About a month ago my dear friend Mena texted me asking if I would be interested in going with her to the New York Coffee Festival. Though I had no idea what this would entail, I immediately said yes. If coffee is involved, you can bet that I will be there.
I love coffee. I adore coffee. I need coffee. Coffee has become an integral part of my daily routine and I will admit that I am definitely dependent on it. There is something so wonderfully comforting about having a cup of coffee. Whether I make it at home or treat myself to a latte out in the city, coffee most certainly brings me immense joy.
Mena and I have very similar feelings about this particular beverage — Miss Mena has been a coffee gal ever since she was probably 8 years old, ordering a light&sweet iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Consequently, this event sounded like a perfect friend date, and it totally was.
The New York Coffee Festival was truly fantastic. We attended on Saturday, October 12th, having purchased tickets for the 12:30 – 3:00 pm time slot. I really appreciated the organization of the event in this way because though it was definitely crowded, we were able to see everything we wanted to see without feeling totally overwhelmed. Three hours was more than enough time to sample all of the coffee we could ever want, and more, as well as take the time to chat with the roasters and other vendors.
One of the first coffees we sampled was one topped with gold leaf dust (pictured above, the gold was actually reflecting off our noses)! It was a little bizarre, drinking gold, but we did feel pretty fancy!
One of my favorites of the day was this little cup of goodness: infused with rosemary oil and topped with fennel. Sounds pretty odd, but it was so tasty! It was earthy but the milk they used added sweetness, and the rosemary oil made it super creamy and smooth. Mena really didn’t like this one which goes to show you how personal coffee really is!
Part of the festival was an exhibit from the Coffee Art Project. Each of the works displayed was either made of coffee or coffee related items or depicted a coffee related scene. There were so many really beautiful and intricate pieces. One of the artists, Betsi Shelffo recreated the classic Friends poster completely out of coffee beans! She aptly named the piece “how YOU brewin?” Also pictured above is “Cafe Life” by Gwen Meyerson. We were told by the folks managing the exhibit that we could vote for our favorite piece, and the artist who’s creation received the most votes would win a cash prize. I cast my vote for Meyerson’s piece – my favorite style of painting, a little impressionistic n’est-ce pas?
Mena let me know later on that “Cafe Life” ended up winning the contest!
One of the best parts of the festival was speaking with the various representatives of the coffee companies. I learned a lot about where the different beans are grown as well as how the many of the companies work to help people living in developing countries. Coffee of Grace sources its beans from Rwanda, therefore helping the farming population create a sustainable future and economic stability. The lovely woman I spoke with at the Coffee of Grace stand was so happy to tell me all about the company. I loved hearing her speak so passionately about how the coffee commodity can make such a difference. Definitely head over to the Coffee of Grace site to learn more!
The New York Coffee festival was in a word: sublime. I would have to say that my absolute favorite brew of the day was from Ministry of Kaapi (this company sources its beans from South India, read their story here)! We left the celebration with lots of beautiful paper collateral, and I also picked up a copy of The New York Coffee Guide! Now I will never be at a loss for which cafe to frequent on a slow Sunday morning!
If you missed the festival this year, be sure to stay tuned to the website for next year’s dates! You will be buzzing – literally – with joy!