A roasters’ guide to the Specialty Coffee Expo

MTPak Coffee
April 14, 2023

Roasters who want to keep their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in the industry should be attending the 2023 Specialty Coffee Expo, which will be hosted at the Oregon Convention Centre in Portland from 21 to 23 April.

North America’s largest specialty coffee trade show will provide roasters with an opportunity to open up discussions about the opportunities and challenges the industry faces. More so, it allows them to discover the latest updates on roasting, test state-of-the-art equipment, and connect with several manufacturers and players across the supply chain. 

More so, attendees can expand their knowledge through the Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCA) lectures and hands-on learning opportunities, and partake in educational panels that will focus on key trends in the sector. Read on to learn about key aspects of the event that every roaster can benefit from.

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Explore the future of coffee with Re:Co

With 15 years of experience within the specialty industry, Re:Co has created a vibrant network of emerging and existing leaders within the sector. The Re:Co Symposium is a two-day, fully immersive experience taking place from 19 to 20 April. It will cover topics such as the future landscape of coffee, generational shifts in production and consumption, and product development possibilities, to name a few. 

Those looking to engage in conversations about current and coming trends in the coffee industry should participate in the series of educational panels taking place throughout the event. Discussions will focus on where innovation is opening new opportunities for brands and producers, the transformation of the coffee supply chain, pricing safety nets in light of the increase in the Fairtrade Minimum Price for coffee, and how packaging design can influence consumer behaviour. 

Meet with green coffee buyers

The main floor of the expo will house the Roaster Village: a bustling epi-centre where attendees will be able to taste coffees produced and roasted by some of the best in the industry. The Cupping Exchange offers an ideal opportunity to explore how others are experimenting with different processing and roasting methods. Attendees can expect invigorating panel discussions about infused and co-fermented coffees, and whether they benefit the industry. 

Notably, the expo’s Green Coffee Buyers and Sellers Programme allows attendees to connect directly with producers and importers. Through the free-of-charge Specialty Coffee Expo mobile app, programme participants can contact each other and set up in-person meetings during the expo. These meetings will allow buyers and sellers to interact directly and exchange coffee samples. 

An image of a coffee cupping session as an example of what roasters can expect at the Specialty Coffee Expo in an article on a roasters' guide to the Specialty Coffee Expo

Increase your skill set at SCA workshops

The SCA is hosting several lectures and workshops presented by respected experts in the industry. Each session will offer practical approaches or solutions to several challenges and opportunities faced by players within the sector. 

Kim Ionescu, the Chief Sustainability and Knowledge Development Officer at the SCA will provide attendees with first-hand practical experience with the organisations new cupping protocol, while Albert Scalla from STONEX offers advice on the recent coffee price moves and discusses expected supply and demand forecasts. Each session will provide roasters with valuable insight into the ever-evolving market, and provide practical solutions on how they can adapt to thrive. 

Find inspiration at the US Championships

Additionally, competitions such as the Best New Product (BNP) will introduce roasters to the latest in state-of-the-art roasting, brewing, and grinding equipment, from the likes of Sovda and the Rancilio Group. Notably, the Rancilio Specialty Invicta is the official espresso machine of the US Latte Art Championship, which will take place during the expo, in line with the 2023 US Roasting Championship. The US Barista, Brewers, and Cup Tasters Championships will take place during the expo, as well as the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship. 

The Coffee Design Awards will highlight coffee businesses with innovative marketing methods, focussing on factors such as branding, digital communication, and promotional materials. Additionally, the awards programme will identify some of the most compelling coffee packaging designs on the market. This is a fantastic opportunity for roasters to gain insight into the competition and find inspiration for future branding and design opportunities.

An image of custom-printed coffee packaging, custom coffee bags, customised coffee bags with spot UV finish in an article on a roasters' guide to the Specialty Coffee Expo

Innovations in coffee packaging design and materials

Much like the industry itself, sustainability is a priority at Specialty Coffee Expo 2023. The event will have several sustainability initiatives that attendees can support, and with the help of attendees and exhibitors, this could be the organisation’s most sustainable event ever.  

As more consumers demand sustainable coffee packaging, roasters will benefit from exploring the ways they can incorporate environmentally friendly coffee bags into their production line.  Attendees can visit the MTPak Coffee booth to explore our sustainable packaging solutions and takeaway options by scanning custom-printed QR codes. This smart solutions approach has made it easier for clients to engage with the MTPak Coffee team and adopt eco-friendly packaging and business practices. 

Visitors to the MTPak Coffee booth (number 1607) stand a chance to win a brand new Fellow Opus Grinder. Attendees can snap a picture of themselves at our stand-out booth and share it on Instagram in order to boost their chances of winning. The MTPak Coffee booth can be found close to the Food Court in the main Exhibitors Hall, opposite the likes of Ally Coffee and Ecotact

MTPak Coffee has the same overarching goal as the Specialty Coffee Expo and the SCA: to generate conversations in the coffee industry and bring awareness to innovation in everything from sourcing to packaging. As a sustainable packaging company, MTPak Coffee has always committed to promoting a circular economy and creating a more sustainable supply chain, from seed to cup. 

As a result, we have launched The Circular Economy Grant: a scheme designed to recognise small, independent coffee roasters and coffee shops that are using their business as a force for good. This also aligns with the intentions behind the Specialty Coffee Expo: to create a sustainable supply chain that contributes to the long-term success of the coffee industry.

For more information on sustainable packaging solutions, contact our team.

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