London Coffee Festival 2013: Preview

The London Coffee Festival LogoWelcome to the first of a new line of posts, the Coffee Spot’s Saturday Supplement. These are posts which aren’t about a specific Coffee Spot: instead they’ll be about general subjects such as making coffee, round-ups of Coffee Spots (eg in future, things such as the Coffee Spot Tour of Edinburgh will be posted as Saturday Supplements) or posts on places where the emphasis really isn’t on coffee (these will be diners, cake shops, etc).

However, the first ever Saturday Supplement is also a first in another way: it’s not a write up of somewhere I’ve been. Instead it’s a preview of somewhere I’m going. Normally, I only write about places I’ve been, but in two weeks’ time I’ll be at the London Coffee Festival in Brick Lane in London, the flagship event of UK Coffee Week. Consisting of eight unique festival zones, there’s food, music, art and, of course, coffee!

Since the London Coffee Festival only happens once a year, it seems a little harsh to wait until this time next year before I say anything about it, hence I present the Coffee Spot’s first ever Saturday Supplement, my preview of the London Coffee Festival 2013!

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

So, the London Coffee Festival, eh? Where to start? Well, probably the best place is the website, which is so packed full of information it can be a little disorientating. So, to give you a headstart, here’s some of the things that I’m looking forward to…

Perhaps the top thing is the True Artisan Café, a pop-up coffee shop featuring three of the country’s top roasters/cafés per session. Instead of wandering around London (and the rest of the country) in order to try them out, the London Coffee Festival  brings them all to you under one roof. Personal highlights (for me) are Glasgow’s Dear Green Coffee (Friday evening), Hove’s Small Batch Coffee (Saturday brunch) and Coming Soon (Sunday lunch). However, don’t take my word for it: head over to the website and make your own selections.

Another thing that I’m looking forward to is the L’Accademia di Cimbila. Being an espresso nut, this promises to provide hours of entertainment. La Cimbali is bringing a small selection from the MUMAC Museum in Milan, a museum dedicated to espresso, including some historic espresso machines through the ages. To kick things off, at 10:30 every morning (which means I’m going to have to get up!) Professor Jonathon Morris (who knew you could be a professor of coffee; I clearly missed my calling in life!) will be discussing the history of espresso. You can get a preview of what Professor Morris will be discussing here.

There’ll also be lessons on making coffee at the Make Decent Coffee Lounge (does what it says on the tin) and The Roastery where the wizards at Union Hand-Roasted Coffee will take you by the hand and lead you through the mysteries of roasting, brewing and tasting coffee. If that’s not enough, the Street Food Market will keep you fed during the day while you can buy top-notch food and (of course) coffee beans from the Artisan Market. If you want entertainment, then look no further than the Hyde Park festival zone, which is hosting some of the best acoustic talent the London music scene has to offer.

The final question is when to attend? Well, Thursday and Friday are industry days, so unless you are in the trade, these are probably best avoided. That leaves Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday. If you come along on Friday evening (five o’clock until eight o’clock), you get the bonus of the launch party afterwards (eight until ten). On Saturday and Sunday, the days are split into three 3-hour sessions: Brunch, Lunch and Teatime, and your ticket covers you for just one of these sessions. The smart money seems to be on the Sunday lunchtime session since this covers the UK Barista Championship finals.

The other consideration is whether you want to run into me. I’m planning on being there on Friday and at some point on Sunday. Sunday is a little shaky since I’m also supposed to be in Bristol and at Wembley that day (c’est la vie) but I should be there at some point, just not sure when. On the other hand, if avoiding me is your priority, then Saturday is your best bet!

One last thing: if you are thinking of going, you really ought to book your ticket in advance since this saves you three pounds on the on-the-door price. Full details on the website.

If you’d like to know how I got on at the Festival, I did indeed make it, both on Friday and on Sunday.

Thursday 10:00 – 17:00 (Industry only)
Friday 10:00 – 17:00 (Industry only)
17:00 – 20:00 (Evening Session)
20:00 – 22:00 (Launch Party)
Saturday 10:00 – 13:00 (Brunch Session)
13:00 – 16:00 (Lunch Session)
16:00 – 19:00 (Teatime Session)
Sunday 10:00 – 13:00 (Brunch Session)
13:00 – 16:00 (Lunch Session)
16:00 – 19:00 (Teatime Session)

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2 thoughts on “London Coffee Festival 2013: Preview

  1. Pingback: The Coffee Spot is One! | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: London Coffee Festival 2014: Preview | Brian's Coffee Spot

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