If you are a true coffee lover, then being involved in the culture is a must for you. It brings you closer to your beloved drink and can easily help you find new favorites that you will keep going back to. And part of this culture is the amazing festivals.
During them, you can celebrate the existence and deliciousness of coffee. This includes getting to know new coffee brands and blends as well, so you can broaden your knowledge about coffee. Also, they are the best places to meet fellow coffee lovers. So, where can you do all these things?
San Francisco Coffee Festival
The biggest one of these kinds of effects is held in San Francisco. There are over 90 specially curated roasters and exhibitors present and if you live in the USA then you absolutely need to visit!
During this festival, you can do quite a couple of things.
You can try coffee from different roasters and exhibitors, all of which are different. Nothing is the same, roasting, blend and taste. This festival is an absolute goldmine if you want to find your next favorite.
What’s interesting though, is that you can listen to talks. Like actual experts talking about coffee and the culture of it. For example, next time there will be topics like “Coffee with Purpose” and “A Sip of Sustainability”. Both of these bring up topics that are relevant in today’s world and provide something to think about. But of course, you can also find talks where the topic is much lighter and easy to digest.
And the venue also provides you with the ability to eat dishes matching your coffee. There are several restaurants and bakeries that you can choose from and they are all amazing.
The next time this festival is organized will be on the 3rd and 4th of November. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both days. Tickets start at $29.18. A pretty good price for such an event if we might say so.
Ottawa Coffee Fest
For those from Canada, this will be a treasure. This festival has only been held once before, but even then it was a huge success. There were 18 vendors, 34 sponsors and several speakers who helped create this event, which means that it was huge.
The organizers plan on making this an annual festival, so everyone can enjoy it every single year. This is a great idea, as the experience is very unique and everyone should visit at least once. Festivals like this don’t usually offer all of the things listed below…
The main attraction is the coffee, of course. There are several roasters present and you can try a sample of their coffee for the price of one token. We don’t exactly know what that actually costs though, as the festival’s website doesn’t state that. But our best guess is that you receive a couple of tokens by purchasing your ticket and you can buy additional ones at the venue.
Speaking of samples… You can vote for your favorite. Yes, you did read that right, as there is a contest held right at this event. The maker of the most liked coffee will, of course, be awarded, but you can also win. By voting, you will be entered in a draw so you have the chance to win a prize. Once again, the organizers didn’t talk about what the actual prize would be, but we are willing to say that it’s something any coffee lover would like.
Although, many people visit for the food. Yes, it’s a bit unusual to go to a coffee festival to eat, but it is what it is. We don’t blame them though, as the food is amazing there. Ottawa’s best vendors are serving their best dishes and pastries that go great along with coffee.
And of course, there’s the entertainment part… It can actually be divided in two, as there are times when you can listen to music and sip your coffee or learn about your favorite beverage through people who are experts in the field. Both of these activities are great, but we highly suggest the second one, as you will likely learn stuff you haven’t even thought about before. You can even do this one-on-one or listen to a speaker talk about a matter in general.
If you are interested in making better coffee at home or just want to make the process simpler and easier then you can talk to professionals. They will gladly tell you their tips and tricks and the same goes for other coffee lovers present at the event. Which is another huge part of going to a festival like this, of course. Socialization. Although this one mainly encourages the interaction in already existing friend groups and doesn’t really provoke people to go meet others.
Unfortunately, we only know when the next coffee fest will be held. The 21st and 22nd of March, in 2020. The price remains unknown, mainly because this event is pretty far away.
The Milan Coffee Festival
Do you love Italian coffee? Well, here’s your chance to make that love even stronger, as this festival is held right in the heart of this specific European country. If you are planning to take a trip here then make sure to organize it around the time when this event takes place. You surely won’t regret it.
This festival is very flashy and huge, so don’t expect it to be something like a hipster coffee shop. It’s loud and perfectly fits expectations of what an Italian festival would look like. Introverts beware.
But let’s talk about the main thing why you should go there. The coffee. First of all, you get some for free. By buying your ticket you will be granted some free samples. Not just any samples though, because when you buy your ticket you will be questioned. Even about how you like your coffee. And of course, you will receive something according to what you said to make sure that you get something you enjoy. Nobody will be disappointed by these samples.
