World of Coffee in France

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How fortunate we were that this year, World of Coffee was in Nice in the south of France. What a wonderful event it was – from the coffee folk we met to the food we ate.

Our stand attracted the usual stream of international visitors with Training Packs selling now in South America, confirming our decision to do a Spanish translation some time in the future.  We met Marta, a lively girl from Guatemala, who invited us to her coffee tasting and to visit her mother’s coffee plantation. We tasted her coffees (which were exceptional) and promised to visit her mother. The time was short, but we cemented one of those friendships you know you will have forever, despite the distance.  You will find her by Googling ‘Coffee Bird from Guatemala’. She has collected some fine coffees from all over Guatemala and I recommend you try them yourself.

Four championship events took place in association with the trade show, with dozens of countries putting forward their national champions to compete in the Roasting, Latte Art, Coffee in Good Spirits and the (oddly named) Cup Tasters championships. (Yes, they taste the coffee; not the cup!). The 2013 winners of the prestigious international titles are as follows …

 

  • World Roasting Champion: Naoki Goto from Tokado Coffee, Japan
  • World Latte Art Champion: Hisako Yoshikawa from Ogawa Coffee, Japan
  • World Coffee in Good Spirits Champion: Victor Delpierre from Cafes Richard, France
  • World Cup Tasters Champion: Lajos Horvath from Casino Mocca Micro Roastery, Hungary

 

Seriously exceptional hospitality accompanied all the social events we attended. The standard was set by the Welcome Reception held at the Chamber of Commerce, where over an array of fine food and wine, we reconnected with those we hadn’t seen since the last World of Coffee and established new friends and contacts, notably those from Malongo Coffee who hosted the event.

We took a tour of the Unic factory, Unic being the only French espresso-machine manufacturing company. In great detail, we were shown how espresso machine parts are manufactured, put together and packaged for sale.

We were honoured to be invited to the fabulous Unic cocktail party – in the grounds of the stunning Villa Massena a neo-classical Italianate building on the Promenade des Anglais, that has been a museum since 1921. With canapés in all forms and flavours and champagne pouring freely, the networking got off to a flying start. We did the coffee origin competition, had our photos taken (and took quite a few of our own too), listened to a great band, viewed rooms of the villa, watched the latte art ‘smackdown’, and before we knew it, we were leaving, talking about the best coffee party we’d ever been to.

The Coffee Kids beach party the previous night was a way more casual affair. Plenty of partygoers bared legs and shoulders in garish beach gear – but the temperature was far too chilly for any Australian to do so! Enormous atmosphere and networking gained momentum as the sun set in a blaze of colour across the mighty Mediterranean.

After three exhausting days of Trade Show and networking, we enjoyed a well-earned rest as my 60th birthday celebrations got under way – months in advance. We started at St Paul de Vence and lunched at the amazing La Colombe D’Or – as we had done for my 50th birthday. We then headed east and later north, visiting lots of little villages and had many moments of pure French pleasure (always involving food, of course). Our destination was The Lot where we stayed with friends and indulged in many more fabulous culinary experiences!