Internationally speaking, the Iranian coffee community has fallen on some hard luck. When the Specialty Coffee Associations of America and Europe joined forces under the singular SCA banner, the global group became an IRC 501(c )(6) organized under the laws of California as a mutual benefit corporation. That means the now unified international association is subject to all applicable United States sanctions—including those currently in place against the Islamic Republic of Iran. This has had the unintended result of isolating the burgeoning Iranian specialty coffee community from the rest of the coffee world. We have heard stories about trainers in Iran as well as barista certification attendees losing access (and registration fees) mid-session. And with new sanctions being passed down just with week by the Trump administration, relations between the two countries grows icier.
But locally, the Iranian coffee scene remains as vibrant as ever. For proof, look no further than the second annual Iran International Coffee Festival, taking place in Tehran August 19th through 22nd. After a wildly successful inaugural event last year, the second Iran Coffee Festival is shaping up to be bigger and better in year two.
Taking place at Goftogo Park, this year’s event is certainly keeping with the international moniker. Asli Yaman (Turkey), Davide Cobelli (Italy), Stavros Lamprinidis (Greece), and Ecaterina Szasz and 2016 World Roasting Champion Alexandra Niculae (Romania) will all be in attendance to help judge the many coffee competitions, including cold brew and barista battles.
For more information about the Iran International Coffee Festival, visit their official website. But be forewarned, unless your Farsi is very good, you may have to lean on Google Translate to do most of the heavy lifting, and it is…not great. Get it together, Google Translate. We'd also recommend you follow iCoffee, Iran's premiere Farsi-language coffee publication, for more dispatches from Iran's remarkable coffee scene.
Top image via the Iran Coffee Festival Instagram.