Two weeks from now (Saturday/Sunday, 7th/8th November), Cup North, the self-styled two-day Northern Coffee Party, will be back. Once again gracing the fair city of Manchester, Cup North’s moved slightly west to the Victoria Warehouse in Stretford. Cup North was one of last year’s highlights. I had an amazing time and am delighted that Cup North is returning for a second year. If you missed last year’s event and are wondering what it’s like, then this preview is for you.
As a veteran of the London Coffee Festival, I find that Cup North, while having a similar focus on speciality coffee, is on a very different, much more manageable and, dare I say it, friendly, scale. Not that the London Coffee Festival’s unfriendly, but its sheer size and the number of visitors crammed in, make it a very hectic affair.
In contrast, much like the Glasgow Coffee Festival, Cup North is more laidback, with time to talk and socialise, an opportunity to really get to know the various exhibitors. With weekend tickets for under £20 (including booking fee), or just over £10 if you only want to do a single day, it really is a bargain. Get your tickets now!
Find out more about Cup North after the gallery, a round up of last year’s exhibitors.
Moving from last year’s venue, Artwork, this year’s Cup North will be in the Victoria Warehouse in Stretford, an easy tram-ride from the city centre. You can expect the usual coffee festival fare, including stalls from roasters, local cafés, coffee equipment suppliers, and, after an excellent debut last year, a street food market organised by GRUB. There’s also a lot going on event-wise, which I have a tendency to miss, usually because I’m too busy nattering with the exhibitors as I wander around the various stands.
Cup North has an excellent, well-designed website, which I urge you to check out, particularly if you want to know who’s exhibiting and what’s going to be on. Rather than regurgitate that here, I’m just going to concentrate some of the highlights.
As with the original Cup North, roasters are extremely well-represented. For me, it’s a chance to catch up with the great crop of local roasters, such as Heart & Graft and ManCoCo, although my friends at Ancoats won’t be there on account of moving to shiny new premises which I’m hoping to check out the day before the festival. The wider region is also well represented, with the likes of J Atkinson & Co from Lancaster, the Beanbrothers and Coopers from Huddersfield, and, all the way from over the Pennines, Leeds’ North Star. Talking of the Pennines, it’ll also be a chance for me to catch up with Bradford’s Casa Espresso and renew my acquaintance with the folks from Holmfirth’s Grumpy Mule.
From slightly further afield, the lovely Hope and Glory will be back for another year along with, all the way from Bristol, Clifton Coffee Roasters. However, vying for the title of furthest-travelled, we have Horsham Coffee Roaster and Brighton’s Small Batch, but pipping them both to the post is Cornwall’s Origin.
Perhaps less exciting for me, London is also well represented, with a host of roasters. On the other hand, these are the very people I never get a chance to talk to at the London Coffee Festival because it’s so damn busy. Look out for the likes of Allpress, Climpson & Sons, Union Hand-roasted and Workshop. All these roasters will be joined by green-bean importers, Falcon and DR Wakefield and hot chocolate specialists, Kokoa Collection.
There’s also a full programme of events, including three coffee-focused films, A Film About Coffee, Caffeinated and Barista (aka Drip). These will be shown throughout the weekend at Victoria Warehouse’s own 20-seat cinema and admission is included in the price of your ticket.
On Saturday, you can watch 24 of the UK’s finest noses/palates going head-to-head in the UK Cup Tasters competition, while on Sunday, Tamper Tantrum is back with a full day of talks. If you fancy something a little more strenuous after all that education, on Saturday evening, Cup North will be hosting the UK National Coffee Throwing Championships, surely the pinnacle of the speciality coffee world…
With all this (and more) on offer, you’d be mad to miss it. If you’re lucky enough to live in Manchester, you can get your tickets (with no booking fee!) from local coffee shops such as North Tea Power, TAKK, Grindsmith, Fig + Sparrow and Pot Kettle Black. The rest of us need to head over to the Cup North website.
See you all there.
|VICTORIA WAREHOUSE • TRAFFORD WHARF ROAD • MANCHESTER • M17 1AB|
|Saturday||10:00 – 18:00||Wifi||N/A|
|Sunday||10:00 – 17:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||7th/8th November 2015|
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