If you have noticed some odd behaviour from your fellow citizens of late, sweating, agitation or sudden bursts of nervous energy, you may have encountered yet another victim to a growing trend consuming our nation: the love of a coffee. Gone are the days when a ceramic pot and home knitted cosy were the staple home brewing kit; a metaphorical peace offering, outstretched friendly arms, a potion to unleash your worries over- no, today we have chrome, grinding machines, switches, machinery, strong spellbinding caramel aromas… Okay, so coffee has been around and loved for a while, since 1652 to be exact, but its latest fashionable heights are growing as exponentially as its caffeine-filled legs can carry it.
Cue The London Coffee Festival, which welcomes 15,000 visitors at the Old Truman Brewery and showcases just how refined and sophisticated coffee has become (so leave your granules at the door). Divided into ‘zones’, the latest in artisan, coffee science, roasteries, food-to-be-enjoyed-with-coffee and music-to-release-your-coffee-energy-to, gets explored. While there are a few suspect coffee chains on the attendees list (that is not in the spirit of the coffee following, methinks) there are many keen and enthusiastic artisans around as well. Look out for Ozone Coffee Roasters (NZ owned East London café) and Caravan in the True Artisan Café area (don’t miss their brunch either) and Rapha Cycle Club representing an unlikely union of bike and brew. And for a slightly different twist, The Shoreditch Grind will be serving Alfagato treats (the drunken coffee and ice-cream Italian desert) and there will no doubt be a few coffee martinis doing the rounds.
Judging by past years, the festival will be an exciting look at the latest movers and shakers in the business, including the opportunity to see the UK barista championship in action. So if you are partial to the mighty coffee bean, wild caffeine-charged horses shouldn’t keep you away. (Words: Laura Thornley)
The London Coffee Festival takes place every spring. For more info, visit: www.londoncoffeefestival.com