A slightly delayed post that I have been meaning to write for a while about the Birmingham Coffee Festival that was held back in June. Last year saw the first coffee festival held in the Custard Factory in Birmingham, and this year it returned to the same venue. It felt like there was more on offer this year with a good range of roasters, food and other products on offer.
But there were also roasters from further afield such as Campbell & Syme. We tried a sample of their Ethiopian washed filter coffee which was lovely, but we particularly enjoyed the ‘Guess the Origin’ espresso challenge. It turns out that the espresso which I would probably class as one of the ‘most interesting’ espressos I’ve ever tasted was from Brazil. I guessed South American but I never would have guessed Brazil. This is a great coffee as an example of some of the excellent specialty coffee that’s coming from Brazil.
If you have read this blog before you will know I have an interest in sustainability in the coffee shop industry and I’ve been following how much this issue is present at coffee festivals, particularly the London Coffee Festival. I was pleased to see the presence of both Keep Cup and Green Man packaging, among others, which highlighted the importance of considering waste produced from the industry.
This year the fabulous Cakesmiths joined the line-up with an impressive selection on offer as usual.
Last year’s Birmingham Coffee Festival was the first coffee festival we had attempted to take a child to. This year with a new addition we attempted the festival with two under two year olds. By going at the beginning of the day things weren’t too busy and there was space to move around with out it feeling too crowded. Something I haven’t seen at a festival yet which was openly children friendly was a free babyccino bar. My smallest research assistant was very happy to have a babyccino and join us at the table with her own drink (alongside a bit of Cakesmiths cake of course).
As with most visits to coffee festivals there’s so much nice coffee on offer that I have to be restrained in what I buy to bring home. We ended up with a bag from Cole & Mac from the stall that had the Babyccino bar, and one from Campell & Syme after we had a sample.
For a much more in-depth review of the venue and what was on offer see the blog post from Brian Williams on Brian’s Coffee spot here. The festival was a perfect opportunity for a wander around Birmingham too, following a trail of dinosaurs which had been created in celebration of the recent ‘Dippy on Tour‘ exhibition at the museum.
There are now lots of great coffee festivals across the country (and world) which showcase what the coffee industry (and related businesses) have to offer. The next ones that we’ll be visiting are first coffee festival in Bristol, The Coffee House Project, and the Fargo Coffee Festival in Coventry – both in September.