London Coffee Festival
If you’re a keen clicker on this here blog of mine (and if not OH GO ON JOIN ME I’M WELL NICE I PROMISE!) you might remember a few weeks ago I went on a cute little coffee tour of East London on a spangly vintage Routemaster. All that was in aid of launching the London Coffee Festival, a huge celebration of all things caffeinated.
I popped along to the festival on its final day, and LOVED IT. Based in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the festival sprawled over enormous rooms, lined with all sorts of companies toting their wares. We arrived a bit bleary eyed, as we’d held off having a coffee that morning in preparation for the copious amounts of caffeine we were about to ingest, and headed straight to the Allpress stand to pick up a flat white.
Perching on the astroturfed section of the Hyde Park room, we sipped our cups of nectar whilst listening to one of the live bands that was jamming away on the stage and planned our attack on the festival so we wouldn’t miss a thing. We strategically wandered first to the chocolate and cake area to pick up as many freebies as possible because, well, obviously who doesn’t want chocolate and cake for breakfast?!
Having indulged our sweet tooth, we then strolled into the tea area- YES THEY HAD TEA AT A COFFEE FESTIVAL CAN EVERYONE JUST BE CHILL ABOUT IT PLEASE.
We then firmly returned to the land of the coffee bean. All around us, innovative, passionate companies talked about their roasting and brewing methods (cold brew coffee is having a REAL moment by the way) and gave us generous samples of their products. Perhaps one of the saddest things I saw though, was despite having hundreds of independent, small companies there, one of the busiest stands was the Starbucks one. I should have just taken a picture and labelled it ‘People Who Have Missed The Point.’
Now, I won’t lie, the Truman Brewery could do with some air con, because what with all the hot beverages being brewed, it was hotter than the inside of a McDonalds apple pie, and I kept periodically feeling like I was going through an early menopause. So when we spied the Goodbeans crew selling coffee ice-lollies, we pounced. AND IT WAS GOOD.
The whole place was buzzing hive of activities- a ‘Make Decent Coffee’ lounge offering expert advice on how to step away from instant coffee and brew the good stuff at home, the prestigious Coffee Master competition, latte art workshops, world music from the coffee belt, live roasting demonstrations and brewing tutorials. SO much to clap ones eyes on! There were also a huge number of juice and soft drink companies, providing everyone with some refreshing hydration between espresso shots.
We took a stroll into the ‘Milk and Sugar’ section of the festival which featured design, fashion and art companies- everything from satchels to cyclewear to a pop-up hipster barbershop! It was here that we also discovered the gin bar. Yes, despite it being a coffee festival, they didn’t half put up a good front on the booze stakes…
Having drunk and munched our fill of everything the festival had to offer, we skittered out into the Spring sunshine with our tastebuds tingling, our heartbeats racing and our bags bulging with information, new products to try out and sneaky samples. Thank you London Coffee Festival, I shall undoubtedly be back next year!
I was a guest of the London Coffee Festival, but as always, if I didn’t love the arse off it, I wouldn’t have written about it!