The London Coffee Festival 2023: A triumphant return offering a truly immersive sensory experience
The London Coffee Festival has made a triumphant return, offering a truly immersive sensory experience. Loud, bustling and teeming with vendors showcasing a vast array of coffees, the festival has come a long way since its inception 11 years ago. Celebrating the UK’s dynamic scene, it now attracts an estimated 30,000 industry professionals to the East London Truman Brewery. There’s an array of latte art masterclasses, plant milk pairing sessions, barista competitions, DJ sets, talks and a coffee-inspired art exhibition: visitors were spoilt for choice.
The friendly atmosphere and shared love for a cup of joe were tangible, as stands presented brews from around the world, complete with tastings and opportunities to converse with industry experts. Personal favourites included the exceptional Indonesian brew, Ngopi, and Danelaw speciality coffee. Sustainability was a prominent theme, with numerous vendors promoting eco-friendly alternatives such as soy, almond and even potato or pea milk. Although some alternatives still require fine-tuning in terms of taste and texture, it is commendable to see the professionals striving to reduce the environmental impact of their products.
In addition to coffee, the festival featured a variety of food vendors, offering everything from chocolates and pastries to cheese and ice cream. For those seeking different options or about to collapse from an overdose of caffeine, there were many alternatives, including tea and hot chocolate, smoothies, sodas, kombucha, chai, lemonade and more. A standout attraction was the latte art stand, where skilled experts demonstrated their exceptional frothing and pouring abilities. Among the participants was the Swiss latte art champion, Dario Peber, who, in a matter of seconds, masterfully crafted a flawless winged horse design using frothed milk – an impressive feat indeed.
Tickets began at £18 for standard admission, a fair price considering the plethora of activities and unlimited tastings on offer. VIP tickets provided access to an exclusive top-floor bar, although it seemed slightly disorganised and ironically ran out of coffee on Saturday afternoon.
The overall ambiance of the festival was lively, convivial and delightfully chaotic, with lattes being served left and right, music on every floor, and something to suit all tastes. The event is a must for enthusiasts of the drink looking to explore new roasteries and formats, or to compare global varieties in search of a new favourite. Attendees can expect to leave feeling over-caffeinated, slightly parched, but undeniably more knowledgeable about the fascinating world of coffee.
Photos: Matthew Pull
The London Coffee Festival is on at the Truman Brewery from 20th until 23rd April 2023. For further information or to book tickets visit here.