I wasn’t too impressed with the London Coffee festival last year, it was too overcrowded and I found it almost impossible to get a cup of coffee. But Flat Whites being my drug of choice means that I wasn’t going to turn down a press ticket this year, it was time to give the Coffee Festival another shot (pun intended).
When I walked in I thought that it was just going to be a repeat of last year. I was slammed on each side and the line at each stall to get a coffee was about ten deep. Sighing to myself and planning a quick escape route, three things occurred in quick succession which turned my day around…
1. A man in a top hat
A man in a top had beckoned to me from the middle of a coffee scrum. In the normal world you would avoid such strangeness at all costs, but this being London you walk up and say howdy. This hatted man was from Timberyard coffee and he had an amazing deal for me, for a £5 donation to Project Waterfall, I would get a coffee experience to top all others and goodie bag. The coffee totally lived up to the hype, Mr Top Hat handed me a salted caramel affogato – salted caramel ice-cream and biscuit bits topped with a shot of Timberyard coffee. This my friends, just changed my life.
2. Adam from Make Decent Coffee
This dude is cool, and Make Decent Coffee is even cooler. Make Decent Coffee is all about taking the coffee power from the hands of the bearded hipster baristas and giving it back to the people. They simplify the crazy complicated coffee making process and tell you exactly what to put where, for how long and at what temperature. Their website is well worth checking out, they have videos of how to coffee and all the beans you could need.
But back to Adam, he took me through one of the coffee processes that has always alluded me – the chemex (photo at the top). Turns out it is alarmingly simple, and not only that it is almost a meditative process. Now that the glass vase looking thing has been de-mystified I could easily see this as a part of my morning.
3. Almond milk
The total cool cats at New Row Coffee were making almond milk coffee, and by making I mean making. They were blending and draining the almonds right there on the stand which meant it was as fresh as could be. I’ve never had an almond milk coffee before but this was a game changer. Drinking the piccolo make with almond milk I couldn’t taste anything different to normal milk, it was only after the drink that there was a delightful almond taste. Now if only we could get normal cafes to get fresh milk, do you think there is space for a cow in a London cafe?