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The Ultimate Guide to World of Coffee Amsterdam

SCA World of Coffee show is coming to Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Yay! The biggest and arguably one of the most important coffee shows is hosted by this great European coffee city between 21st and 23rd June. The World of Coffee Amsterdam will not only be one of the peak moments for the best of the speciality coffee and Horeca industries, it will also be the most important event of 2018 for the 60 national Barista Champions. Those will come to compete in the World Barista Championship 2018, starting the first rounds already on 20th June.

We have done the research for you and are bringing you a summary of the event in this handy overview of Whats, Whens and Wheres. Check it out and see you in Amsterdam!

Photo by Javier M. on Unsplash

World of Coffee Amsterdam Venue

The WoC is hosted by RAI Exhibition Centre, an event venue in the Scheldebuurt neighbourhood of Amsterdam, just next to a large city park—Beatrixpark. The venue is easily reached by public transport from inner and outer Amsterdam.

How to get to RAI Exhibition Centre

Schiphol Airport is connected with RAI by the Sprinter train service. The service costs € 3 and you can order and print the ticket ahead of time.

Amsterdam Centraal (Amsterdam Central Station) is connected with the venue by the underground line M51, or by the tram number 4. The ride is approximately 30 minutes and the underground line runs also through Amstel Station in the South-East. For those planning to use the public transport throughout their visit, we recommend getting a 1-,2- or 3-day ticket. The prices range between € 7,50 and € 17,50.

WOC Programme

The main event, The World Barista Championship, starts on 20th June. 9 AM until 5:30 PM, the Hall 8 will see the first preliminary rounds of the baristas’ presentations. The event does not open for public until the 21st June though, and you will have to register for a 3-day badge online, ranging between € 35 and € 50. The competition areas, as well as the trade show, will be accessible to you with this badge. The badge to enter only the competition on the 20th June will be sold on the day for € 25 to € 40.

The main days of the trade show, which sees the exhibitors and their stands, are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day, the event will be open from 10 AM until 5 PM. The WBC, which has got a slightly separate area dedicated to the competition, is open in similar times and will see a continuous stream of presentations running every day until Saturday, 5 PM.

As always, there will be Roaster Village and Brew Bar & Espresso Bar areas. Roaster Village will present some of the best roasters in the industry, while at the bars the volunteering baristas will get your caffeinated needs sorted.

photo – Jordan Sanchez Photography / Barista Guild of Europe

Apart from the competition and the trade show booths, there are also WOC Cupping Rooms, set up in the Meeting Rooms area on the ground floor. Here, you will be able to cup the coffees from international coffee traders and roasters. Some of the countries represented here will be Colombia, World of Coffee Amsterdam’s Portrait Country, and others, supplied e.g. by Volcafe, Swiss Water, IWCA, Trabocca, and many others.

Or, you can take a break from the trade show and visit one of the many presentations, part of the WOC Lecture Series, held in the same area of the RAI. The Cupping Rooms are open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM, and the Lecture Series hold presentations from Thursday to Saturday, 11 AM until 5 PM.

Colombia is this year’s World of Coffee Amsterdam Portrait Country, photo – SCA

Lecture Series at WOC 2018

Lecture Series will present talks by international coffee professionals. “Lecture presenters are carefully vetted experts who are highly enthusiastic about their area of expertise and have a strong desire to share that knowledge for the betterment of the industry,” the WOC website says. There will be a range of talks covering the topics of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sustainability, as well as Science and Innovation, Coffee Farming and Processing, Roasting and Retailing, Trading and Commerce. We selected a few lectures from the whole programme, but you can see the full list and their description in length online.

Thursday, 21st June

Make Coffee Not War: Brewing Up Peace in Yemen / Lecture Room 2 – F003 / 11 AM -–12 PM

Representatives of Yemen’s coffee industry will talk about the role that they believe coffee plays in alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

Friday, 22nd June

The Wild Origins of Arabica and the World’s Original Coffee Culture / Lecture Room 1 – F002 / 12:15 PM – 1:15 PM

The lecture will discuss the true origin of the variety of Coffea arabica, its actual origins that is in the southwest of Ethiopia. “It would make the argument that this is world’s original coffee culture,” says the description of the lecture, to be presented by Jeff Koehler.

