Since sometime between the 14th and 15th century people have been cultivating and processing the coffee bean. Power packed and delicious this unassuming seed is used in a multitude of fantastic ways in almost every major culture around the globe. From the coarsely ground French press coffee method to the finely ground and steam brewed espresso, if you are looking for a little extra energy you can count of the coffee bean to get you going.
Last weekend, a few thousand coffee lovers gathered to taste and sample the coffee and tea industry’s current up-and-coming products as well as a few tried and true products. Coffee Fest was held this past weekend at the Washington State Convention Center. The three-day, caffeine-filled event included vendors of all kinds showing their coffee-related products to a very receptive and, obviously, energetic crowd.
The DaVinci Gourmet sponsored “America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition” created quite a buzz throughout the entire weekend as coffee houses, espresso bars and latte artists from all over the West Coast competed for cash prizes and bragging rights. The first place in the “America’s Best Espresso” competition went to Tony’s Coffee Bar while second and third place went to Kuma Coffee, and Olympia Coffee Roasting Company. First place in the “Latee Art World Championship” went to Cabell Tice, second to Nobu Shimoyama, and third place went to Junichi Yamaguchi. The “Best Coffeehouse” prizes went to Slate Coffee Roasters in 1st place, Dog River Coffee and Caffe Ladro Espresso Bar & Bakery, respectively.
Overall a great weekend full of coffee, sweet snacks, new friends, and lots of new information. Coffee Fest is also held this next year in New York on March 7th to the 9th and in St. Louis May 30th to June 1st, I highly recommend attending if you love coffee. Cheers!
If you can’t make it to Coffee Fest consider checking out some of the great coffee related events list through Brown Paper Tickets!
Wednesdays, October 9 to October 30 I Coffee Cupping 101 – Kansas City, Missouri Coffee Cupping has been used to evaluate coffee samples by every expert involved in coffee’s travel from farmer to roaster, but is rarely experienced by the average coffee consumer. This class will explore aroma and flavor profiles using traditional scientific cupping procedures and look for differing or similar characteristics between coffees based on growing region, altitude, washing method, and roasting.
Saturday, October 26 I Columbus Coffee Tour – Columbus, Ohio This tour will visit three of the premier coffee venues in Columbus. It starts with a visit to Cafe Brioso downtown where your tour guide will discuss espresso drinks and the art of the barista. The second stop will be to Stauf’s roastery for a behind the scenes view and to learn about sourcing and roasting coffee. You’ll experience a cupping. The tour’s final stop will be at Luck Bros in Grandview to hear from Andy Luck about how to improve your coffee making at home. As well as plenty of samples of coffee we’ll also be having some snacks along the way. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the art of coffee making and there will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions and some beans to take home.
Saturday, November 9 I Chocolate and Coffee Pairing with Four Barrel Coffee and Dandelion Chocolate – San Francisco, California Gather in the Meso-American Cloud Forest to enjoy a bitter and sweet twist on the typical wine pairing. Taste a host of coffees paired with chocolate. What could be tastier on a fall afternoon? You will learn about how these two wonderful foodstuffs from the forests of Meso and South America are made and their histories. For the tastes you just can’t resist, Dandelion and Four Barrel will have chocolate and coffee on hand to purchase.
Saturdays, October 19 to December 14 I All Dessert Food Tour (October-December) – Columbus, Ohio Join this van-based tour featuring some of the best desserts in Columbus. This tour will start at new specialty bakery Kolache Republic. The van will then head downtown to Sugardaddy’s popular downtown location to sample some of their sumptuous brownies and blondies, learn about artisan coffee at Cafe Brioso and then head north to the Pattycake bakery in Clintonville. Of course no dessert tour of Columbus would be complete without Jeni’s splendid ice cream, so the tour will visit their Clintonville location to try some of their newest seasonal flavors. Finally, the tour will finish with a fabulous dessert cocktail created by mixologist extraordinaire Cris Dehlavi at M Restaurant (there will be a non-alcoholic drink option available for those under 21 or who do not wish to consume alcohol).
Saturdays, October 19 to November 16 I Top Chef Farmers Market Food Tour & Cooking Class – Wilmington, North Carolina Stop wondering how a top chef is inspired by the farmers market. Get in the kitchen and cook alongside a pro. Join culinary tour guide Liz Biro for a coffee tasting and morning treats at Hot Pink Cake Stand or Port City Java. Then, stroll to downtown Wilmington’s abundant Riverfront Farmers Market to see and sample at some of Liz’s favorite vendors. Pickled North Carolina peanuts, authentic Italian pastries, ginger wine made with local grapes. The array is always delicious and interesting. Afterward, it’s off to Aubriana’s for a hands-on cooking lesson featuring ingredients purchased at the market. Aubriana’s is one of Wilmington’s best restaurant and home to top chef Tyson Amick. For the class, Chef Amick demonstrates how to use the local bounty in creative American dishes with European flair, like those served at Aubriana’s. You’ll never consider frozen vegetables again.