We went to meet Jesse and Arya from Nuffnang UK and fellow bloggers, and experience The London Coffee Festival together. It was great to be able to walk straight passed the massive queues creeping round the corner, and into the VIP Press Guestlist entrance.
Whilst we waited for the Kahlua Coffee House Lab session, we wandered about the aptly named London area zones of Hyde Park (including the Espresso Martini Bar, World Music Stage and Chocolate Factory), Soho (including the Kahlua Coffee House and the La Marzocco True Artisan Cafe), Shoreditch (including the Street Food Market), and The Showroom (including the UKBC stage and Coffee Art Project) areas.
Our pitstops included: Footprint Hand Roasted Coffee with her light and buttery chocolate and vanilla shortbreads shaped like little footprints in the sand; chatting to the couple behind gourmet Costa Rican coffee company Naturologistica, especially about their Coope Tarrazu coffee with its citrusy, fruity and deep chocolaty sweetness notes (they did though apologise for not bringing any samples to be able to experience the coffees whilst they were talking us through their range of products); refreshing coffee from La Marzocco and their coffee enthusiast partner The University of Warwick (student team were talkative and chilled out); speciality coffee roasters Mission Coffee Works with their cool coffee apparatus; Chocomosa (chocolate samosas)- with a new peanut butter and an intense coconut flavours; Eden pastries company (including chocolate croissants); and lovely cream cheese brownies and Eric Lanard’s recipe from SCAE stand (who were raising money for Project Waterfall).
It was very interesting listening to Richard Williams, head roaster from Nude Coffee Roasters, and Jody, from The Liquorists, telling us about the 100% Arabica coffee and the origins of Kahlua coffee liqueur from Vera Cruz in Mexico – made since 1936! Kahlua is perfect in coffee based cocktails like Espresso Martinis or a Mocha combination with tequila Olmeca Altos Reposado, or just neat as a nightcap.
Another session was a link up between Lindt and Starbucks, where their Master Chocolatier Stefan and the Starbucks Head Master Barista Ege explained about the matching flavour profiles of their respective chocolates and coffees we were able to sample.
Loved the sweet, fruity and redberry fragrance from the Darwin coffee, 100% Arabica bean coffee, from Matthew Algie. It is a combination of coffee beans from Peru, Ethiopia and Honduras.
This went well with the coffee & walnut and chocolate brownies from Fresh Eric’s cakes and Cafe Renaissance – they had a fab range of tasty cakes (a few we got to sample – all in a day’s work!):
Lovely pastis de natas (£2 each) from Nata Pura went well with the range of coffees we were trying during the day – and there is never a better time than to be munching on these gorgeous delights than at a coffee festival.
Cooling icecreams from Green & Black’s whilst sitting on the sofas near the music stage were a welcome respite from the warmth and the crowds.
Sipping the traditional and smooth blend Vietnamese coffees from Vietnam’s finest coffee specialist The Saigon Coffee Company brought back wonderful memories of travelling through mid to southern Vietnam.
It was fascinating chatting to very friendly Audrey Cadostin (Director) at Ganache Macaron about their haute couture macaron creations like the vintage wedding dress, and about the new flavour additions to their range – and who are proud to count Maison Blanc as one of their clients. Eye-catching, colourful macarons display immediately caught our eyes and drew us in. Enjoyed the banana and salted caramel macarons. It was lovely meeting you Audrey! We look forward to talk in more detail to you and your team.
We grabbed raspberry & almond tarts to go from Fresh Eric’s Cakes for our tea in the evening! These had a perfect balance of fruit with the frangipane, and went well with our Cafe Direct tea whilst we chilled out on the sofa.
Unfortunately, we got hurriedly funnelled out via Milk & Sugar Lounge by some of the festival staff 15mins before the end of our session, and so did not get a chance to visit all the stands we had planned to.
Also, not impressed that 70% of the exhibitors we visited had not thought of/ did not have coffee and product samples, or had already run out during their morning session (even though it was the third day since the press launch event), which would have made us buy more products to take home.
Anyway, we felt that there was still tomorrow to chat to some more exhibitors and check them off our list – including Alpro UK and Green & Blacks – and how they pair with various coffees.
A coffee that we would love to have tried, but did not get a chance, was the Sitio Nossa Senhora Aparecida coffee from Mococam, Sao Paulo, Brazil (available from Notes Roastery) as it is meant to have peanut butter, sweet milk chocolate, caramel and citrusy lime notes that would complement the Vieux Comte cheese (from French Bubbles, Covent Garden) that I adore. Also, our uncle has a coffee farm in the similar region in Brazil, and it would be great to be able to compare coffee flavour profiles.
Thanks for organising a fun day out Jesse and Arya! We will be back tomorrow to see the finals of the UK Barista Championships!
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Old Truman Brewery
An Allegra Events creation:
With their next event: World of Coffee 2014 in Rimini Fiera , Rimini, Italy on 10th-12th June, 2014
Haute Couture Handmade Premium Macarons
Director: Audrey Cadostin
Tel: 07506 511 58207506 511 582
Facebook: Ganache Macaron
Contact: Francisco Rocha, Operations Manager
E: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +351 91 230 3100+351 91 230 3100
Fresh Eric’s Cake Co Ltd
160 Hamilton Road
London. SE27 9SF.
Tel: 020 8761 7318020 8761 7318
Facebook: Fresh Eric’s Cake Co Ltd
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