Espresso Italiano Champion 2018: Taiwanese professional wins the barista competition from the Italian Espresso National Institute

A 36-year old Taiwanese who has been in the coffee business for 18 years and is the owner of three coffee shops in Taipei: this is Chang Chung-Lun, the professional who won the Espresso Italiano Champion 2018 barista championship organised by the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei), beating another thirteen baristas in the final phase of the competition hosted by the Mumac Academy between 26 and 28 November this year.
Now in its fifth year, the 2018 championship saw more than 350 baristas from eight countries compete with perfect espresso and cappuccino: Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan and Thailand, in a total of 39 qualifying competitions. "In any case, you are all winners, for your commitment and your passion – this is how Simona Colombo, Marketing Director of Gruppo Cimbali, addressed the competitors – With you being here today, you are honouring Italian espresso".
The event was also an opportunity to present the research "The styles of Italian espresso" by the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac). This scientific survey was presented by Luigi Odello who explained that thousands of espresso blends, not only Italian ones, were analysed to identify five sensory families in the country. "Italian espresso is an expression of our national culture with local expressions", commented Odello.
The final phase of the Espresso Italiano Champion 2018 was held at the Mumac Academy in Binasco (Milan), the training centre set up in 2014 thanks to the commitment of Gruppo Cimbali to develop the culture of coffee from producer to consumer. In a short time, the Mumac Academy has become a flagship for international training, from plantations to sensory analysis, from the selection of green beans to roasting, from the preparation of espresso to latte art.
The winners of the previous editions of the Espresso Italiano Champion competition were the Italian Filippo Mezzaro (2014), the Greek Giannis Magkanas (2015), the Korean Park Dae Hoon (2016) and the Italian Fabio Dotti (2017).
The video is available at:

The protection and dissemination of the Italian Espresso are strengthened by the creation of Inei Limited Co. Benefit​​​​​​​

The Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei), which has been committed to the protection and dissemination of Italian Espresso since 20 years ago, has decided to become Inei Limited Co. Benefit, in order to make its actions even more intense and effective.

The Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei) gathers 35 members including equipment manufacturers, coffee roasters and supporting companies (aggregate turnover of approximately € 700 million). The decision to transform into Inei Limited Co. Benefit has been taken to make Inei’s commitment to the protection and dissemination of Italian Espresso ever more intense and effective.

"Inei was born in 1998. Twenty years after its foundation we have opted for a transformation that will allow us greater and better operations – commented Paolo Nadalet, the president of Inei – The legal form of Limited Co. Benefit was chosen to protect the spirit of Inei, as this form requires the board of directors to identify and pursue social interest purposes, to be duly reported at the end of each financial year".

"The protection of the Italian Espresso obviously remains the heart of Inei’s action and, in this sense, it will continue to guide our choices – added Luigi Odello, secretary general of Inei – Our commitment remains strong on both the national and the international markets, in terms of training of operators, with the support of the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac), as well as in terms of product quality control and events to help dissemination, such as our Italian Espresso Champion Competition".



Inei was assisted by the Ntcm law firm with a team comprising Vittorio Noseda, Luigi Ardizzone and Fabio Rebesco.



Fabio Dotti is the 2017 Italian Espresso king

Fabio Dotti, 21 years old, is the winner of the fourth international edition of the Espresso Italiano Champion, the barista competition organised by the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei). After an entire year of challenges in eight countries around the world (Italy, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Bulgaria and Germany) involving over 400 baristas, just four professionals made it to the final: Sun Lei (China), Ruffy Chan (Taiwan), Piyaphong Sihawong (Thailand) and Fabio Dotti (Italy). 

The young professional barista and trainer won the Espresso Italiano Champion title by setting the perfect grinding and subsequently preparing four espressos and cappuccinos with a blend approved by the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei). A race against time (just 11 minutes) and under the watchful eyes of the technical judges and subjected to the ruthless blind verdict of the sensory judges from the International Institute of Coffee Tasters (Iiac).
“The Espresso Italiano Championship is a relevant competition as it regards the daily tasks and commitments of a barista – Fabio Dotti said – The beauty of this competition is that its complexity puts you to the test: you must manage your emotions and equipment impeccably in order to deliver the perfect espresso and cappuccinos”.
“The competition continues to grow and reaffirm its distinguishing character. It is far more than a just a competition, but a real training opportunity that enables us to transfer our knowledge of Italian espresso to the world – commented Paolo Nadalet, Chairman of the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei) – The competition’s prominence is reflected by the rising number of participating baristas year-on-year and the glowing support from its followers”.   
“The key element of the Espresso Italiano Champion’s success is encouraging the baristas to be ambassadors for Italian espresso all over the world and to become role models for their colleagues – stated Luigi Odello, General Secretary of the Italian Espresso National Institute (Inei) – For the tradition to be kept alive, even innovated, it must be continued by highly-skilled and motivated professionals, like the ones we met within this edition of competition”.
The international final was hosted at Host 2017 by Wega Coffee Machines. The international semi-finals were hosted by La Genovese, Dersut Caffè, Essse Caffè and Mokador. 
Past Espresso Italiano Champions have been Filippo Mezzaro from Italy (2014), Giannis Magkanas from Greece (2015) and Park Dae Hoon from Korea (2016).
Watch the video here:

Espresso Italiano Champion 2017: international semi-finals and final at Host 2017

15 baristas from 8 countries competing at the international semi-finals of the Espresso Italiano Champion 2017: only 4 will make it to the international final and compete for the title. The international semi-finals of Espresso Italiano Champion 2017, the Italian Espresso National Institute’s barista competition, will take place at Host 2017 in Milan on Sunday 21 October, the international final on Sunday 22 October.

The path taken by the competitors to gain their place in the semi-final phase was very long. Over 40 contests were held in 8 different countries (Italy, Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Bulgaria and Germany) and more than 400 professionals took this challenge. Selection brought 15 competitors the semi-final which will be held on Sunday 21 Octobet at the following booths:

  • La Genovese, Pav.14, Stand H22, 11:00 AM
  • Dersut Caffè, Pav.14 Stand L39, 2:00 PM
  • Essse Caffè, Pav.18, Stand B50 C57, 2:00 PM
  • Mokador, Pav.18 Stand D50 E51, 2:30 PM
Only four of the competitors will make it to the international final which will take place at Wega’s booth (Pav. 24, Stand D52 D60) on Sunday 22 October at 3:00. Baristas will compete for the title on a Wega MyConcept EPU espresso machine and a Wega 6.4 Instant grinder.