Where: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London
£: Tickets priced from £11.50 for adults
What is it?
This year’s London Coffee Festival takes place from 30th April to 3rd May, with a four-day multi-sensory and interactive event programme.
Highlights this year include the inaugural Coffee Masters competition, the White Label Kitchen, and The House of Coffee & Co, the festival’s new VIP suite. In addition, the festival will feature more than 250 coffee roasters, some of the finest indie cafés, new food start-ups and the latest coffee brewing kits.
One of the highlights at this year’s London Coffee Festival is the Coffee Masters competition, celebrating the role of the barista in today’s coffee-focused society. There will be twenty international baristas battling against each other in a series of knockout rounds designed to test their coffee-making skills to the limit. Visitors can watch competitors go head-to-head in a range of timed challenges. Between each battle visitors will have the opportunity meet the contenders at the Brita and Faema stands, where they will be running brewing workshops and espresso masterclasses.
Alternatively, visitors to the London Coffee Festival can unleash their inner geek and discover the true science of the espresso. La Cimbali will present an interactive coffee experience, exploring how coffee reacts under pressure to affect the often forgotten sweetness of coffee. La Cimbali coffee machines will be programmed to deliver several pressure profiles, so that visitors can compare how this changes coffee sweetness. Participants will be provided with a coffee tasting score sheet to record their notes as they experience the taste of the coffee.
Some of the best baristas from Europe’s leading coffee shops and roasters, including Notes, Horsham Coffee Roaster, Dear Green and Shoreditch Grind, will be taking over the espresso bars of festival pop-up, The True Artisan Café. While the baristas mix up their signature drinks for visitors to try, live DJs will be spinning House music.
The exclusive lounge area at The House of Coffee & Co will offer the festival’s VIP guests a calm environment in which to relax. VIPs will be welcomed into the Scandinavian-inspired lounge with a complimentary cocktail and a premium tote bag. The bag will be filled with everything for the coffee enthusiast, including the latest London Coffee Guide. Guests will be offered a selection of fine single origin coffees, teas and cocktails from a skilfully crafted bespoke menu. Guests will also be able to enjoy the smooth sounds of some of London’s best acoustic artists.
The festival’s Lab programme is perfect for visitors looking to expand their knowledge of coffee and its culture. Visitors can take part in a variety of brewing and tasting workshops, talks and seminars, to discover more about coffee’s journey from crop to cup. Participants can also create their own espresso blend with Assembly coffee roaster Joe McElhinney; discover how to use all five senses when tasting chocolate with Lindt Master Chocolatier Stefan Bruderer; and understand why coffee cocktails are so important and yet so easy to make with David Jameson from Union Hand-Roasted Coffee.
To accompany the artisan coffee, this year’s festival food will be brought to visitors in the form of a new restaurant idea that provides a blank slate for some of London’s hottest food concepts, including Arancini Brothers, Herman ze German and And Union. These resident chefs will create bespoke menus exclusively for the event. The festival promises to provide some unique dishes to perfectly complement the range of coffees at the festival.
For those struggling to perfect espressos at home, the team at ThreeSixty° Coffee will be on hand to answer questions and show visitors that decent coffee is not just for the experts.
This year’s London Coffee Festival will feature bands from around the world, with the sounds from coffee-growing regions. Visitors can join the Ethiopian group Krar Collective for an espresso martini at Friday evening’s launch party, fiesta with South American Lokandes on Saturday, and groove to Jamaican music on Sunday with The Big Steal.
More info: www.londoncoffeefestival.com