Blending coffee before or after roasting – The science of coffee blending / Lecture Room 2 – F003 / 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Is there a difference between mixing a blend’s components before or after roasting? Learn about the art of creating a coffee blend in the lecture by Samo Smrke.

Saturday, 23rd June

The Effect of Third Wave Coffee Towards Coffee Farmers’ Sovereignty / Lecture Room 1 – F002 / 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM

What does the term ‘third wave coffee’ mean? And what effect does it have in the coffee industry? Social development and emancipation are at the core of this lecture.

DR Congo – A Rising Specialty Coffee Origin / Lecture Room 2 – F003 / 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

The past, the current situation, the greatest challenges, the perspective and the potential for Specialty Coffee in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Meet our sponsors

The trade show is a great opportunity to meet the representatives of the companies that are the support of the roasters and cafes across the globe. We are always especially excited for this chance to catch up with our sponsors without whom there would be less of the European Coffee Trip content.

Make sure you pop into the following booths and give a high five to our great supporters.

Victoria Arduino / Booth D26 & C31

Victoria Arduino who has been a proud sponsor of the World Barista Championships for years has renewed its sponsorship contract for the period of 2018 to 2020. It is returning with its Victoria Arduino 388 Black Eagle espresso machine. The VA Booth will have a lot for you to discover. Roasters will have an opportunity to serve their coffees as part of the “Why Every Gram Matters” presentation! On top of that, there is also the chance to win a Mythos One grinder during the WoC 2018, by participating in Victoria Arduino’s #BetTheChampion giveaway!

And of course, there will be a party! VA is hosting a night of free craft beer, food and music at Amsterdamse Proeflokaal. The Craft Brew Party is free to enter, you just need to pick up your ticket at their booths D26 or C31. From 5 PM onwards, you are then welcome at 300, Stadionplein, 1076 CK Amsterdam.

Coffee In Action’s Victoria Arduino machine, photo – Coffee in Action

DRWakefield / Booth VL4

Another of our great supporters would not miss the show either. DRWakefield, a green-bean sourcing company based in London, always comes with a line-up of cuppings at their large booth and we are guessing this year won’t be different. Go and say hi to the team we travelled to Honduras and Brazil with.

PuqPress / Booth F21

Find our recent sponsors, PuqPress, at the trade show, too. The precision tamper has been appearing on a growing number of coffee bars, so you might want to check it out from up-and-close yourselves. We have already introduced it in our video, buet since PuqPress are launching a new version of their tamper for Mythos, you should definitely swing by!

notNeutral / Booth E37

You can find the notNeutral cups and other tableware across European cafes, and if you have never drunk from them, come to check out their range of beautiful ceramics at the show. They will be showing their whole line of coffeeware, specifically LINO, VERO, MENO, and CALA, as well as their new VERO cortado glasses.

World AeroPress Championship 2017 trophys

Parties at World of Coffee Amsterdam

Listed in a chronological order, here are the parties you want to visit during the WOC 2018.

2018 Dutch AeroPress Championship

We are sorry not to have AeroPress, our great partner, present at the show, but even if they are not exhibiting, they will be present during the 2018 Dutch AeroPress Championship hosted by Coffeecompany at Gaasterlandstraat 3.

On Wednesday, 20t June, from 6:15 PM, the Dutch fans of the AeroPress coffee brewer will battle for the chance to win the Dutch title and represent their country in Sydney, at the World AeroPress Championship. We will be in Sydney, too, shooting the last bits for our documentary!

The WOC Launch Party

On 21st June, the opening party of the World of Coffee welcomes the visitors for a summer BBQ and drinks at Amstel Boathouse. This event is ticketed and includes a full buffet and two drinks per person.

