TriestEspresso Expo is confirmed as the world capital of espresso


After 4 years and a pandemic, as many as ten thousand operators from 42 countries


After the 4-year pause enforced by the pandemic, the tenth edition of TriestEspresso Expo went beyond all expectations thanks to the trust that operators placed in the event.

The world has changed since 2018, but the Chamber of Commerce’s bet with coffee entrepreneurs has proved to be a winner. “Businesses and institutions have contributed to the success of this restart,” commented Antonio Paoletti, Chairman of Cciaa Vg, “and I would like to thank the Municipality of Trieste with Mayor Roberto Dipiazza and Councillor Giorgio Rossi, and Federalberghi for supporting us in every action necessary to make the Trieste Convention Center (Tcc) and the heart of Porto Vecchio an international exhibition space.”

The event in the Tcc organized by the Venezia Giulia Chamber of Commerce through its in-house company Aries, with the joint organization and contribution of the Municipality of Trieste, the Convention and Visitor Bureau and in cooperation with the Associazione Caffè Trieste, was attended by 10,000 operators, almost 13,000 in 2018. This result, achieved with the presence of 160 exhibitors and professionals from 42 countries (including Romania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Georgia, Ethiopia, Morocco, Tanzania, Algeria, South Africa, Oman, Israel, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, Indonesia, South Korea and Brazil), proves that “Trieste, the coffee capital” is not just a registered trademark but an irrefutable reality, despite the numerous events dedicated to coffee that have been concentrated from April until today, after the reopening to the public of fairs without restrictions.

Paoletti concluded, “In addition to the business within the fair, TriestEspresso Expo meant that for several days the hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and the use of transport and services were sold out, which undoubtedly contributed to sales at a time of year when historically there is a big drop in the hospitality and public sector”.

Over the three days of the fair, the rich calendar of events lined up a series of well-attended appointments.

Sustainability was a theme common to all events: it was discussed by Roberto Nocera, CEO of La San Marco, Alessandro Garbin, CEO of Imf roasting machines, and Maurizio Giuli, marketing director of Nuova Simonelli, in the conference entitled “Coffee today, the coffee machine and sustainability”, as well as by Francesca Pellis, lecturer at illycaffè Coffee University, in her speech “The sustainability of coffee: a journey from its origins”. According to illycaffè, “Every person involved in the coffee chain is indispensable in ensuring that the highest levels of quality are achieved. The commitment originates in the producing countries, in the care and pursuit of sustainable practices in the early stages of coffee’s life”.

At the round table organized by Area Science Park, the topic of sustainability was linked to that of the circular economy.

The coffee supply chain is focusing more and more decisively on circularity and zero waste, with the re-use in new industrial cycles of all processing waste, from harvesting to roasting and even decaffeination. One example is the case of Demus, a Trieste-based company that has been a leader in decaffeination, green coffee dewaxing and the production of natural caffeine since 1962, which, thanks to the Enterprise Europe Network – EEN, has found an industrial partner in the UK, Kerax, interested in using the waxes extracted from coffee beans in the textile sector, transforming them from waste to be disposed of into a second raw material.

In the coffee processing chain, another waste for which potential reuses have long been under consideration is coffee silverskin, a silvery film that protects the outside of the green coffee bean. It is partially separated in the field, during drying and removal of the coffee beans from the fruit, and partially during roasting. In order to assess the reuse of this waste, Area Science Park, as part of the initiatives of the EEN network and the ARGO system with the SISSI project, in collaboration with the Associazione Caffè Trieste and the Gruppo Italiano Torrefattori Caffè, organized a round table on Friday 28 October on the utilisation of silverskin. The workshop was part of the 10th edition of TriestEspresso Expo, the international exhibition of Italian espresso that was held from 27 to 29 October in the Trieste Convention Center.

Silverskin is a dry waste that can be easily collected and is generally not reused but disposed of as special waste. However, this material is rich in polyphenols, dietary fibres and xanthines, which make it suitable not only for use in the formulation of supplements and cosmetics as a matrix for fertilising soils, but also for obtaining cellulose, lignin, lipids and some phenolic compounds. These characteristics make it a sustainable material, able to meet the new demands of a market focused on circular economy processes.

