After chatting to Brian we were at the end of our 3 hour slot at London Coffee Festival, meaning our time was up. As our bracelets weren’t beeping like something out of Logan’s Run, indicating we must leave immediately, we decided to have a wander about and make sure we hadn’t missed anyone whilst rushing around. Coming across the Falcon Coffee stand we noticed a few welcoming smiles, so stopped for a chat.
Falcon Specialty are my local green bean suppliers, responsible for importing the green beans that end up in about 1 in 3 of the cups of coffee I drink, which is a lot, but not that surprising, as Holly from Falcon reckons they’ve had a new customer every week since Christmas. I’d first come across Falcon Green in person at Cup North earlier the year before when Mike and Holly were running a cupping down in the Heart and Graft Coffee Roastery. What was clear, was that Falcon know what they’re talking about when it comes to coffee and not just about how good it tastes. Both qualified Q Graders, this time Holly was on hand to talk to us about our favourite coffees with Falcon’s Ethiopian Rocko Mountain being our personal Falcon favourite of the past year. Holly admitted it was a little embarrassing at Cup North just how many people had the Rocko Mountain on, but it was just testament to how good the coffee is.
It turned out that by coincidence me and Holly had gone to school across the road from each other and eventually to the same school. In fact at school we had done a business case study on Dunlo Pillow in Pannal, now the site of Falcon Specialty, what can I say, it’s a small world. We talked about how proud we were of our local coffee scenes, with a distinct specialty coffee presence in both Leeds and Harrogate, including local roasters North Star Coffee where Holly’s boyfriend Krag is head roaster. Mentioning that strictly we were over our allotted time Holly offered to lend us some Falcon tshirts in a bid to disguise us in amongst their stand, unfortunately all someone would’ve needed to do, is talk to us for 5 minutes about green coffee and we’d have been rumbled.
It’s important to eat food at London Coffee Festival just to level you out from all the caffeine you’re imbibing and what better place to get your food fix than at Crosstown Doughnuts. Purveyors of some of the best doughnuts in London, Crosstown have built a reputation on making consistently great tasting doughnuts. It was with little hesitation that we purchased one of their Summer Berry Glazed doughnuts, unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of said doughnut because it was gone seconds after it was purchased. We were hungry and it was tasty, need I say more.
Brian’s Coffee Spot – part 2
This time Brian caught us mid doughnut eating as our roles reversed. Sometimes it’s good to stop for a chat at London Coffee Festival if you have the time, as it gives you a chance to break from drinking coffee, even though that is the best bit. This time we chatted with Brian about food and his longing for the return of St. Ali where he had spent last year eating and relaxing. This year Brian had posted a lot of photos of veggie burgers, which led to me enquiring as to whether he was vegetarian. Brian it turns out hates the word pescetarian and prefers to think of himself as a vegetarian who also eats fish, something I can understand perfectly. Being a vegetarian myself we agreed that back when we made these decisions it was due to our difficulties entertaining factory farming, back then there wasn’t the focus on provenance that there is now, somewhat similar to coffee. With the changing nature of food production and consumer demands on provenance and ethical cultivation, we’ve both had to question whether instead we should be supporting progressive farming practices. Still doughnuts are perfectly vegetarian, so neither of us were complaining.
We explained our dilemma about being outside our allotted time slot by this point to Brian, which led to us exploring the difficulties of fitting everything in at the festival without resorting to a watertight itinerary. It’s best to stay flexible at the festival and just enjoy yourself, which does mean you might miss the odd thing or two, but it’s not about fitting everything in, it’s about enjoying what you do fit in. Something on which we both agreed.
Fully satisfied and slightly exhausted, we did one last circuit of the festival before retiring downstairs to the Milk & Sugar exhibition, where we browsed some lovely and inspiring art and design before exiting back out onto Brick Lane. So sorry to anyone I missed at the festival, but otherwise I had a great time, till next year.