For HOFEX’s 30th anniversary edition, more than 2,500 international exhibitors and 44 national pavilions have confirmed exhibiting, showcasing 80 per cent of new to Asia products.

An important part of this show is the Mixed Barista Arts (MBA). Unlike other barista competitions in the region, MBA looks into real practical skills that baristas should possess and use on a normal day at the coffee shop. The first round of the competition – ‘Bump and Grind’ challenge – is designed to test the contestant’s skills on assembling the grinder and brewing a cup within a timed setting. If the grinder is assembled incorrectly, residue left behind will damage the taste of newly ground coffee. Contestants are also required to prepare lattes during the ‘latte art smackdown’; judges will pick the best latte based on creativity, stability in handling the temperature and crafting skill. In the next blind tasting challenge, ‘Skill not Swagger’, contestants will get four separate single coffee beans and they have to guess its origin based on brewing and tasting. Highest scorers will enter the final team challenge and strive for the title of Asia’s best barista.

In addition, on show will be a series of products ranging from coffee beans, brewing equipment to pre-packaged coffee. Hong Kong’s leading and professional coffee beverage solution provider – Caffair will display the innovative brewing machine ‘Modbar’: completely modular with all the major hardware under-counter. The Ultimate Coffee Company, the sole distributor of ‘illy’ coffee from Italy, will showcase the ‘La Marzocco Semi-automatic Coffee Machines’, one of the most sophisticated models – Linea PB with Auto Brew Ratio – completely hand made in Italy, only for the professionals.

Adjacent to ‘Bean2Cup @ HOFEX’, are ‘Food & Drink’ and ‘ProWine Asia 2017’, where you can connect with local suppliers, and overseas winemakers respectively. With ProWine Asia coming to Hong Kong for the first time, major wine countries such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Greece, Australia, Canada, and South Africa will show the rarest fine wines. Plus, globally renowned Masters of Wine – Jancis Robinson, OBE and Debra Meiburg will be speaking at the onsite wine seminars.