“Raw materials under attack – how to resist increases and continue to talk about quality” was the title of the meeting organized by the Trieste Coffee Association, where Adriana Bustamante Romero, manager for sustainability and territory, spoke. She brought the experience of the Inloher company in Honduras where 4,000 families work, and where, she said, “in 20 years we have achieved the goal of being carbon neutral. The Inloher model is very interesting and an example for the coffee culture of Honduras and also Central America. It was a pleasure to come from the birthplace of coffee and bring this experience to TriestEspresso Expo.” The goal of carbon neutrality was achieved thanks to a mix of interventions: “on the one hand,” explained Bustamante Romero, “they worked to reduce emissions, while on the other hand they planted more than 80 hectares of forest, as only plants can compensate for carbon dioxide production”.

The guide “Il Camaleonte” was presented on Friday 28th.

It is called “Il Camaleonte” (The Chameleon) and is the first guide to Italy’s coffee and coffee roasters. It was produced by editors Andrej Godina and Mauro Illiano, who presented it at TriestEspresso Expo. “Il Camaleonte”, which includes more than a hundred Italian businesses, exists both in a printed version, published by Mondadori and available in all bookshops, and in an app version, for both iOS and Android, which can be downloaded from It is the first work that allows coffee lovers to discover coffee roasters and helps the reader get to know the ideal blend or single-origin among the thousands of references on the market. During the TriestEspresso Expo, the Guide’s editors organised tastings of the award-winning coffees, extracted using the espresso, filter, mocha and single-serving methods. During the tastings, Godina and Illiano provided a review of the sensory profile of each coffee, outlining the special characteristics of each individual reference. To narrate and explain the contents of the guide, the tastings involved the stands of Amigos caffè, Dersut, Demus, Primo Aroma and Bristot.

At the opening of the Trieste Coffee Experts meeting, Franco Bazzara, Chairman of the Bazzara company, stressed that “Trieste Coffee Experts is an important event for the city because it brings together 50 personalities from the Italian and international coffee world. At TriestEspresso Expo we have created a preview of what the event will be like in 2023, an event destined to grow with the support of the institutions and to bring further added values to Trieste.”

The eagerly awaited two-yearly summit brings together the leading figures in the coffee industry and was presented with the opening and institutional greetings by Andrea Bazzara, the company’s sales manager. For the occasion, in collaboration with the roasting company, the Chairman of the Region Massimiliano Fedriga took centre stage and appeared in an exclusive video to give his greetings at the opening of the event organized by Bazzara: “Coffee is not just a quality product, but a ritual that I hope can also be recognized internationally, because it is an enormous value for Italy and the city of Trieste,” he said, “which is why I hope that the institutions can team up to work together, and I thank those who will take part.”

At the summit, the most topical issues affecting the entire world of the coffee chain were addressed. An opportunity for reflection and confrontation that through dialogue allows us to identify the best way to face the challenges of the market and emphasises the need to network, which has always been the focus of the Bazzara family, to unite the forces of the sector, and encourage the exchange of knowledge and experience to increase mutual professionalism. With Trieste Coffee Experts, the Bazzara team is committed to enhancing and promoting the culture of quality espresso: an event that continues to foster synergies among the protagonists of Italian coffee.

Speakers who discussed the state of the art of coffee included Massimiliano Fabian, newly appointed chairman of the ICO, International Coffee Organization, Count Giorgio Caballini di Sassoferrato, chairman of the Consortium for the Protection of Traditional Italian Espresso Coffee, Omar Zidarich, chairman of the Gruppo Italiano Torrefattori Caffè, Fabrizio Polojaz, chairman of the Associazione Caffè Trieste and Luigi Morello, chairman of IEI – Istituto Espresso Italiano.

On the subject of sustainability, Michele Cannone and Edoardo Cucco, respectively Global brand director and brand manager of Lavazza Spa, spoke on “The evolution of the concept of sustainability: the case of La Resierva de İTierra! Cuba”, and Massimo Renda, chairman of Caffè Borbone, continued the discussion with the theme “Recycling and sustainability, clear ideas are needed”.

