While the World Barista Championship 2016 plays out in the ring, the World of Coffee trade show next door is proving to be yet another gala for industry folks to go gaga. There have been big debuts here, including that of the new Slayer Steam espresso machine we reported on yesterday, along with reengineered Kees van der Westen Spirit and Speedster machines, which we will soon share news about. In the meantime, here are five colorful new and/or newsworthy sights we saw.
Hikari Siphon Bar Table
A Bonmac Hikari Siphon Bar Table is always a sight to behold, but outside of Asia it’s still quite rare. No wonder a demo of the three-burner halogen-bulb-powered siphon brewing system was really lighting up onlookers’ faces in Dublin. Plus, there came glad global tidings: the machine is now certified to be sold not only in the US, but also in Europe, said Takashi Inoue of Lucky Coffee Machine, whose manufacturing company supplies the product to long-time Japanese coffee industry specialists UCC. Inoue enthused about siphon brewing’s evolution, explaining: “With the halogen it’s really easy to control the temperature of the lamp. [Before that technology] it was really difficult to control the fire during the blooming.”
In a sea of stainless steel, which is most coffee industry trade floors, the new golden Bairro AltoAir gently shone. Though the wall-free brewer has been on the market since 2014, this 24-karat gold-plated version officially debuted here at the 2016 World Of Coffee event. It was designed for Sarah Anderson, last year’s US Brewers Cup Champion, who won her title using the silver-hued AltoAir. The new, limited-edition version, which also uses V60 size 02 and Chemex filters, costs £85, a £50 hike-up from the original.
“We’re a bit more expensive than everyone, but we want to keep it small, locally produced,” said company founder and product designer Matt Ford, noting that all Bairro’s products are made right in their UK studio. Asked if there might be any drawback to the new coating, Ford assured: “Not at all, it’s exactly the same in its function and taste.”
Ancap Cupping Bowls
Who said cupping had to be a slurping succession in all-white? Italian porcelain-makers Ancap showed off their new cupping bowls in Dublin, and let’s just say—to mix a metaphor and stimulate your synesthesia—they are a sight for sore lips. So not only is the half-century-old company expanding its catalog of thick and durable yet delicate-looking products, but they are offering these bowls with accents in a delightful Life Saver-like variety of colors. The accent can be ordered as a thin trim covering the bowl’s entire lip or as a thicker band that hugs the upper perimeter. And, for the purists, bowls in plain white or with a personalized logo are available too.
Established in Dublin in 1840, Bewley’s is hardly a new name for the locals or regular rovers of the Irish cafe landscape. But what makes the company one to watch is its agility at keeping up with the times. With her back to a Kyoto-style cold brewer at the company’s sprawling WBC stand (next to the hulking black Mahlkonig EK43 grinder, kit from ModBar and Chemex, and more new wave coffee gear), training head Maria Cassidy proudly listed the many firsts that Bewley claims, including first to bring espresso to Ireland and, in 1996, first to import fair trade coffee to the country. “We’re the first company to introduce latte art into Irish coffees,” added her colleague Sean Tackaberry, who on realizing the double entendre clarified with a laugh, “not Irish alcohol coffees but [rather, the] Irish world.”
Bewley’s iconic multi-story Grafton Street flagship cafe, which has been closed for renovation, is scheduled to open by yearend, promising to be a 500-seat venue with full table service and plenty of pastry.
Pink Astoria Plus 4 You
Whether or not they had business with Astoria, trade show attendees couldn’t miss the Italian company’s flamingo-pink three-group Plus 4 You espresso machine. The promotional model was customized for BWT in celebration of the water tech company’s new corporate color, said Astoria representative Marco Salvadori. Pink is meant to represent magnesium, BWT rep William Hinton said. Magnesium produces “better water for health and enchanced hot drinks,” he claims, resulting in a custom espresso machine colorway that had Sprudge staff swooning here in Dublin.
Contest spectators might recognize the model from the World Latte Art Championship 2016, which used a modified, visually far more demure Plus 4 You TS as its official competition machine. Asked if such a hue might be available for future customers, technician Jason Jones was most matter of fact, replying: “Yeah, we’re a manufacturer, so we could do it in pink and stripes if you really wanted.”
Karina Hof is a Sprudge staff writer based in Amsterdam. Read more Karina Hof on Sprudge.