Featuring over 250 coffee and food stalls, tastings and demonstrations from world-class baristas, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs, art exhibitions and much more – The London Coffee Festival promises to be an unmissable event for anyone serious about coffee.
In 2013 the festival welcomed more than 16,000 visitors across a four day period and this number is expected to increase to 20,000 in 2014.
Festival organiser, Ludovic Rossignol commented: “The exciting coffee journey London has been experiencing for the last decade is an indication that it is fast becoming one of the most advanced coffee cities on earth.
“More than an obsession, coffee is becoming a lifestyle, not just in London but across the UK. It is our vision to promote the diversity and excellence the UK coffee scene has to offer, and as part of that the culture it has created – spanning from food, design, art to music and fashion.”
As well as adding exciting new features to the programme, the festival will see some favourites return such as the True Artisan Café (La Marzocco’s pop-up coffee shop partnering with more than 40 independent coffee shops and roasters), The Roastery by Union Hand-Roasted (live craft coffee roasting demonstrations) and the SCAE UK Barista Championship finals.
New features for 2014
Milk & Sugar
Milk & Sugar is London’s urban lifestyle brand event. The event is featured as part of The London Coffee Festival and will showcase inspirational brands spanning from fashion to design and food. This new event feature will be located on the ground floor of The Old Truman Brewery on the 4th 5th and 6th of April, accessible through the coffee festival itself. Entry is free of charge for all visitors to the festival.
Poetry Café (Julius Meinl)
Viennese speciality coffee roaster Julius Meinl is bringing its Poetry Cafe to The London Coffee Festival this year, encouraging visitors to share their favourite piece of poetry with them before the event. As the headline sponsor of The Coffee Art Project, the House of Poetry will run alongside this pop up exhibition on 20-30 March and the best poetry will be displayed at the Julius Meinl stand at the festival. Budding poets are encouraged to visit the Poetry Café to submit their favourite works or can take part via The London Coffee Festival website.
The Kahlua Coffee House
This spring, Kahlúa, the original Mexican coffee liqueur will be collaborating with bartending collective The Liquorists and local coffee legends Nude Espresso to host ‘The Kahlúa Coffee House’ as part of The London Coffee Festival.
The pop-up experience; inspired by the unique heritage of Veracruz, Mexico, will feature Mexican inspired coffee cocktails such as the Kahlúa Espresso Martini, made using Nude Espresso’s ‘East Espresso Blend’ and the Mocha (Kahlúa, Tequila, Cherry Coke, Chocolate Ice Cream) as well as multisensory master classes exploring the four key components of Kahlúa. Jody from The Liquorists will be demystifying the science behind cocktail making; explaining how easy it is to make cocktails in a coffee house setting, or at home.
The Science of Espresso, Deconstructed (La Cimbali)
The team from La Cimbali is back at the festival this year with their take on the ‘4th wave’ coffee movement. For those of you who don’t know, this is where coffee meets science and things get precise and even a little geeky.
La Cimbali will be concentrating on four key areas: grinding, temperature, pressure, and milk – deconstructing the science behind a great espresso.
Catalysing Coffee (DR Wakefield)
This concept showcases DRW’s position in the industry – bringing grower and roaster together with a special focus on provenance, traceability, standards and quality.
They will be hosting a series of green coffee masterclasses in conjunction with some of their trade partners covering topics such as Sustainability, Varietals and Microlots while Roasters will share a corner to showcase their offering and serve a great brew. DRW itself will be running tailored cupping sessions and competitions to challenge even the most experienced palette as well as share some great stories from their 43 years in the industry.
Stop by the Cravendale stand at this year’s festival to witness top baristas from throughout the UK compete in the Cravendale M.I.L.K Battle.
The heats – taking place on Thursday and Friday – will see baristas go head-to-head to see who can create the most elaborate latte art. The final takes place on Sunday where one barista will win the trip of a lifetime to a coffee country of origin.
The festival is the launch event of UK Coffee Week which takes place nationwide between 07 and 13 April and features fundraising events in aid of Project Waterfall, a charity that delivers clean water projects to coffee-producing countries.