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The London Coffee Festival had it all

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From machines to brews and from beans to booze, the London Coffee Festival ticks all the boxes.

The festival was first introduced in 2011 and has happened every year since, quickly becoming the biggest coffee party in Europe. It’s like the MET Gala of the coffee industry.

Like many other events, the LCF was hugely affected by Covid-19 and in 2020 it had to take place online. Although last year’s event was held in person, it was clear a lot of people were cautious and on high alert. However, this year felt almost normal – the coffee was in full flow, the music was playing, competitions were taking place, speakers were sharing, and the entire energy felt like it always should. . . caffeinated!

London Coffee Festival (56056450)
London Coffee Festival (56056450)

The first two days of the festival are usually dedicated to trade. It’s a time for people who work with coffee to come together and share information or learn new things. It’s a great time for new members of the industry to get their product or brand name out there. The last two days are mostly focused on consumers. So it’s brew workshops, speakers, merch sales etc – the festival caters to everyone who has a relationship with coffee.

This year, one of the main things that left a stain in people’s cups was the new La Marzocco Wally.

This is an automated milk steamer that doesn’t require an in-built system for milk storage. This is a game changer because it means you can use it with varying types of milks, catering to the expanding plant-based preferences.

La Marzocco Wally (56056448)
La Marzocco Wally (56056448)

I think it’s important to remember that despite the continual advancements of tech in the industry, it is in no way a threat to the work of a barista. The LCF highlights just that every year.

It’s all good and well having the sleekest machines or the highest quality beans, but you have nothing without the people. It’s the personalities and the characters behind the brews that make the industry what it is.

For example, this year some of the familiar faces we just had to stop by and see was the team from Folk Café. They showcased a drink called ‘Lifes a Peach’, which is made from home-made (I KNOW!!) peach ice cream and topped with our Costa Rica Yellow Honey. It’s an affogato on steroids. However, no matter how delicious it was, or how lovely their Linea Classic was, it would not have been as lovely had it not been for the individuals behind the bar.

Folk Cafe at the festival (56056453)
Folk Cafe at the festival (56056453)

I am sure that next year will bring even more game-changing equipment, stronger espresso martinis and new latte art designs. The festival is the perfect time for everyone to catch up with what the coffee world is doing, and I can’t imagine that next year will be anything short of brilliant.

As always, stay caffeinated folks!

Butterworth & Son coffee roasters and tea smiths are based on Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds

Owner Rob Butterworth’s job takes him around the world visiting coffee farms to source great coffees

Visit www.butterworthandson.co.uk