It's true! The 2016 edition of the London Coffee Festival is right around the corner, happening April 7th-10th. Throngs of consumers and some of the world's best coffee brands are set to invade the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London, for a four day celebration of coffee and culture. With such a generous schedule it's hard to know where to start, but with the event in full prep mode, we want to shine a light on some of what we think will be the coolest elements at this year's show. It's our third consecutive year covering LCF—what we consider to be the finest consumer coffee festival in the world—and this year is poised to be the biggest and best event in its history. Let's dive in!
The Coffee Masters tournament debuted at last year's London Coffee Festival, and it's back again for round two, bigger and better than ever. This year's event features a fierce bracket of 16 different competitors from around the world, judged by a star-studded panel of adjudicators, including Anne Lunnell (Koppi Coffee), Andrew Tolley (Taylor St. Baristas), Ralf Rüller (The Barn Berlin), and Raul Rodas (2012 World Barista Champion). The event will be MC'd by Gwilym Davies (2009 World Barista Champion) and our own Sprudge co-founder Jordan Michelman. Coffee at the event will be supplied by Caravan Coffee Roasters, with cupping bowls by Acme & Co., grinders by Mahlkoenig, batch brewers by Bonavita, espresso machines by Faema, water by Brita, and non-dairy beverages by Alpro.
The 2016 United Kingdom Barista Championship and Brewers Cup Championship are also taking place at this year's 2016 London Coffee Festival! Sprudge Media Network is proud to return in our third consecutive year as the official media partner of the UKBC and SCAE UK. Brewers Cup happens Thursday and Friday at LCF, with the Barista Championship to follow on Saturday and Sunday. You can follow our coverage all weekend long on Sprudge Live.
London Coffee Festival's VIP experience, The House of Coffee & Co., has put together a serious offerings roster for this year's event. How serious? Scandinavian Embassy—probably the best coffee restaurant in the world—will decamp to London to create an exclusive pop-up at LCF, presented by founders Rikard Andersson and Nicolas Castagno. Meanwhile Volcano Coffee Works are teaming with the folks at London's rightly lauded Sager & Wilde to create special one-off coffee cocktails using nitro tap technology. The VIP will also host exclusive cuppings from London coffee brands like Assembly and Workshop, and there's even a cocoa bar presented by Hotel Chocolat. The mind boggles.
There's also some serious cultural education opportunities on offer at LCF, happening at the event's interactive demonstration space, The Lab. Presentations happen each day from brands like La Marzocco, Taylor St. Baristas, Bonavita, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, Caffeine Magazine, and more.
London Coffee Festival is also a music festival! This year's Friday night party is headlined by DJ Yoda, and throughout the week there will be live performances at the event by groups like Sonia Stein, Gypsy Hill, and Bloom Twins.
We're barely scratching the cultural surface here, honestly—this event also includes art galleries, brand exhibitions from coffee & beyond, but there's also set to be heaps of tech on display at LCF 2016, from brands like Mavam, Nuova Simonelli, Faema, Sanremo, Minipresso, Mahlk, Alpha Dominche, Loring, and many, many more.
LCF is also a hub for new product launches—one we're watching closely is the new Colonna Coffee Capsule from past UKBC champ Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. It is, evidently, a coffee pod that tastes good. You'd better believe we'll be investigating.
There are literally dozens more things we could be talking about, from food vendors to cafe pop-ups to the annual tradition of Europe's best coffee companies rolling out delicious coffee cocktails across the LCF show floor. The sites, the sounds, the sheer mass of stuff happening at London Coffee Festival is unlike any other event we cover. More—much more—information is available at the London Coffee Festival's official website, and we'll see you there (in the VIP, with a coffee-smoked oyster).