A Personal Look At The London Coffee Festival 2016
By Ania Marchwiak, Moksha Caffe, 7-10 April Old Truman Brewery
We arrived at the Festival on a lovely Friday afternoon and were greeted at the VIP gates by a rather confused but nevertheless charming doorman who let us in. Getting our wristbands and goodie bags we were all set to enjoy copious amounts of espresso and to endeavour the world of coffee.
Heading to the bar to collect our free cocktail, we looked around and got the gist of the entire event: it was busy, viral, people were talking, drinking, and running around from one exhibition room to the other. Slightly indulged after our first drink we went in to enjoy our first espresso of the event.
Tasting The Goods
The place was full of stalls and people encouraging you to their stands with smiles, inviting over with a great smell of coffee and beans and attracting with the newest, shiny coffee machines. We had our first stop at Matthew Algie who invited us to try coffee from Chemex, which is personally my favourite right after V60. It’s not only the good coffee that it makes but also it looks like little piece of art and I would really like to have one on my kitchen table.
Geeky Coffee Tips
During making the coffee he gave us a few geeky coffee tips of how to make a good cold brew (look out for it in the summer! It’s all about cold brew now!). The coffee was great: we had it in two different versions as an espresso and brewed in Chemex. It was Kenyan Gathango Ab with lovely zesty undertones, which you could really feel on your palate after having a sip. It was definitely mine and Lotta’s favourite of the day. Maybe because every other one we had added to the caffeine related jitters.
Learning To Make Filter Coffee
Moving on we went through different stalls, with Ollie looking at different coffee machines, a tap with crystal clear water, and some other coffee stalls. We almost immediately noticed that most of the places offer filter coffee and tried to encourage people to learn how to make a perfect filter coffee at home. I guess it’s a brilliant idea, as world entered into the coffee madness stage and more and more people are interested in that lovingly awakening black liquid (the amount of people who visited was astonishing!).
There were some expensive filter coffee machines worth probably one person’s salary before tax and there were also some cheaper ones. The one we did ‘ohhh’ at was Marco sp9 brewer worth around £2000 which was presented to us by Bauhaus Coffee. Boiling water in a neat under counter boiler unit at 94°C with increased bar efficiency (simply means that it makes delicious coffee) and on top of that environmentally friendly. We were tempted but we would have to fire someone first
Other Coffee Related Products
There were so many other stalls that it was easy to get lost. After a quick lunch break (they ran out of falafel!) we moved on to look at some new till systems and we were quite impressed by the tills from The Good Till Company. We took some brochures and who knows. There was also a stand with all things Matcha you can imagine, latte art presentation, preservative free smoothies, a place called ‘roasting party’ with plentiful of grinders, roasters, and people just enjoying watching how the coffee is made by the coffee geeks.
Real Hot Chocolate
Two more things that I think three of us really enjoyed was coming across real chai tea, which smelled of fresh cinnamon and cloves all mixed with black tea. If you’re lucky enough we still might have some samples at Moksha. The other was hot chocolate tasting by Hotel Chocolat. No powdery taste just pure smoothness of real chocolate and you can just imagine that quality melting in your mouth – delicious!
Amazing Coffee Atmosphere
There just wasn’t enough time to go round everything but the place was a real hive of people who just started getting into coffee, real professionals, and people who wanted to spend good time in an amazing coffee atmosphere and to see what’s all that fuss about.
Goodie Bags Full
It was a well organised event with plenty to do, see, and taste. I am sure that if we had more hours to spare we would have stayed longer. Nevertheless, after hours of walking we finished with a full goodie bag including some coffee samples, London Coffee Guide, and enjoyed a well-deserved espresso martini.