand (perhaps because Pete Licata was making siphons? I'll try again later.

Couldn’t even get close to the Hario stand (perhaps because Pete Licata was making siphons?) I’ll try again later.

Some of the booth designs were really cool.

Some of the booth designs were really cool.

Manual brew is big big big here in Seoul.

Manual brew is big big big here in Seoul.

A roasting competition!

A roasting competition!

Our friends from Unic were well represented at the Players booth.

Our friends from Unic were well represented at the Players booth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Sarah

Sarah Allen is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.