Coffee with a capital “C“: The London Coffee Festival 2014

With around 1.7 billion cups of coffee enjoyed by people in the UK every year it is no wonder the strong black brew has developed a following of its own. The London Coffee Festival happily caters to this ever-growing trend. Having taken place from 3-6 April 2014, the weekend before UK Coffee Week, the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch was transformed into a mekka for those worshipping their favourite drink. Once a year, coffee producers, suppliers, baristas and the general public are invited to explore what’s new on the coffee scene and, for a long weekend, the former factory building is transformed into a veritable labyrinth of sampling stalls and enticing smells. Over 22,000 visitors couldn’t resist the temptation and attended the fourth edition of the festival.

Barista Competition LCF 14In the Lab, visitors got a chance to practice their coffee-making skills and attend free talks on coffee-related topics, which ranged from coffee and chocolate pairing to a lot more scientific presentations on water testing and filtration and the latest market trends. Speaking of which, if there is anything I took away from a day of exploring this coffee wonderland in East London it was the focus on quality, local preferences, attention to detail and sustainability as a given rather than a USP.

Hyde Park area at LCF 1But how does this kind of event qualify as a festival you ask? The organisers had obviously thought about that as well and cleverly put a world music stage with lots of quirky bean bags to sit on right in the centre of the main exhibition area. A number of pop-up cocktails bars offered espresso mixed with a variety of alcoholic delights to fuel coffee fans all day long. Located all the way around the fair were also innumerable stalls by coffee roasters where baristas practiced their art. A coffee art exhibition and a poetry café brought out the best in caffeine-fuelled creativity while the Milk & Sugar section downstairs completed the festival with all sorts of stylish urban wares, more food and drink and even a pop-up barber shop.

LCF 14 VolunteersGood to know: the festival raised around £77,000 for Project Waterfall, supporting clean drinking water in Tanzania in partnership with WaterAid. In addition to the London event, the festival organiser, Allegra Events, also run a coffee festival in Amsterdam (2-3 May 2014), just in case you need a reason to visit one of my favourite European cities this spring.

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One response to “Coffee with a capital “C“: The London Coffee Festival 2014

  1. Will have to head down to Shoreditch next time I’m in London to escape the processed, mass-produced coffee chains!

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