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Coffee Fest Chicago goes bi-annual

Coffee Fest Chicago, to be held February 25-27 at Chicago’s Navy Pier, will be Coffee Fest’s 39th show and its third appearance in Chicago. Coffee Fest Chicago will occur bi-annually, returning in 2007. Originally planned as a co-located show with The Great American Dessert Expo, Coffee Fest learned in early January that the Dessert Expo’s management had decided to forego its participation in Chicago.

Coffee Fest and The Great American Dessert Expo will, however, co-locate in Las Vegas. The trade shows, to be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center June 3-5, will showcase more than 300 booths exhibiting specialty beverage and dessert-related items.

“While we are disappointed that we will not have the desserts showcase in Chicago, we are nonetheless pleased that the Dessert Expo will once again be an integral part of the success of the Las Vegas show,” noted David Heilbrunn, show manager for Coffee Fest. “It is only natural that pastries, ice cream, chocolate and dessert wines should share a venue with the best in specialty beverages.”

The Great American Dessert Expo was launched in Las Vegas in 2003 by New York-based IMC Events and Exhibitions. IMC also produces the highly successful Kosherfest, an annual trade show for the kosher food industry. For more information, visit www.dessertexpo.com.

Coffee Fest is dedicated to the growth and proliferation of the specialty coffee, gourmet tea and alternative beverage industries. More information can be obtained at www.coffeefest.com or by calling (1)(425) 283-5058.

X Café Expands Facility

X Café LLC, a manufacturer of shelf-stable premium coffee extracts, is nearing completion of its factory expansion in Portland, Maine that will increase its one shift capacity to 10 million lbs. of green beans processed per year. X Café has been producing beverage quality 30:1 liquid coffee packaged in Bag-in-Box for liquid coffee dispensers since 2000. This new coffee category has grown immensely since X Café’s introduction of the industry’s only shelf-stable coffee extract made exclusively from fresh roasted 100% Arabica beans.

Paul Kalenian, president of X Café LLC, noted that coffee roasters, juice and beverage distributors and broadline distributors have all embraced this coffee category. “Liquid Coffee Bag-in-Box is the only way to service high volume foodservice accounts that range from health care and convention centers to sports arenas and casinos. Recent advances in liquid coffee extraction, bag-in-box packaging, and liquid coffee dispensers, dubbed ‘Ready To Dispense’ (RTD) allows the distributor to provide convenience, controlled costs and consistent taste, whether it’s for one cup or a thousand cups.”

The expansion will give X Café two completely independent production lines, for a total capacity of 12 million lbs. per year. Future plans include a West Coast extraction facility, and satellite plans outside the U.S. negotiations are currently underway for the first international extraction facility.

While the company offers its own 100% Colombian products made Arabica beans, it also offers toll-extraction services for coffee roasters and beverage distributors desiring their own proprietary blend or roast under a private label program.

X Café, P.O. Box 110, Princeton, MA 01541. Tel: (1)(978) 464-8010, Fax: (1)(978) 464-8033.

NCA Holds Symposium on Coffee and Health

Leading scientists in physiology, toxicology, pharmacology, psychiatry, nutrition, sports medicine and other disciplines presented the latest research findings in their respective fields on coffee, caffeine and health at Coffee and Your Health: Surprising Findings, a symposium for health, science and food editors held at the New York Academy of Sciences.

“The average American drinks two to four cups of coffee a day -- two to four cups of a beloved beverage that just happens to be associated with reduced rates of cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide,” summarized Peter R. Martin, M.D., Director of the Institute for Coffee Studies at Vanderbilt University and Director of the Department of Psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Martin is the world’s leading authority on the science of coffee, taking the helm at the Institute for Coffee Studies in 1998 only after doing extensive professional analysis of the scientific literature on coffee, caffeine and health.

Dr. Martin opened the program with an overview of the growing, wide-ranging body of evidence that coffee has significant and measurable benefits for human health. “Coffee frequently was equated with caffeine, thereby not taking into consideration that coffee is a complex mixture of biologically active compounds,” said Dr. Martin. “Some compounds in coffee are antioxidants that are beneficial to heart health, others have antidepressive effects, and still others even counteract the effect of caffeine -- all greatly altering the coffee-caffeine equation.”

Today, evidence confirms a host of beneficial effects of coffee on health. Among the findings were four major studies from around the world that confirm coffee’s protective properties against developing Type II Diabetes. In yet undisclosed findings from the laboratory at Vanderbilt, moreover, a non-caffeine constituent of coffee has been shown to increase by 55% the capacity of the liver to remove glucose from the blood, which may explain the mechanism underlying the Diabetes results.

Also on hand to discuss tips for maximizing athletic performance was Mark Mann, Head Trainer of the Cincinnati Reds professional baseball team. His recommendations for his professional teammates and weekend warriors alike was the benefit of coffee for physical endurance and stamina. The team, he revealed, takes his advice and invariably drinks coffee before heading out on the field.

The event was the effective launch of a new campaign being conducted by the NCA to inform the press and public about coffee’s healthful properties. The effort is based on the growing body of significant scientific research, much of it published only in technical scientific and medical journals, that is unveiling substantial health plusses in coffee. This overwhelmingly positive weight of evidence should also serve to help correct old, negative misperceptions about coffee, allowing consumers to increase consumption of all types of coffee, spanning the category. In fact, NCA research in its annual National Coffee Drinking Trends confirmed that health concerns are consumers’ leading reported motivator for limiting coffee consumption.

In conjunction with the event, the experts spoke individually with the press, part of an outreach effort aimed at increasing public knowledge of the little known research. Interest already has been expressed by outlets as wide ranging as WFAN sports radio, Reuters international newswire, Bloomberg television and radio, and national women’s and fitness magazines.

Tea & Coffee - February/March, 2005

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