Taking place at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the London Coffee Festival is descending upon the capital once more – and we couldn't be more excited about it!
With more than 20,000 people expected to attend and over 10,000 fans on Facebook, it is sure to be a jam-packed and extremely exciting few days full of coffee, cupping profiles, brew, beans, filters and fun.
There is no doubt that coffee is a big deal in this country. Market research specialist Allegra has forecast that the UK market will surpass 20,000 outlets by 2018 and projects a turnover of around £8.7 billion. Coffee in the UK isn't going anywhere any time soon – a fact highlighted by the festival.
Running from April 3rd to 6th, the event – which is the official launch event for UK Coffee Week – will therefore be celebrating the coffee scene in England's capital.
This year, there will be more than 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls to explore, as well as tastings and demonstrations enabling attendees to enhance their knowledge. Interactive workshops will be giving everyone the chance to get stuck in, while street food and (coffee-based, of course!) cocktails will ensure that everyone is suitably fed and watered throughout the festivities.
However, it doesn't stop there. There will be heaps of entertainment laid on, including live music, DJs and art exhibitions, so all those who come along will never be short of something to do or see.
Who will be there?
Whether you are a fully qualified and trained barista, an expert trader or a regular member of the public who simply loves a good espresso, the London Coffee Festival really will have something for everyone who is even slightly crazy about coffee.
It is a family friendly event and children are more than welcome. Although, those under the age of 16 are requested to be accompanied by an adult.
In terms of industry representatives on-site, there will be a huge range, right from big branded chains – such as Costa, Starbucks and Fox's Biscuits – through to independent companies, such as ourselves.
Organisations like the Fairtrade Foundation will also be in attendance, meaning the festival is a great opportunity to learn more about industry standards and how these bodies are working to improve the coffee trade.
Even though the London Coffee Festival – as the name might suggest! – will be celebrating all things coffee, companies like Tea Nation, teapigs and Tea People will also be making an appearance, meaning that you will still have a great time, even if you are more of a tea drinker!
Opening days and times
Two industry days will be held on April 3rd and 4th from 10:00am until 5:00pm. On Friday 4th, the event will be open to the public from 5:00pm until 8:00pm. Following this, there will be the Espresso Martini Launch Party from 8:00pm until 10:00pm.
Over the weekend, the festival will be open for three sessions: brunch (10:00am until 1:00pm), lunch (1:00pm until 4:00pm) and teatime (4:00pm until 7:00pm). However, tickets don't just grant access for three hours. They include all of the food and coffee samples, and the fantastic entertainment, too.
What's more, half of all of the money raised by ticket sales will be going towards Project Waterfall. The scheme is raising money to fund the delivery of safe drinking water to tens of thousands of individuals in coffee-producing countries in Africa.
In the last three years alone, the event has raised a massive £180,000 to go towards this project through just ticket sales and on-site fundraising.
Getting to the festival
The Old Truman Brewery is really easy to get to on public transport, so you shouldn't need to worry about battling your car through the London traffic.
It is a five-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street overground station or a ten-minute stroll from Liverpool Street (Central, Metropolitan, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines and National Rail services) and Aldgate (Circle and Metropolitan lines) stations.
Old Street, served by the Northern line and National Rail services, is a slightly longer 20-minute walk away.
Alternatively, there is information on the website about buses to the area, but suffice to say there are plenty from all over the capital.