Mauro Bazzara, CEO of the roasting company, spoke at the preview focusing on the topic “Coffee: a new business paradigm”. The last speakers were Giuseppe Biffi, who deals with the digital transformation of enterprises for Siemens, with “Digital Factory in the Food Industry – Traceability and Production Efficiency” and Cosimo Libardo, on the board as Strategic Advisor of the World Speciality Coffee Organization and newly elected Treasurer of the International Board of the Specialty Coffee Association, who concluded with the topic “Emotional Turnover: Social Innovation and Economic Sustainability”. These subjects are not only very topical and interesting, but also fully meet the needs of the coffee sector, which is looking optimistically towards a future that always treasures its great history, but with an eye on innovation in a “green” key: objectives that Bazzara has been actively promoting for decades.

As part of the Training pills organized by the illycaffè Coffee University, the Horeca market and its evolution were discussed. “What lies beyond the product is what makes the difference on the market,” recalled Pierpaolo Segrè, lecturer at the Coffee University, “and with Paolo Maritani, a professional in the sector with several outlets in this area, we went to talk about the evolution of the market, the changes and the new way of working and what counts and what makes the difference on the market itself”. These are fundamental elements in the coffee sector, and companies are increasingly focusing on them.

At TriestEspresso Expo, there was room for competition.

Trieste had a home win in the Leva Contest and broke the world record with the pair formed by Alice Cernecca and Ebe Sai Crescente. The previous record was held by the Neapolitan duo formed by Francesco Costanzo and Francesco Arcella with 703 espresso coffees extracted in one hour and was unbeaten since 2019 after their performance in Piazza del Municipio in Naples. The splendid result was surpassed by the two girls from Trieste with a new record of 714 cups extracted in one hour. The competition witnessed outstanding performances by many teams that often came close to the existing record, until it was finally broken at the last minute by the two young winners.

“We did not expect such a result” said Alice Cernecca and Ebe Sai Crescente, “and it was a great satisfaction. We were aiming to beat the other women in the race and maybe a few men, but not the world record. However, we are well trained because we already work with a lever machine with an average of 4 kilos of coffee per day.”

Francesco Costanzo, the previous record holder and organizer of the Leva Contest, is ready to challenge the winners again. “I am delighted, already halfway through the competition we sensed that the challenge had been set in the right way. However, we are ready for next year when we will try to win back the title. To be beaten by two women was still a wonderful thing and I recommend that they enjoy the record because we are ready for the return match.”

Similarly, the Leva Sensory quality extraction competition had impressive results, highlighting the growing passion for the Leva machine extraction technique. The winner was Robert Brinck from Tuscany, who was able to extract three pairs of top-quality espresso coffees. “It went well,” said the winner, “also because we have been experimenting and working with these machines with Simone Celli. In the various tests we realised that the type of coffee required a very low pressure and this was the decisive element in winning.”

La San Marco machines and grinders were used in all competitions, while the coffees were supplied respectively by Antica Tostatura Triestina for the speed competition and Lucaffè for the sensory competition.

Final ranking of the LEVA SPEED CONTEST:

  1. CERNECCA – SAI 714
  4. GRECO V. – SAMUELE 656
  7. BRINCK – CELLI 510

This is the final ranking of the LEVA SENSORY CONTEST:

  1. BRINCK 166
  4. TUN- ARCELLA 146
  5. PISAPIA 141
  6. CELLI 137
  7. THOMAS 136
  8. CERNECCA 135
  9. GRIFFO 131
  10. MICK 114
  11. ELBRASHY 98

The winner of the Master Coffee grinder championship final was Federico Cecconi. The event, devised by Fabio Verona, trainer of the Costadoro roasting company, with Grindie as main sponsor, saw six baristas challenging one another, who had to recreate the perfect cup of coffee but only being able to adjust the grinding of the coffee. All competitors had the same coffee blend supplied by Imperator, and identical machine settings. In addition to the many prizes provided by the sponsors, the winner will be able to compete with runner-up Andrea Faggiana for the first Italian title at the Milan coffee festival on 13 November.

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