#TheCoffeeRoad: Astoria conquers the world of specialty coffee

The elite group of the world’s top baristas has two new members: the South Korean Um Paul and the Greek Michalis Dimitrakopoulos. These are the winners of the finals of the World Latte Art Championship and the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship which took place in Shanghai during Hotelex 2016.

Both competitors demonstrated outstanding talent and creativity in their respective disciplines, fighting off the stiff competition with the invaluable support of the Plus4Champions coffee machine, the competition version of the state-of-the-art Astoria Plus4You and the official machine of the two World Coffee Events championships.

To mark the occasion Astoria gave the finalists the use of 12 “limited edition” Plus4Champions machines customised by 12 Italian artists with 12 different illustrations representing the cultural and artistic identity of China, a tribute to the host country and a cultural bridge between East and West. The 12 coffee machines were more like works of art with technology at their core, and the professionals taking part in the competition spoke appreciatively and enthusiastically of them, praising both the beautiful liveries and the machines’ reliability and innovative technical features.

The Plus4Champions machine featuring the Great Wall proved a winning ally for Um Paul who, after using it in the competition, was allowed to take it home together with the title of World Latte Art Champion, while the Plus4Champions machine featuring the Sichuan Opera brought good luck to Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, who also received his machine as a gift following his win.

Astoria also had a resounding success on the stand of Chinese importer Render Coffee, where the 13th Plus4Champions machine, whose unique finish featured ancient Chinese characters, played a starring role in the spectacular live performances of Australian Caleb Cha. The Latte Art champion of Gothenburg 2015 showed off his cappuccino decoration skills, attracting the attention and curiosity of the huge crowds attending the trade fair.

“This has been a really great experience: the World Coffee Events championships are attracting an ever-bigger following. The machines were great and enabled us to make a really good impression, and the baristas were extremely satisfied with their performance in the competition,” confirms Stefano Stecca, Commercial Director for Astoria. “In addition to all this is the marketing activity that went on before and during the event, which has been instrumental in increasing awareness of the Astoria brand and people’s perception of its standing in the world of speciality coffee.”

So, congratulations to the winners and farewell until Budapest, Hungary, for the finals of the World Latte Art Championship and the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship 2017, for which Astoria will be the official sponsor for the third year running.