SCAE announces Excellence Award winners

The annual Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) Excellence Awards have been presented to leaders in the coffee community excelling in their fields.

Announced on 24 June at World of Coffee in Dublin, Ireland, the SCAE International Development Committee judged the award winners, honouring members of the community who have contributed to the success of the coffee industry through education, innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship. This year’s winners include:

Young Entrepreneur Award: Henry Wilson, Perfect Daily Grind
Passionate Educator Award: Chiara Bergonzi, independent trainer
Innovation Award: Pete Southern, Creator of the Push Tamper
Working Towards Sustainability: Benjamin Weiner, Gold Mountain Coffee Growers
The Ambassador’s Award: Tony Overbeak, Urnex
Lifetime Achievement Award: Edy Bieker, Sandalj, head of the quality and training departments

Henry Wilson received the Young Entrepreneur Award for his digital media site, Perfect Daily Grind, a digital coffee publication dedicated to increasing awareness of specialty coffee and all the work that goes into producing it.

Two years ago, Henry was a trainee barista in Ecuador. One year ago, he was a Management Consultant, and today, he is the CEO of Perfect Daily Grind, which shines a light on the specialty coffee industry.

He founded Perfect Daily Grind in June 2014 and, over the past 12 months, the site has seen an 850 per cent increase in readership to over 170,000 monthly views.

“Our community is all about coffee and people and one of the things that we at SCAE like to celebrate is success. We gather to celebrate the success of some of our brightest people, all of whom have been strongly nominated by their peers in the community. They have all inspired coffee excellence within their fields,” said David Veal, SCAE Executive Director.

SCAE’s annual Photography Awards were another crowd pleaser at this year’s World of Coffee event. The award winners included Marcin Rzonca, Gavin Smart, Raul Perez and Victor Beis.

From 23 – 25 June, more than 6500 people made the trip to Dublin to attend the SCAE’s annual show, featuring more than 1500 exhibitors.

The World Barista Champion and the World Brewers Cup Champion were crowned, thousands of coffee professionals were educated and inspired at Re:co Symposium and the Sustainability Forum, and the parties went down in World of Coffee history as some of the best to date – so we hear.

“There is a vibrancy and energy in the specialty coffee market and that is evident at what has been a hugely successful World of Coffee event,” said Paul Stack, President of SCAE.

A record 90,000 viewers tuned in to watch the competitions online, joining thousands of attendees at the show in cheering the champions on.

According to World of Coffee, the online viewership included nearly 40 per cent from East-Asian regions across all platforms. Asian champions dominated many aspects of competition this year, including World Barista Championship (WBC) winner Berg Wu of Taiwan, WBC runner up Yoshikazu Iwase of Japan, World Brewers Cup (WBrC) third-place barista Chad Wang from Taiwan, and WBrC fourth-place representative Benny Wong from Hong Kong.

World Coffee Events is bringing the WBC to Asia in 2017, when Cafe Show Seoul hosts the event in November of 2017. Meantime, all eyes will be on Budapest when World of Coffee moves to the Hungarian capital in 2017.

Image credit: Joel Smedley (top), and World of Coffee, featuring Photography Winner Gavin Smart’s work, The People and the Bean.

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