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Coffee beans and barista battles at BEXCO

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The World of Coffee festival, which took place from May 1 to 4 at BEXCO, brought professionals and enthusiasts together to celebrate all things coffee.

 Busan is now a top location for global coffee culture since it successfully hosted the World of Coffee trade show and the World Barista Championship 2024. The events took place at BEXCO from May 1 to 4 and captured the attention of local and global coffee lovers.

 World of Coffee is the world's number one specialty coffee trade show. The annual conference brings thousands of industry professionals and enthusiasts together to celebrate specialty coffee. Thanks to Busan's status as the nation's coffee trade hub and mecca of cafe culture, it became the first Asian city to host the WOC trade show. The weekend in May proved Busan has the infrastructure, capability and passion to count itself among the world's top coffee destinations. 

 Around 15,000 coffee professionals and 281 coffee companies from 72 countries participated in the events. Thanks to the presence of coffee bean-producing nations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa, the conference was a perfect place to learn the latest trends in all things coffee. Citizens and visitors enjoyed the Roaster Village, where domestic and international roasteries showcased their flavors to discerning palates.

 The World Barista Championship, organized by the Specialty Coffee Association, is an annual competition of national champion baristas pitted against one another in a showcase of technical skill and brewing precision. Long seen as the crown jewel of the global coffee competition circuit, the WBC is the culmination of local and regional events worldwide. Past winners include Jeon Joo-yeon, co-head of Busan-based Momos Coffee, and Paul Bassett, the barista behind the international coffeehouse chain that bears his name.

 This year, over 50 baristas from all over the world prepared four espressos, four milk beverages and four original signature drinks during a 15-minute performance. A panel of sensory judges evaluated each performance based on the taste and balance of each beverage, the presentation, the technique, and the cleanliness displayed by the barista. 

 After fierce competition, Mikael Jasin of So So Good Coffee Company in Indonesia was crowned the best barista in the world. He captured the title with a routine focused on mindfulness and meditation. Jasin's performance began with him explaining how burnout caused him to leave the competition circuit. He then took judges on the journey that led him to reignite his passion for coffee and propel him to the highest heights of coffee culture. Jasin showed that the practices of meditation and mindfulness that helped him rediscover his passion can elevate the coffee-drinking experience and one's life more broadly.

 Jasin succeeds Boram Um of Brazil as the reigning World Barista Champion. Korea's representative, Junghwan Lim of Busan, placed 5th.

 Citizens and visitors enjoyed the World of Coffee trade show and the World Barista Championship. A local coffee professional said, "I'm so proud of the event because I can enjoy the world's biggest and best coffee event in my city without a long flight to Europe or the U.S. I believe the event is such a great opportunity to boost the coffee industry in Busan."

<Vocab Spotlight>

enthusiast: 열성팬, 매니아

annual: 연간, 매년

discerning palate: 안목 있는 미각, 까다로운 입맛

culmination: 절정, 최고점

reignite: 재점화하다 (*ignite: 점화하다)