Attention London Coffee lovers, I’d probably suggest not reading on if you didn’t attend the London Coffee Festival this year. Yep, click the little ‘x’ right now because after reading this post you’ll be sitting in a huff that you missed out on the coffee festival of the year. Or, do read on so that you can pencil it in for next year, that way, you won’t miss out. I suggest going with the latter…
Today’s UK coffee scene is rich in diversity and creativity, transforming London into a world-renowned coffee location and the London Coffee Festival compomasses all of it (it even gives Australia a run for its money!). The growing interest in the coffee culture comes from the indy and innovative artisan coffee shops and cafes that are shaking up the industry and standing out from the crowd – think of all the cool pop ups on every corner on Shoreditch High Street.
To any coffee enthusiast who knows a thing or two about what makes a coffee decent – your taste buds will be singing ‘hallelujah’ in harmony after attending this event.
Anyone who is anyone in the coffee world is there – from the big boys like Starbucks, to start up Artisan craftsman like Assembly. A lot of the founders, grinders and roasters are also there, so that gives you the opportunity to talk to them about coffee, the brand and different flavours.
Not only are there great coffee displays, there are a heap of food stalls that are displaying the best kind of side treats to coffee – chocolate, fudge, biscuits and cake goodness. These guys below were one of my favorites – they are called Bake Eden, new to the foodie arena, they create delicious cakes made out of ingredients from the garden patch. Everything from onions, beetroot, parsnip and coriander! The founder, David, has been in hospitality for years as a chef and saw a gap in the cafe culture- there was no uniqueness to baked goods offered. There were just standard choices like banana bread and carrot cake. Although delicious, they are the same old and offer minimal nutrition. I had about 4 samples of each because I couldn’t decide on my favourite…I’d say the Blueberry, Parsnip and Ginger was a winner.
I love a good french press and Lavazza were offering a fine drop! They were also right around the corner from Lindt who were doing chocolate samples…so I spent a lot of my time circling these guys like a shark preparing its attack.
In terms of display, Starbucks has a great set up and were not only giving away samples but bags of beans- a super attraction. I participated in some doodling… I probably should copyright my design as Starbucks will probably want to use it…
I have a lot of loyalty for the guys at AllPress. Michael Allpress (founder) is a Kiwi who originally founded the brand in 1986 when his passion for coffee outgrew his day job. He built a coffee cart and began serving the largely unfamiliar espresso drinks in a local Auckland market. Very quickly, his obsession with flavour led him to source his own beans and begin roasting coffee. Allpress is huge is Australia so it was great to see a familiar face at the festival.
Assembly, a new venture by Volcano Coffee Works, is a collaboration of coffee experts from across London. Their branding is on point and this is what drew me to find out more about them. I ended up talking to the guys for over 20mins and they took me through the brand’s design, branding and development process. They have only just launched so am excited to see where these guys go – watch this space!
I left on a massive high, partly from the 10x cups of coffee I consumed, but also from the coffee community that is so alive in London. There are so many places I am excited to try. Would highly recommend to anyone and not just coffee lovers but locals and travellers wanting a fun day activity in London.
There is a London Coffee Guide book, which you can purchase online here and that breaks down London into the different areas (which is great for a newby like me).