TYPICA Meets Cafe Show Seoul
We attended Cafe Show Seoul from November 23 to 26, 2022. That was the first time we participated in the trade show, but it was also our first time to give an in-person presentation in South Korea since we launched our service in the country in 2021. Throughout the event, many roasters and industry officials stopped by our booth to enjoy the wide-ranging flavor of specialty coffee and stories of coffee producers.
Cafe Show Seoul is one of the world’s largest coffee trade fairs, with more than 600 businesses and organizations from 35 countries taking part. This year’s event attracted around 100,000 visitors from around the globe.
TYPICA’s online platform is the first of its kind, and our direct trade harnesses the power of technology. But at the same time, we are always keen to interact with people face-to-face, and showcase a community that we have cultivated to this day. At our booth, the spotlight was squarely on coffee producers and roasters. Throughout the four days, we hoped to get across the passion and love they have for coffee to as many people as possible.
For the Meet the Producer sessions, we invited producers from CAFESMO (Honduras), GOOD COFFEE FARMS (Guatemala), Cuatro Caminos (Panama), Wete Ambela Coffee (Ethiopia), Baho Coffee (Rwanda), Primavera Coffee (Guatemala), CafeNor (El Salvador), Acacia Hills (Tanzania), Coffee Quest Colombia (Colombia), Nayra Qata (Bolivia), and Rockbern (Kenya). Some producers also took part via Zoom and explained their day-to-day work such as how they process and harvest coffee.
The event also provided an opportunity for roasters to cup coffee in front of the producers, give them feedback and ask questions about their farms. There were spontaneous conversations about coffee. Like in other countries, roasters meeting producers in person is not so common in South Korea. Visitors said it was remarkable to be able to connect with producers in real life.
On the 24th, Cafe Show hosted the World Leaders Coffee Forum, where industry experts shared their outlook on the future of the global coffee industry. Under various themes such as “coffee and the new world” and “coffee and humanity”, guest speakers introduced revolutionary ideas. Chief representative of TYPICA Masashi Goto also took the podium, giving a talk on the so-called 2050 problem. In a subsequent program, coffee producers and South Korean-based Coffee Montage shared the stage for a panel discussion, shedding light on some of the issues facing coffee origins, such as trade and regulatory obstacles.
Back at the TYPICA booth, Coffee Libre, a pioneer in South Korea’s specialty coffee scene, and Japan’s LEAVES COFFEE ROASTERS joined Masashi for the Coffee Talk, where they discussed sustainability and direct trade. Together with visitors, the three panelists considered the value of direct trade.
We also hosted Meet the Roaster live-brewing sessions at our booth. Guest presenters included WERK ROASTERS and New Wave Coffee Roasters from South Korea, as well as GLITCH COFFEE & ROASTERS and LiLo Coffee Roasters from Japan. They each served seasonal coffee directly traded through TYPICA. All the coffee lovers together pondered what makes our coffee truly delicious.
In the evening of November 25, we also organized Community Dinner, where coffee producers casually mingled with South Korean and Japanese roasters over a buffet dinner. All the participants reaffirmed their determination to grow this global community centered around coffee.
Cafe Show Seoul was a long time coming for our team in South Korea, where Covid-19 has restricted face-to-face interactions. Many of the relationships we now have with South Korean roasters started online, and Cafe Show was the much-awaited opportunity for us to meet and greet them in person for the first time. Over the four days at the event, we were able to see firsthand how passionate South Korean people are about specialty coffee and how even in South Korea people have high hopes for TYPICA.