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By: Ollie Sears 13 March 2018
With Amsterdam Coffee Festival having been a major success this month on the 9th-11th March ( https://www.amsterdamcoffeefestival.com/ ), we thought it time to give you guys a run of what we’re looking forward to this year for retail coffee events. There have been plenty of announcements by the Speciality Coffee Association ( http://sca.coffee ) of what they’re running this year, including the Coffee Expo taking place early on in the calendar (this April, see here: http://coffeeexpo.org/ ).
We’ve left our previous links below for you for events gone by, as you can usually look back through the archives and find out about some undiscovered coffee equipment or recipe magic from those. Immediately below are the top picks from us this year for events to check out, with our priorities being set by what is on show, and your ability to actually travel and access these events relatively easily as a coffee consumer. Enjoy!
London Coffee Festival by Allegra Events, 12th-15th April 2018 https://www.londoncoffeefestival.com/
Glasgow Coffee Festival, 19th-20th May 2018 http://www.glasgowcoffeefestival.com/
Birmingham Coffee Festival, 8th-10th June 2018 https://www.birminghamcoffeefestival.com/
Edinburgh Coffee Festival, 6th October 2018 http://www.edinburghcoffeefestival.co.uk/
Manchester Coffee Festival by Cup North, 3rd-4th November 2018 http://cupnorth.co.uk
Our top picks for events that you can travel to and from relatively easily within Europe are below for you too. Special notice is given here to both the Barcelona Independent Coffee Festival and Berlin’s own Coffee Festival. We’ve seen the coffee scene blow up rapidly in these two cities with amazing creativity. Worth checking out to find some unique businesses operating within the speciality coffee industry, executing their coffee in a very creative and technically successful way.
Independent Barcelona Coffee Festival, 11th-13th October 2018 http://www.ibcoffeefestival.es/?lang=en
Berlin Coffee Festival, dates TBC https://www.facebook.com/berlincoffeefestival
Milan Coffee Festival by Allegra Events, 30th November- 2nd December 2018 https://www.milancoffeefestival.com/
Aeropress Championships, usually in capital cities or prominent coffee cities in your country – find out more here: https://www.worldaeropresschampionship.com/
Latte Art Throwdowns, usually hosted by local speciality coffee shops and/or roasters;
La Marzocco’s range of regularly occurring events, usually hosted at their own offices. Where are they based near you? Find out here: http://international.lamarzocco.com/en/
Finally – don’t be afraid to contact local coffee roasters for information on any events they are hosting for wholesale customers of their own. Industry events are the places to be for learning more about the part of coffee’s supply chain that interests you, and professionals are more likely to be able to at least refer you to the correct people to speak to. Want to hear from us in this capacity? Send over an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to educate, refer or help you out. At North Star, we hold world-renowned qualifications and credible expertise in all of the relevant parts of our supply chain from green coffee to serving it in store or at home. We would love to help!
2016/17 Events (Archive)
With Manchester Coffee Festival just around the corner (5th-6th November 2016) we thought it to be an appropriate time to post out about coffee events in the UK for anyone from retail customers to professionals in the industry. The UK is a well established market for speciality coffee nowadays with coffee shops, roasters, events & competitions being held across the country.
Below you’ll find a bit of information about some of the most relevant events to the UK coffee world, as well as an idea of what you’ll find there and why it might be of use to you individually.
UK coffee events for the enthusiast
Manchester Coffee Festival by Cup North, 5th-6th November 2016 http://cupnorth.co.uk
London Coffee Festival by Allegra Events, 6th-9th April 2017 http://www.londoncoffeefestival.com
Caffè Culture Show 23rd-24th May 2017 http://www.caffecultureshow.com
Local coffee events – find your local roasters/cafes!
Why you’ll want to attend
Manchester Coffee Festival
An event full of coffee companies, everything you want to know from bean to cup. You’ll find green coffee importers, coffee roasters, equipment suppliers, training suppliers, cafe business owners & every kind of complementary product the goes hand in hand with coffee as an industry. Companies attending will be both big & small in size, showing off the creativity & passion that runs throughout the industry right back along the supply chain. Worth attending to: learn a thing or two; to meet some great contacts; to book onto a course, and just to sample some coffee & buy something to brew (or brew with). The event always shows off some good food, and obviously some of the best coffee you can find in the UK. It’s not strictly Northern either, so you won’t struggle to find some of the big name speciality coffee roasters or companies from the South attending.
