Adventures in Coffee… London Coffee Festival 2015

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This last weekend my friend Ingrid and I went to London for the weekend for the London Coffee Festival. I like London for all the events that are on, but a weekend is enough for me. It was super busy! We gave up on the tube pretty soon and wandered from Covent Garden to the Tower of London, via Borough Market and Tower Bridge. It was great to just wander and catch up. We also spotted two Shaun the Sheep art works!

Shaun the sheepmap Shaun the Sheep

We also found The Hummingbird Bakery and had the most amazing cake! Mine was the lemon raspberry three layer cake and Ingrid had the raspberry cheesecake brownie. Both were amazing!IMG_0712

We went to the coffee festival on the Sunday. It’s held at The Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane. Ingrid and I stayed near Liverpool Street Station for easy access to transport and easy walking distance to the Coffee Festival. I could not believe have busy it was. The queue went around the street and although it moved quickly it was a bit crazy.  

starbucks cups

Once we were in it was great to wander round. We decided to buy nothing on the first lap to make sure we didn’t spend too much. We tried lots of samples from lots of different vendors – Union, Grumpy Mule, Freehand, Costa, Starbucks, and a few others I’ve forgotten I’m sure.

I was really impressed with the Starbucks stand. They focused on their reserve blends . We tried a cold brew and mint sparkling coffee, both of which were lovely. I loved all the coffee cup art. They also gave us both free samples of each of the 4 coffees they had to try. Thanks to Dan for sorting that out for us.

Starbucks coffee

We wandered around more and looked at the different cups, teas, machines, and people around the place. It was hard to spend that long at any stand as it was so busy. I would have liked to learn more about brewing techniques, but we didn’t get to the demo area until we had finished. I was surprised that a few stands where we asked about the some of the brewing techniques the people there couldn’t explain how it impacted on the coffee. I felt a few people there were just sales people who hadn’t even read up on what they were selling.

I did like the art and displays around the place though. It definitely had a quirky atmosphere.
coffee machinescoffee sacksscience coffee

If I went again I would probably go in twice to have some more time to talk to the vendors about the farms they buy from and the different brewing techniques.

The last thing we did was go to the martini bar for an espresso martini. The guy on the bar was fun and chatty as he made our cocktails.

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We really liked the cocktails. Neither of us had tried one before and although I do like martini and have all the ingredient required to make this, I have never done so. I think I might in the summer if we are drinking in the afternoon, but I wouldn’t want this as an evening drink due to the espresso required.

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I came home with the free Starbucks testers and a bag of Freehand coffee the guys on the stall kindly let me buy although they were only using for drinks at the festival. I went over especially at the end of the session to buy from them and almost wasn’t able to, but they were super nice and let me have a bag of the Peru beans to take home. I can’t wait to try it out!

I do love coffee, but I will say we were over caffeinated after 3 hours in the festival. All I wanted was water for the rest of the day. So many samples in so little time was a bit rough on the body. However it was super nice to try from small scale roasters and now I have a list of them to find online to allow me to try different beans and blends. Also I can find them on my wanderings too!
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