Last weekend I (Daniëlle) was in the Big Apple for the New York Coffee Festival that I was covering for Perfect Daily Grind (you can read the article about some great coffee conversations I had here)! Unfortunately Lauren couldn’t make it but I think I convinced her that next year she can’t miss it. Or better, maybe DC can host a festival!!
There were over 70 vendors, and there was also a latte art station, a competition corner, a lab for lectures/workshops, a coffee art gallery, and a stage for live music surrounded by couches and small trees.
The folks from Swing’s Coffee and Ceremony Coffee were up there for part of the festival – DC Coffee representing! I was busy tweeting, instagramming (IG Stories), periscoping (my first time!), photographing, and interviewing, but of course did manage to take note of what District of Coffee may be interested in.
One of the coolest things was the Coffee Art section and I was disappointed I didn’t have an opportunity to ask more questions about it. The art was either about coffee or made with coffee and coffee accessories and it was so intriguing! We’ve seen some cool coffee art at The Wydown and La Mano – what are some other places in the District where we can see art based on coffee?
I loved meeting up with the folks from Prana Chai. Hello Autumn! I never considered this but their blended spices that are lightly coated in honey go best with nut and soy milks because the fat content in milk masks some of the flavors of the spices. I’m not sure I can ever enjoy chai concentrate again after having tasted their artisanal developed Masala Chai blend.
Virgin chocolate? We’ve got some great specialty chocolate in DC (Macaw and Undone come to mind) and I loved hearing more about Raaka virgin chocolate from Brooklyn. They don’t roast the beans! I suppose I don’t know anything about the process of chocolate making so perhaps that’s not revolutionary but it sure looked (and tasted) fascinating!
Although the 69th Regiment Armory was a great venue, it was pretty hot and crowded. Luckily it was just a block away from Madison Square Park and I loved my 45 minute reprieve there. People in DC seem enamored by Shake Shack – I got a burger from their original location and the people watching in the park was fantastic! I love New York parks.
Back at the Armory I chatted with the folks at Hatch coffee (I had interviewed them for a Perfect Daily Grind piece a few months ago) and tasted their cold brew – I’ve mentioned on the blog before I am not a fan of cold brew but this was crisp and light. And they have a great story about working with farmers to improve the lives of everyone involved in their process. They’re coming to the States first quarter of next year!
Any of you own a Chemex? If not, lucky you for waiting! They’re now offering personalization through etched glass, the wood grip, the bead around the leather band, and different colored bands. The people working the manual pour overs for Chemex were from the NYU coffee club – have you heard of such a thing? I recently tweeted that I was geeking out about UC Davis and their coffee program hitting the news – Did I miss something about colleges and specialty coffee? Any DC students in a coffee club? I’m seeing a future blog topic here…
It’s hard to write about festivals for people who weren’t there, and here at District of Coffee we’re not into reviews (I will say… a bit contradictory… Lauren and I are excited about putting together a holiday gift list and there were a few other things I saw at the festival that I’m definitely going to want to talk about at some point.. More to come in a few months)! I’ll sign off with some photos of the trip and by planting the seed that it would be amazing for the DC coffee scene to band together for a festival. Have any of you been to a coffee fest or SCAA expo? We’d love to hear about your experiences!