Sian Griffiths is editor for FoodBev Media. This is a personal blog and views expressed are her own.
The tenth birthday edition of Caffè Culture was held at Olympia London from 10-11 May, and FoodBev Media went along to get a closer look at what’s going on in the industry. We were pleased to find a wealth of innovation.
Caffè Culture is a gathering place for the café and coffee community to learn and share knowledge of this ever-evolving sector, which is constantly adapting to suit consumer needs.
With the speciality coffee market growing, there was a focus on quality coffee. The Independent Coffee Roasters’ Village was the place to find some of the many independent coffee roasters that are springing up across the country. Exhibitors such as Caravan Coffee Roasters, Small Batch Coffee Company and The IOW Espresso Co were on hand to offer advice about how your choice of coffee blend can make your business stand out from the crowd.
Research by Caffè Culture revealed that providing the best quality cup of coffee possible was what matters most to 71% of independent café owners.
Shropshire-based company The Little Coffee Bag Co’s luxurious “coffee bag” provides a fuss-free way to enjoy premium cafetière-style coffee for one “without the usual trouble and the mess left afterwards”. Four blends and single origin varieties are available in boxes of 20 sachets.
But Caffè Culture wasn’t just about the coffee. Tea was also prominent, with everything from speciality teas from Teahouse Exclusives to bubble teas by Wild Monk Bubble Tea featuring. In fact, it was Lipton Tea Fusion from Unilever that scooped the best innovative product award. It creates quality, freshly-brewed loose-leaf tea in under a minute in a visible brewing system.
Over in the Artisan Food Market, we came across the winners of the best drink product and the overall visitors’ choice award: Lashbrook Lassis. Their newly launched range of India-inspired yogurt, spice and fruit drinks – available in beetroot, fig and cinnamon; coffee, pistachio and cardamom; and pear, spinach and ginger – caught our eye.
Among the many other innovative drinks products, which ranged from new juices to dairy-based products, was raw organic SynerChi Kombucha, available in original sencha tea, raspberry and rosehip, oranges and lemon, and ginger and lemongrass. Kombucha is an ancient Chinese brew made by fermenting organic teas with a live culture of yeast and bacteria, which naturally carbonates the drink.
Gourmet bakery brand Merangz’ new pistachio bit was named best food product. The new fresh vanilla meringue finished with sprinklings of pistachio nuts can be used as a versatile dessert option by retail and foodservice operators.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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