Amstel Boathouse is located on a bank of the Amstel river, an easy 18-minute walk from RAI. Optionally, you can take the bus number 62, or the tram number 4.

IWCA Evening Reception

The International Women’s Coffee Alliance hosts an evening reception on Friday 22nd June, between 6:30 PM and 8 PM. The event will be an update on the recent activities of the organisation that empowers women throughout the coffee chain. The event will be held at Rosarium and you can book your tickets here.

Sustainability Essentials for the Coffee Professional

This lecture is an essential viewing for any coffee professional at the WoC 2018. The website says why: “This course is an introduction to sustainability thinking in relation to coffee. Attendees will gain knowledge and skills that will enable them to identify key sustainability issues across the coffee value chain, understand unintended consequences, and take impactful action.” Purchase the special ticket for this lecture held on Friday 22nd June, between 1 PM and 5 PM, via the registration process online.

Barista Party

The final party of the World of Coffee will be an anticipated hurrah after four days of intense competing and tight nerves. A great occasion to blow off some steam and catch up with the international group of friends that all gather in Amsterdam. The party is held from 8 PM until 2 AM at Wester Unie in the green area of Westerpark, in the northwest area of Amsterdam.

The entry to this event is free but make sure to bring your show pass and ID.

Cropster 10-year anniversary party

Cropster was founded by three Austrian guys, ten years ago, in Colombia. Their vision was to help people across the coffee supply chain. Today, running a roastery without a Cropster software in place is almost unthinkable. They celebrate their journey so far on Thursday, 21st June, at Bocca Coffee. 6:30 PM until 10 PM. Get your ticket at their booth C26.

Cafe Imports Europe Bitterballen Bal

21st June is the day of the Summer Solstice in Amsterdam and Cafe Imports, a green coffee importer, brings a night of food and drinks, including the Bitterballen – a Dutch meat (or vegetarian) speciality for you to enjoy!

The Barista League

The wonderful competition open to all baristas is bringing its famous party and competition spirit to Amsterdam as well. On Friday 22nd June, the organisers throw a Midsummer Party at CT Coffee & Coconuts. Come down for some drinks and to cheer on the competing barista.

La Marzocco Party Boat | Supperclub Cruise

One of the most expected parties each year is always the La Marzocco one. The organisers prepared, again, something special and will literally rock the boat with you. On Friday, 22nd June, from 8:30 PM onwards, it is the Supperclub Cruise’s deck that will turn into a dance floor. Register online for a free ticket, the party can take only 500 ravers!

Where to eat and drink during the WOC 2018

Although the programme is entertaining and engaging enough, a trade show of this scale can get overwhelming. Take the time to start your day right at one of the many cafes around Amsterdam, or just take a break during the day and enjoy your lunch outside of the buzzing competition area, in one of the neighbourhoods of the city divided by its many canals.

A short search through our map of Amsterdam will tell you, there are not many coffee and food options in the direct neighbourhood of RAI. In fact, you can see the RAI just at the bottom side of our map. No cafes around.

But do not lose hope. Kim Staalman, Amsterdam’s local and one of SCA’s friendliest faces, put together an online map of her favourite spots to drink coffee, eat, as well as sip on some delicious wines. We selected a few of the close-proximity spots and encourage you to keep her map on your smart devices.

North of the RAI, nearby the Rijksmuseum, you will find three great cafes: Bocca Coffee Roasters, Sweet Cup and Back to Black. Head here for the closest cafe experience, but do not hesitate to venture further out the WoC area. Check out 4850, Kim’s favourite for the combination of all coffee, wine and food, and stop by some of the brunching spots as well. These could be convenient for bigger groups of friends: CT Coffee & Coconuts, which you already know thanks to The Barista League party, or Bakers & Roasters, to be found across the water from Maritime Museum.

There are many more amazing cafes, roasteries, and brunch places. We hope you will get to pop into at least some of them during the busy program of the 2018 World of Coffee Amsterdam. Enjoy and do not hesitate to say high if you see us strolling around the show!