An espresso of culture: coffee events

From global exhibitions to Latte Art championships, via barista and roaster competitions. We discover all the events where the undisputed star is coffee, in all its forms.

Barbara Fassio
Barbara Fassio
caffè ed eventi

Coffee is so much more than just a beverage. It’s a passion shared by millions around the world, a constantly evolving culture expressed through the art of coffee and the events that revolve around it. In this article, we’ll dive headfirst into the captivating world of coffee events, from global expos to well-known coffee festivals, and even Latte Art championships.

caffè ed eventi


To kick off our journey, let’s take a leap back in time when coffee was still a mystery waiting to be uncovered. The coffee culture was incredibly limited: a few industry insiders, typically major green bean importers and roasters, gathered at trade shows. These were B2B sales events, with massive booths where you could taste coffee, mostly to discuss the final extraction machines. The actual product itself, the coffee beans, were almost an afterthought, little known and even less valued. Gradually, thanks to events like the Salone del Gusto and the emergence of the first Specialty coffee roasteries, Italy began a heated debate about this beverage. Coffee beans, both green and roasted, became subjects of study, points of contention, and objects of tasting. In an effort to introduce the wondrous supply chain hidden behind this product, producers and roasters started engaging with and opening up to end consumers.

And so, fairs, exhibitions, competitions, and contests were born, aligning with what was already happening in many European nations and beyond!

Today, the variety of events on offer is incredibly wide: picture yourself strolling through stalls manned by small coffee producers from all corners of the globe, each with their unique story. Or perhaps you find yourself in a cutting-edge venue, surrounded by top-notch extraction experts competing with micro-lots of distinctive beans. Every event will provide you with a fresh and different perspective through which to savor coffee.

These gatherings are not just a celebration of the past; they’re also an opportunity to discover the latest trends in the coffee world. From new roasting techniques to rare bean varieties, these fairs will allow you to taste the ongoing evolution of our beloved dark elixir.


If you’re a coffee and art enthusiast, Latte Art championships are an unmissable experience. These events showcase the incredible skill of baristas in crafting artwork with milk poured into a coffee cup. The competition is fierce, but the result is always astonishing: cappuccinos worthy of a true painter. Coffee purists often prefer it without milk, but in reality, coffee-based milk drinks are much more prevalent than you might imagine. This competition highlights all the skills involved in working these two ingredients together.

Latte Art is not just an expression of talent; it’s also a reflection of passion. Each cup is a small masterpiece, featuring designs ranging from delicate hearts to intricate floral creations. Participants push their boundaries to create the perfect piece, proving that coffee can be much more than just a beverage; it can be a fleeting work of art.

However, it’s not the only discipline where passionate competitors go head-to-head with cups and saucers: the world of competitions is vast and intriguing. It ranges from espresso championships to filter brew competitions, professional tasting contests, and coffee-based cocktail crafting. Preparing cezve-ibrik and roasting competitions put participants to the test, and the prize isn’t just for the competitors, but primarily for the coffee that’s brought into the competition. Experienced judges evaluate the lot chosen by the contestant, often an exceptionally selected small production, sourced from the finest origins and the result of unique and innovative processes. Each competition becomes an educational moment, a space for gathering and growth, reminding us that coffee is an art, a culture, and above all, an endless source of inspiration.

caffè ed eventi


As we delve into the world of coffee events, we can’t forget the quirks and traditions that surround this beverage. For example, did you know that coffee was banned in some societies in the past due to its alleged seductive properties? Or that in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, it’s a tradition to honor guests with a special coffee ceremony? Every region in the world has its unique coffee-related stories, and these curiosities add an extra layer of charm to this world. As you sip your favorite cup of coffee, you might find yourself pondering just how deep and intriguing this black elixir can be. During these events, you can discover these and other tidbits by engaging with industry experts, participating in masterclasses, and joining discussions.

Wondering where all of this can be found? We’ve got you covered. Here are some events that you absolutely must attend if you’re a true coffee geek:

  • TriestEspresso Expo (Trieste, Italy): This international exhibition takes place in Trieste, a city with a rich coffee tradition. It’s a key event for coffee enthusiasts where you can discover the latest trends in the industry and savor high-quality coffee from around the world.
  • London Coffee Festival (London, United Kingdom): This festival is a must-visit for coffee lovers in London. It offers an overview of the latest innovations in the coffee world, along with barista competitions and a wide range of tastings.
  • Coffee Fest (United States): This traveling event is held in various cities across the United States and provides coffee enthusiasts with the opportunity to attend educational seminars, coffee competitions, and explore new equipment and products for the industry.
  • Milano Coffee Festival (Milan, Italy): Milan is famous as the capital of fashion and design, but it also hosts a prominent coffee festival. Here, you can explore the blend of coffee art and Italian design in a different setting every year.
  • World Barista Championship: This is one of the most prestigious events in the coffee world. It brings together the best baristas from around the globe to compete in coffee preparation and presentation. Each edition is hosted in a different city, making it a global and captivating event.

Coffee events offer an exciting journey through taste and culture: coffee is much more than just a beverage, it’s a passion that unites us and invites us to explore the wonders of the world, one cup at a time.