Last year in 2015 we saw lots of cuppings from Falcon Speciality, one of the leading speciality coffee importers in the UK, as well as a great cup tasting competition, along with new innovative products on sale & our own North Star coffees showcased on a La Marzocco machine with the team there serving up all day.
London Coffee Festival
This is the big coffee event of the year in the speciality coffee world. A place to appreciate developments in the industry, meet or catch up with everyone you’ve wanted to see or missed due to a busy year of work. Not only is it a place to see roughly every brand & product on the market as it stands, but also a place to spectate some of the skill you find within the speciality coffee world – the UK Barista Championships, Brewers Cup championships and Coffee Masters tend to take place during the event. It’s a long event and it needs to be, in order for everyone to actually get around the entire thing. Lots of coffee, lots of equipment, lots of great food, lots of great people. If you’re going to go to one coffee event let it be this one, as you’ll be experiencing the entire industry with all innovations and developments, in one place.
This year saw us exhibiting alongside other partners of La Marzocco UK on the True Artisan Café, the place to be if you’re looking for experimental coffee cocktails. We showed off our Rwanda Gihombo coffee in the ‘Nyamashakey’ – an orange, vanilla & blackcurrant liqueur infused signature drink. We also teamed up with Marco Brewing Systems to demonstrate some of the innovations in brewing equipment they’re bringing out into the market, using our coffee to showcase the virtues.
Caffè Culture Show
Though it’s considered as more of a trade show by most, the coffee enthusiast can find a lot in one place at Caffè Culture. It’s a place that blends all of the café/bar business into one, where you’ll: find hours of presentations; be able to visit hundreds of exhibitors covering all bases across the business of cafés & bars; learn a lot about working in the industry, and get familiar with products from every corner of the market. Not only that but it has a lot of gems featuring in its lineup of masterclasses & workshops.
Local coffee events
If you’re looking for year-round insights into the speciality coffee industry, you won’t go far wrong looking towards your local coffee roasters or prominent local cafes for events. You might find presentations, workshops & masterclasses or local competitions to get stuck into. Whatever you do, check out your local coffee companies for anything event-focused near you, and I’m sure at the very least you’ll meet some new people who can help you move along your interest in coffee on the whole. Not only that, but you’ll likely be able to start an event on a local basis, should you find the right people to team up with locally, which could be the start of something great to inform yourself and others further with quality information and experience. For example, over at our roastery at North Star we run courses in our dedicated Coffee Academy, showing off the latest innovations in coffee brewing, barista skills, sensory skills training & more. Bespoke events for the home enthusiast can be arranged, and we regularly run open cupping events for people to come down and taste sample coffees, test roasts and more. Want to know more or get involved? – sign up to our mailing list or get in touch with us in the Academy by email at: email@example.com
So, that’s a breakdown of the big name events in the industry as it stands in 2016. For more competitive industry event information, have a look out for competitions run by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) in the UK for an insight into how you can get involved in either competing, volunteering at an event or simple spectating. Signing up to the SCAE alone will mean that going forward you’ll keep up with the latest ongoing information in speciality coffee from bean to cup. Not only that but you’ll gain access to research releases, as well as discounts on products and certified training courses offered by your local ASTs (Authorised Trainers with the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe). If nothing else, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for how skilled the industry is, as well as the dedication you find within it to quality & craftsmanship.
If you are desperate to get to one of the above events, now is an amazing opportunity to get hold of some tickets to the 3rd year of ‘Cup North’, now known as the Manchester Coffee Festival! We will be there as the North Star Coffee Academy with a whole load of information on the SCAE and bespoke courses that we run. You will also get to try your nose at ‘Le Nez du Café’ and take on the Barista in our informal Latte Art Throwdown competitions which will be taking place throughout the weekend.
For more information about events in Leeds, or information about North Star’s very own Coffee Academy, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at https://www.northstarroast.com.