It's true! The 2018 London Coffee Festival kicks off in just a few short days, bringing with it the sights, sounds, smells and slurps of the world's premiere consumer coffee event. This is Sprudge Media's astounding fourth consecutive year attending and covering the event, and we're thrilled to be back again for a wild whirligig of a good time in the city that never sleeps…er, the city that sleeps after a nice long lunch.
That would be London, global capital of coffee culture (with heaps of great wine). It's a city that leads the world in cafe cool, and at the center of it all sits the London Coffee Festival. What began in 2011 as a new event is today Europe's leading coffee festival, drawing exhibitors from across the UK and EU and more than 30,000 attendees annually. It is a hot bed of brand exhibitions and product launches—the work we do covering London Coffee Festival each spring informs content all year long on Sprudge.
An important facet of the fest is its work with Project Waterfall, an international water charity focusing on bringing drinkable water to coffee growing communities. 50% of ticket sales at this year's festival will be donated to Project Waterfall. This ethical approach to hosting coffee festivals is inspiring and a big part of why we're proud to continue supporting the London Coffee Festival in 2018.
So what's on at the fest? Heaps, to put it mildly. There is of course the 4th annual running of the Coffee Masters Tournament at London Coffee Festival. This year's tournament promises to be the biggest and best yet, drawing an international cadre of top flight competitors to the stage at LCF. Sprudge Media Network has expanded its coverage of the Masters this season to include live content via the Sprudge Live Twitter and web hubs—you'll be able to follow up to the minute coverage from the event all weekend long, with coverage supported by Cafe Imports, Acaia, Assembly Coffee, Oatly UK, and Faema. Follow Sprudge Live on Twitter and visit our Sprudge Live coverage hub for content all weekend long form London.
The showfloor itself is an enviably deep bench of brand activations, product launches, pop-up bars, and educational opportunities. It's hard to figure out where to start with the highlights, but we'll do our best by diving straight in.
- Gruppo Cimbali are showing up big at this year's festival, sponsoring a series of bar experiences including The Benchmark Bar, The Sensory Bar, and the Coffee Mixologist Sensory Series, featuring 2018 Coffee Mixologist champions Vito Sportelli and Andrea Peconio.
- La Marzocco UK's popular True Artisan Cafe experience is back, featuring an ever-rotating roster of top roasters from across the UK, Europe and beyond. Expect a focus on signature drinks and espresso blends, and stop by throughout the festival—there's always something new on the bar.
- The Tasting Room is set to offer an innovative series of experiences throughout the event, including exhibitions by Union Hand-Roasted, Origin Coffee, and Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood.
- The Roasters Village takes place over two floors this year, bringing together a who's who of UK and European coffee leaders from brands like Koppi, Small Batch Coffee Roasters, Clifton Coffee Roasters, Allpress Espresso, and many more.
- The Lab is boasting perhaps its most robust collection of speakers in festival history. Across a stunning series of talks and panels you learn from the likes of Tim Wendelboe, BBC Good Food writer Miriam Nice, Richard Corney and Jessie May Peters of Raw Material, home coffee roasting expert Geoff Woodley of Ikawa, Coffee Masters champion James Wise, Curators Coffee co-founder Catherine Seay, and many, many more.
- A lively and surprise-filled exhibitors showfloor featuring pop-up cafes, cuppings, hot new gear, and much, much more.
And that's just scratching the surface! There's also epic off-site parties from the likes of Mavam (Thursday), Sprudge Wine (Thursday), a special Barista League x HasBean “Minor Leagues” competition (Thursday), Assembly x Sanremo (Friday), and many more events to come. There's also off-site events aplenty, including HasBean's pop-up brew bar [H]AND on Commercial Street (right near the festival) running April 12th-15th, and an epic OATLY takeover at Boxpark from Monday April 9th thru Sunday April 15th, featuring free oat milk lattes, prize drawings, an epic latte art throwdown on Wednesday the 11th, and complimentary “Big Leb-Oat-Ski” (!) cocktails on Friday and Saturday night.
If you're hosting an off-site party or event during London Coffee Festival and would like it listed on Sprudge, please get in contact.
We'll see you in London at the 2018 London Coffee Festival!
Sprudge Media Network's coverage of the 2018 London Coffee Festival is supported by Cafe Imports, Acaia, Assembly Coffee, Oatly UK, and Faema.
Photos by James Bryant for London Coffee Festival.