Coming into its second year, the New Zealand event Caffeination is growing into a larger space, with added consumer-focused programming and a deeper relationship with the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association.
Caffeination is decidedly less industry-insular than other national- or international-level coffee events. With the larger space, organizers this year have made expanded efforts to engage consumers through demonstrations on the competition and expo floors that have educational and exploratory bents.
“Perhaps only a few thousand New Zealanders know how Coffee is cultivated and processed before it’s roasted,” says Benn Crawford, retail manager for one of the show’s sponsors, Coffee Supreme. “We hope to provide Caffeination goers with a very special experience about coffee and do the coffee growers justice which their product and hard work deserves.”
In partnership with the NZSCA, this year’s event will correspond with the NZ Coffee Championships, beginning March 19 with the NZ Latte Art Championship (sponsored by Meadow Fresh), the NZ Barista Championship (sponsored by Huhtamaki), the NZ Cup Tasters Championship (also sponsored by Huhtamaki), and the NZ Brewers Cup Championship (sponsored by Aeropress). Winners of those competitions will go onto sanctioned World Coffee Championships.
Caffeination 2015 will also host current World Barista Champion, Hidenori Izaki, who will be co-emceeing the competitions, as well as conducting on-stage demonstrations.