London Coffee Festival 2018 Part 2

Roasting Shed

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I hadn’t met the Roasting Shed before, they’re from East London – which somehow seems appropriate – and they roast coffee, but without a shop space of their own to sell it through, a bit like how coffee roasters used to be. It’s not often you meet ‘local’ roasters at somewhere like London Coffee Festival, so it seemed appropriate to work my way through the three immediate filters they had available to try. Passed three cups, a washed San Roque, from Huila in Colombia, another washed Wegida Blue from Yigacheffe in Ethiopia and finally a third washed, the Ragati from Kibirigwi in Kenya, it was time to sample three seasonal, but somewhat archetypal coffees – they’re the kind of origins you become accustomed with early on in coffee. The Colombian had a fairly typical coffee flavour, easy going, the kind that works well when introducing newcomers to the world of specialty coffee and following on the Ethiopian was in direct contrast, a brighter more acidic coffee with distinct floral notes and a much lighter body, tasting very purple in flavour. Finally I was left with the Kenyan, a more complex darkly sweet coffee, with those winey like qualities you get from so many Kenyans, probably the best of the three, but at the same time the least accessible. No doubt a set of coffees that will be cropping up around cafes in the East London area now. Continue reading

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London Coffee Festival 2018 Part 1

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This years London Coffee Festival was bigger than ever, sprawling out across 3 full floors – 4 if you count the split level downstairs – making it hard to know what to do, where to do it and in what order, such was the variety and diversity of coffee related experiences on offer. There’s a guide, for sure, there’s even plenty of information in it, but with well in excess of 200 odd stands it can still be a little overwhelming. The only advice I could give is to go with the flow, on some occasions it will be your only option. Continue reading

London Coffee Festival 2017 Part 4

Mr Black

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The day was ebbing into its later stages and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to slowly make my way from coffee into alcohol via the convenient route of coffee liqueur. So I swung by the Mr Black stand to try some of their light enveloping black magic. Made from distilled grain alcohol – that’s Vodka to you and me – and blended with cold pressed coffee, Mr black produces a liqueur that’s sweet and light with distinct flavours of dark roast espresso and a lifting edge of citrus. Mentally considering its uses for coffee in good spirits competitions, I headed off to find some more liqueur. Continue reading

London Coffee Festival Part 3

Quarter Horse Coffee x Jake’s London

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There comes a point at London Coffee Festival where you just need a cup of water – for which the Project Waterfall stand is always a trusted friend – or some ice cream, something to take the edge off, to level you out a little and calm those encroaching caffeine shakes. At such times, who am I to ignore the luring pull of the True Artisan Café and its signature drinks. Continue reading

London Coffee Festival 2017 Part 1

London Coffee Festival

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With over 30,000 in attendance both this and last year London Coffee Festival appears to be growing year on year, which is pretty reassuring given that half of the ticket sales go to Project Waterfall. Having covered the previous two years worth of events here on the blog, I took a gamble and applied for a press pass for this years’ event, with the hope of gaining a bit more flexibility to browse the festival at leisure and take a bit more time to seek out some of the more unfamiliar – to me at least – exhibitors around the building. Having been successful in my application it allowed me to pick and choose which day to go down and so this year I thought I’d try out one of the industry days and headed down on the Friday, in the hope of landing on a slightly quieter day, although I’m not entirely sure there are any ‘quieter’ days at London Coffee Festival anymore. Continue reading

London Coffee Festival 2016 Part 4

La Cabra Coffee Roasters

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It was nice to see some representation from one of the Scandinavian roasters at London Coffee Festival with La Cabra travelling all the way from Aarhus, Denmark. Here we met Ben from La Cabra who was eager and willing to talk to us about Scandinavian roasting philosophy and the coffees they had available on the stand. It turns out we’d just missed them doing a cupping, but fortunately they still had some filter left over from the batch brews. Starting with the Cerro Azul, a washed Geisha from Finca La Esperanza in Colombia, a coffee I’m becoming increasingly familiar with, Ben poured us each a cup. I’ve tried the natural more recently, but it had been a while since I’d tried the washed and it was nice to remind myself of the differences. This is a particularly transparent coffee with strong jasmine florals, while the natural leans more towards cherry flavours, it’s an elegant peach flavour in the washed, though the processing is pretty clean in both. Continue reading

London Coffee Festival 2016 Part 3

Cast Iron Roasted Coffee

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A new roaster, to me at least, was tucked in neatly next to Horsham Coffee, both their festival neighbour and their regional neighbour, with both roasters hailing from West Sussex. It was difficult to ignore the significant amount of Panamanian Geishas littered about their stand and so with my attention gained, we popped over to see what they were all about. Here we met Tilly Spurr, one half of the husband and wife team that run Cast Iron Roasted Coffee, asking what they had to offer on filter, they explained that they had brewed up some Morgan Estate, but that it had gone cold and so they would brew up a fresh batch of the washed geisha from Morgan Estate. Continue reading