Successful International Café & Beverage Show 2022 Demonstrates Renewed Confidence and Enthusiasm for In-Person Events

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The International Café & Beverage Show (ICBS) 2022, one of the first international exhibitions to return to Malaysian in the wake of the pandemic, repaid the faith of its organisers with a better-than-expected attendance from visitors and extremely positive feedback from exhibitors.

Despite the challenging environment in the lead-up to the event (which had resulted in several postponements), the show eventually went ahead at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in May and exceeded the organiser’s expectations by achieving over 6,000 visitors from 35 countries, across its three days.

Mr. Christopher McCuin, Managing Director of Montgomery Asia, the show organiser, said, “We were so happy with how the event turned out. The feedback from exhibitors has been excellent, with many already planning their attendance at next year’s show. Prior to the show we were confident that there would be enough interest to support the event as the Malaysian café and coffee industry is growing rapidly, but we were still not sure, following the pandemic, to what level people would be comfortable to travel and attend an event like this. Fortunately, it seems that many people are positively enthusiastic about being able to meet up in person again. Of course, it helps that this show was all about coffee and food. People want to savour the aroma and taste for themselves. They can’t do that online.” 

Feedback from visitors was also very positive with many praising the ‘buzzy’ and friendly atmosphere, the wide range of products (over 150 brands from seven countries attended) and the multitude of new and innovative ideas, equipment and products for café owners and operators to take back with them and potentially implement in their own businesses. Exhibitors were also pleased with how the show went. Comments included:

Zhou Chern Wang, Marketing Manager at Dankoff Coffee Specialists, said, “ICBS has been great. We were very surprised with the attendance and were very excited to be participating.”

Anthony Hodgson, Strategic Sales Director – International Markets, Remedy Drinks, added, “There was a stream of good buyers coming through. Buyers who are really passionate café owners or people supporting café owners. So, it’s been a wonderful platform for us to show off our products.”

Ansar Syed, Managing Partner for Thailand and Malaysia, London Tea Company, commented, “ICBS has been a fantastic opportunity for us to reach out to our target audience. We have had a lot of visitors and the calibre of clients we have met has been really high and resulted in many fruitful discussions.” 

ICBS was organised in collaboration with the Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association (MSCA) which hosted the semi-finals and finals of the 7th edition of the Malaysia National Coffee Championship (MNCC) at the event. The competition was strongly supported by industry leaders including LaCimbali, Coffex Coffee, Dutch Lady Professional, ChungHo Nais, Niko Neko Matcha, Vitasoy International Singapore, Monin, Hario, Marco Beverage Systems, Cafetto, Dankoff Coffee Specialist, Claytan Fine China (Tableware), MONTIGO and Innoroma. After an exciting and highly competitive competition, the judges announced the following winning baristas:

Malaysia Barista Championship (MBC) 2022

  • Champion – Rain Lee Sook Wei, KITA Coffee
  • 1st Runner Up – Ang Wei Liang, One Half Coffee
  • 2nd Runner Up – Jewel Ting, 103 Coffee Roastery
  • 3rd Runner Up – Lee Tar Chen, Super Dough Bakery
  • 4th Runner Up – Eng Boon Hong, JWC Academy
  • 5th Runner Up – Tang You Jie, Beans Depot Roastery & Café

Malaysia Latte Art Championship (MLAC) 2022

  • Champion – Ryan Liew Wei Jet, 103 Coffee Workshop
  • 1st Runner Up – Nicky Voon Pei Xin, 103 Coffee Workshop
  • 2nd Runner Up – Siow Chai Jing, Brew & Bread
  • 3rd Runner Up – Lim Zi Yuan, Tiffz Coffee Gallery
  • 4th Runner Up – Liew Bao Ting, JWC
  • 5th Runner Up – Ng Zhen Hao, CMW Roastery

Malaysia Brewers Cup (MBrC) 2022

  • Champion – Tong Wing Jun, 103 Coffee Workshop
  • 1st Runner Up – Ong Ming Sheng, The Alley 5
  • 2nd Runner Up – Dennis Cheah, Tongue Mission Coffee Roasters
  • 3rd Runner Up – Tho Kun Jing, Independent
  • 4th Runner Up – Ali Shaoqee, Sprezzatura Coffee
  • 5th Runner Up – Thor Wei Jie, Wells Cafe

These newly crowned ‘national champion’ baristas will now represent Malaysia at the World of Coffee Championships (WCC) 2023. Previous Malaysian winners have gone on to win gold and silver medals, despite Malaysia’s relatively short history of competing on the international coffee stage.

Commenting on the show Ms. Yip Leong Sum, President of the Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association (MSCA), said, “After two years of full or partial lockdown the Malaysian economy is really opening again. At this ICBS we saw a lot of new blood joining the competition which was great to see as this event was designed to encourage young professionals to showcase their talent, skill and creativity in the specialty coffee industry. We hope that the coming year will see more and more people venture into the F&B business and look forward to hosting an even better competition at the next edition of ICBS in 2023.”

ICBS 2022 also played host to the ASEAN Coffee Federation (ACF) Board Meeting. This mini-event welcomed delegates from Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines and Australia – in the process contributing to the post-pandemic renewal of the Malaysian business events industry.

Concluding, Mr Christopher McCuin, said, “Based on the success of ICBS 2022, we are already planning our 2023 event which will be even bigger and better. If you are interested in participating next year, please visit www.intl-cbs.com, where we will keep you updated as plans develop. I would also like to thank the various sponsors, exhibitors and partners, particularly the Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association (MSCA), the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, The Malaysian Convention Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) for their help and support in ensuring the event proceeded, despite the extremely challenging circumstances over the past few years.”

Anyone interested in visiting or exhibiting at ICBS 2023 should visit www.intl-cbs.com and follow the updates there.

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