April 12-15th saw London’s Old Truman Brewery taken over by thirsty coffee enthusiasts keen to check out the biggest coffee festival in the UK. This year the event was spread over 4 days with several different sessions per day to try to make sure everyone attending is actually able to see everything the event has to offer, and I doubt anyone left disappointed! As always, the event was both extremely popular and very smoothly run, and I’m sure both professionals and home brewers alike have left with a wealth of new ideas (and kit) to try out.
Location and layout
The Old Truman Brewery is in the heart of trendy Shoreditch, surrounded by great restaurants, coffee shops, markets and vintage stores, and it seemed like the perfect location for such an innovation heavy event. The layout can be a bit confusing at first until you get to grips with the maze-like structure of the building, but to be fair you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing something special.
LCF is always a great place to see new trends and innovative coffee products that are new to the market. A big thing that we noticed across many of the coffee roasters was that the samples tended to use non-diary milks as standard (oat milk seemed to be most popular). It makes sense given how popular plant-based diets are becoming in the UK, particularly considering the hyper-hipster area the festival is based in!
One of the most interesting new products we saw was the coffee soda drinks by Sandows, who are most well known for their delicious cold brew coffee. We sampled all of the flavours available and were very pleasantly surprised by how delicate and refreshing they were, definitely well worth trying out.
Cold brew seemed just as popular this time around as it was last year, with both mainstream brands and new start ups on site showing off their new products and giving out samples. You can definitely expect to see more focus on cold coffee drinks this summer than ever before!
It wasn’t just coffee brands exhibiting either, with plenty of snack companies getting involved and handing out samples to help everyone burn some of the excess caffeine energy. We also very much enjoyed the tasty whisky cocktails from Monkey Shoulder, and there were some amazing looking espresso martinis available made with Baileys.
Demos and competition
The live latte art demonstrations were very popular, and the ones we managed to see really did look incredible. Ozone Coffee Roasters were running a Latte Art Karaoke event too which gave amateur baristas a chance to have a go at making some fun drinks alongside the pros.
The Coffee Masters competition was very closely contested, with this year’s winner Agnieska Rojewska making history as the first ever female barista to win the competition in the festival’s history. In another first, her biggest rival Rob Clarijs managed to score a perfect 10 out of 10 for his signature drink, making Agnieska’s victory all the more impressive.
Image credit London Coffee Festival Instagram
The WMF team had a great time at our stand, which this year we built around the theme “Evolution of Perfection”. As well as showcasing our latest machines, we also had our original coffee machine on display from way back in 1948! In the 70 years since, we’ve pushed our machines forward to become some of the most technologically advanced, and yet easy to use coffee machines on the planet. If you weren’t able to make it to the show, you can download a brochure here to see our full range of machines.