There is also a specific bar for espressos, so if you like your coffee bitter and strong then you will likely spend all of your time right there. Not only that, but you can also talk to the baristas serving you. These people are the Faema experts and will be able to answer any question you might have about espresso.
But if you prefer pretty coffees then we have just the thing for you. There is a bar where you can watch experts making it or you can even witness a latte art speed challenge. Both of these are pretty fun and can easily make anyone drop their jaw, but this is not all. You can even try it out yourself and there will likely be a barista around to give you some tips on how to do it properly.
And of course, there are talks about coffee. You can learn about everything that has something to do with coffee. Roasting, today’s trends, brewing. Anything you could ever want to know about.
You can also watch contests. Much like the latte art speed challenge, there’s one about roasting and a speed coffee making. All of these are interesting and fun to watch, but you can actually take part in the latter. You can bring friends, colleagues or family to compete along with you in a team.
You can buy tickets on the website, although we don’t know the price as of now. This depends on the answers you pick while registering. But one thing we do know is that you can bring kids under 12 for free, just make sure that anyone under 16 within your group constantly stays with an adult. This is one of the main rules of the festival.
Vienna Coffee Festival
Alright, this one isn’t just about coffee and the culture of it. This festival is about celebrating all of that but keeping the Austrian side of it all in mind. This mainly means that the event wants to promote local roasters, baristas, and the Viennese coffee house culture. But of course, it’s coffee, it’s not completely devoted to the Austrian kind.
If you visit the official website and don’t speak German then you are going to have a hard time, so let us help you out by summarizing all you need to know to attend this event. Although if you are still unsure about certain things then grab a translator, the site doesn’t use complicated language thankfully.
This festival is about reaching new heights of quality. There are small “labs” set up where you can see different techniques being used to improve the coffee. For example, last year, an organization called Brita (they specialize in “smart water”) experimented with the number of minerals in the water that is used to brew the coffee. They were able to show the guests how these small particles are able to change their taste and quality.
We can expect the same this year as well, but as the sponsors will be a little different these tests and experiments will likely change as well. But we will likely be able to learn about roasting techniques and brewing, although we hope to see how we can affect the quality while the plant is still in the growing phase.
This festival focuses on improvement and tech, not actually tasting, so be warned. Although you can buy coffee from local vendors and even bring home their specialty coffee beans. This way you can support the local businesses and even learn to love these “different” tastes and coffee cultures.
There is just one problem. We have no idea when the festival will be held and what the price of tickets is. The website says that the tickets will be available in October. Well, it’s almost the end of it, so our best guess is that they will start selling on the 1st of November.
Helsinki Coffee Festival
Finland is a northern country, so it’s expected that they love a hot cup of coffee every once in a while. Because of this, we can rightfully assume that they are good at the craft. Well, we are certainly not wrong, which is why we want to recommend this festival.
This event focuses on the individual. The goal is to help you become better at brewing your own coffee and making it taste better. But of course, even if you are looking for more… professional matters then we have what you need.
If you are a barista then you will find this festival especially intriguing. There will be talks about retail, serving and HORECA (hotel/restaurant/cafe). This way you can become even more professional and this kind of knowledge can easily boost your business. And of course, there are a lot of talks that are targeted at students wanting to become baristas where they can learn a lot about the first hard phases of roasting and brewing professionally. It can be a lot of help if you aren’t prepared for that yet.
But of course, you can also buy local types of coffee as well. These are sold by vendors who have been attending this event for 6 years now and are all recommended and highly appreciated baristas. You can also get coffee beans, so you can take the Helsinki experience home. (Take cash with you, most vendors can’t accept credit and debit cards.)
The next festival will be held from the 17th to the 19th of April, in 2020. Tickets can be bought before the event starts, this way they cost 12€, or you can buy them at the door for 15€. If you plan on attending as a professional (giving a speech or selling coffee), then you can register beforehand and get in for free. Although, if you miss the registration then you will need to pay a fee of 25€.
Every single coffee lover needs to visit at least one of these festivals. Actually, any coffee festival. They are amazing and should be attended if you want to know about current trends and history. Don’t miss the chance to go to one of these events if you have the opportunity to do so.
Have you ever been to a coffee festival before? How was the experience? Tell us down in the comments below!