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DR Wakefield at the London Coffee Festival 2016: what to expect

It’s the world’s fastest-growing coffee festival and a staple on our calendar here at DR Wakefield: The London Coffee Festival, which will be taking place this year at the Old Truman Brewery in London’s East End on 7th – 10th April. We’re old hands at LCF, having enjoyed the event since its inception in 2010. This year we’ll be hosting our own exhibits, relishing in the chance to meet fellow coffee aficionados, roasters and traders. Here’s what to expect from the DRW team over the course of the weekend:

Exclusive cupping sessions

Cupping is key to our work here at DR Wakefield and essential to help us understand each green bean variety. We’ll be hosting morning and afternoon cupping sessions on the Thursday and Friday of the festival, sampling and sharing our pick of roasts from across the globe.

On Thursday at 11.30am, we’ll be cupping Gems of Araku from India, Bench Maji WFC from Ethiopia and Nicaraguan Las Nubes, among others. In the afternoon at 2.30pm, we’ll be hosting a special session in collaboration with Rainforest Alliance, where visitors will be able to sample Rainforest Alliance-certified blends including Colombian Café Granja Pacamara, Salvadoran Jasal el Molinito and Guatemalan Monte Rosa.

Cupping continues at 11.30am on Friday morning, when the DRW team will be grading the Brazilian Daterra Sweet Collection, Sumatran FOR, Ethiopian Negele Gurbitu and other coffees. Finally, we’ll be sampling Malawian AB, Costa Rican CL Alto San Juan, Salvadoran Urrutia San Ernesto Honey and Honduran 1-2-1 Lucia – and more – on Friday afternoon at 2.30pm. For adventurous coffee addicts or roasters looking to add colour to their offering, these sessions are a chance to try beans of unusual international interest and learn grading techniques rarely used by those outside the coffee industry.

Take us home

Having joined us for one of the four sessions, we’re hoping visitors will be converted to cupping – which is why we’ll be launching our first cupping starter kit at the Festival. Available to roasters, traders and members of the public, we’ve designed a package containing everything first-time cuppers need to learn the art of coffee tasting. 

The kit includes specialist spoons, bowls, cups, trays and a printed booklet packed with DRW knowledge. We may even include a sample of our own coffees to get visitors started.

Or stay out late

On Thursday evening, after the first day’s shenanigans, we’ll be inviting clients, colleagues and new-found friends to our LCF launch party. Guests should make their way to the end of Brick Lane to the Well and Bucket, where we’ll be enjoying food, beers and informal chat at the 5CC cocktail club. Come and say hello to one of the DRW team for your ticket.

London Coffee Festival 2016 runs from 7th – 10th April at the Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London. Featuring art, music, food and, of course, coffee, it’s the one-stop shop for UK coffee professionals and lovers of the good stuff. This year is set to be the biggest in the festival’s history; to follow the action, visit us on Twitter and Instagram.