With over 4,000 coffee shops and tea houses boasting a true café culture in the UAE, cafes and baristas continue to account for a lucrative business of almost half a billion dollars annually.
The International Coffee & Tea Festival (ICTF) which will be held from 12th to 14th November, 2014 at the Meydan Gallery in Dubai, will incorporate industry Specialized Training Programmes, National-level Coffee Championships and World Coffee Champions as three of its most prominent features, highlighting the skills and expertise of coffee-making in the region.
As the only dedicated trade event for the coffee and tea industry in the Middle East, the International Coffee & Tea Festival annually hosts the region’s only SCAA-certified coffee training, intended to share a wealth of knowledge, experience and cutting-edge techniques with participating professionals and novices, so that they can expertly prepare and serve the best coffee to their customers and guests.
These training sessions will integrate the broader topics of Coffee Preparation, Coffee Grading as well as Coffee Roasting, catering for everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals. All workshops are conducted by instructor-certified industry professionals and administered by SCAA, to impart hands-on training experience to attendees who receive a formal qualification & certification with worldwide acceptance, upon completion.
Along with the training sessions, the International Coffee & Tea Festival will also host the yearly National-Level Coffee Championships, which include the UAE National Barista Championship and the UAE National Latte Art Championship. Heralding the recognition of the popular Turkish-style coffee preparation and celebrating one of the oldest and traditional methods of coffee preparation, this year the ICTF will also launch the first National Cezve/Ibrik Championship which will be the first in the UAE.
Sanctioned and licensed by World Coffee Events (WCE), the Championships offer an effective platform to professional baristas to showcase their skills of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. The winner of the 6th UAE Barista Championship will receive the highest national honor for any UAE-based Barista and will be sponsored to represent UAE at the 2015 World Barista Championship in Seattle, Washington, competing against 56 countries.
Another first at the Event will be the “WCE All Stars”, a brand new and exciting feature brought by the World Coffee Events (WCE) committee, welcoming four World Champions and recurring finalists in categories of World Barista Championship, World Coffee Brewers Cup and the World Latte Art Championship. The baristas that bested over 56 countries in the global Specialty Coffee arena will gather together at the ICTF in a friendly and fun environment to participate in onstage demonstrations and activities designed to engage the local coffee community and educate the region through beverage demonstrations, on-demand performances, reflections on their “champion” year, Q&As, interviews, surprise challenges, and plenty more.
Ryan Godinho, UAE’s National Liaison for World Coffee Events and Special Events Coordinator (Training & Championships) with the International Coffee & Tea Festival (ICTF), commented, “With the growing popularity of coffee shops and the increasing demand for high quality coffee and service, there has been a need for connoisseurs who have a passion for coffee to expertly serve customers. With the Coffee Training and Championships as two of the most integral segments of the show, the International Coffee & Tea Festival continues to raise the bar of the coffee industry in the UAE at par with the international market. With the inclusion of the WCE All Stars, local HoReCa professionals and operational staff will have the unprecedented opportunity to meet, engage with and learn from truly the best in the industry. While the SCAA workshops offer comprehensive, industry-leading coffee education that has consistently proven beneficial for all participants over the last 5 years, the National Coffee Championships are designed to acknowledge the high level of skills required and appreciate the dedication, perseverance and overall attention to detail of UAE’s Baristas, as they compete for the country’s most prestigious coffee titles.”
Supported by SCAA, the world’s largest trade association dedicated to the recognition, development and promotion of specialty coffee, the International Coffee & Tea Festival is the one-stop destination for all facets of coffee, tea and café products, equipment and services in the Middle East. It attracts industry professionals from GCC territories, the Levant region, North and South Africa, the Caspian region, Iran, and the Indian sub-continent.