Café Rider spent three days at World of Coffee Dubai 2023 and for this one, we wanted Ruthie, our Roastery wholesale account manager, to relay her experience over the three days.
This was my first time attending WOC and it did not disappoint!
First let’s define World of Coffee, also known as WOC.
World of Coffee Dubai is the premier coffee trade show for exhibitors and visitors from the Middle East and beyond, tailored for the UAE's coffee businesses and those who wish to break into the Middle East's emerging coffee industry. Show features include the ever-popular Roaster Village, Lectures, Cupping Room, the UAE National Championship, Brew Bar, SCA Community Lounge, and not to be forgotten—a jam-packed trade show floor where buyers and sellers reconnect as well as established new business relationships.
- World of Coffee Website
Instead of exhibiting, Café Rider was invited by La Marzocco and one of our green coffee suppliers, Harvest Belt, to brew and showcase our coffees at their booths for which we are very grateful. I place importance on sharing space with other coffee companies, whether that takes the form of co-hosting an event, selling coffee to the same multi-roaster café, or calling each other for business advice. At WOC, there were multiple opportunities for this collaborative approach.
I’d like to break the event down into three days.
DAY 1 at La Marzocco: Café Rider showcased our espresso roasts for a Costa Rican coffee, which is a Red Bourbon variety, Black Honey processed from Dota Tarrazu and an Ethiopia Uraga coffee, which is an heirloom variety, naturally processed from the West Guji region. We brewed the Costa Rican coffee on the La Marzocco Mini. Ethiopia Uraga delectably extracted notes of honey, mandarin, and nectarine assisted by the new La Marzocco Micra.
All in all, the first day elevated both Café Rider’s espresso roast profiles while upselling the espresso machines for La Marzocco. A win win situation for all!
DAY 2 at Harvest Belt: Our friends and partners at Harvest Belt invited us to manually brew filter coffees. Café Rider chose to highlight our roasts of an Ethiopian coffee from the Shakiso region in West Guji, which we had previously purchased from Harvest Belt. We also brought a coffee from Kiwiza Coffee, a supplier that works directly with farms in the D. R. Congo.
My favourite aspect of DAY 2’s activities stemmed from the great efforts of Harvest Belt, SMC, and BACO coffee / The Santuario Project. I met Vivian who is a coffee trader for SMC, which is the Brazilian group from Harvest Belt that sources the Brazil Casa Blend - a staple on the current Café Rider menu. The Costa Rican Tres Milagros coffee from Costa Rica – also on our menu – was represented by Don Andrae Escobar from BACO / The Santuario Project.
Although the La Marzocco stand is barely a few meters away from Harvest Belt’s, the second day was completely different. It’s almost a metaphor that supports my belief that there is room for all of us to do business in specialty coffee in Dubai. I don’t believe in ruthless competition. Instead, I believe in finding your niche, supporting each other, and honouring the story of the coffee. Customers want to see kindness, authenticity, creativity and community. I felt that WOC was a fantastic event that supported those strongly held beliefs that continue to root me in the specialty coffee industry.
DAY 3: We chose to take the day to explore WOC , to see what’s happening in the market. I was lucky enough to meet a coffee producer from Colombia - Aureliano of MULTICOOP TOLIMA in Planada, Colombia. We shared only one common language, Spanish, which is his mother tongue and my rusty tongue. Thankfully there were two lovely coffee people who translated for us, further illustrating coffee’s ability to create community and commonality across the globe. Meeting producers and going to the farms is a large part of the puzzle that’s still missing from my experience. To be able to meet Aureliano and other producers at WOC was an honouring and humbling experience. Maybe one day Café Rider can build a direct trade relationship with MULTICOOP TOLIMA and the coffee that Aureliano grew on his farm.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience. I got to catch up with old friends, make new ones and see some of the latest developments in the world of global specialty coffee. We’re already thinking of next year’s event, so stay tuned for more…
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to visit me at Café Rider!