Remember coffee festivals? Getting all sweaty and gross in very close proximity to 30,000 of your closest friends, nearly passing out from the dank heat during a coffee celebrity DJ set? I miss them so much. In truth, the coffee festival as we know it won’t be returning any time soon, at least not in America; that’ll require the creation and mass adoption of a COVID-19 vaccine as well as a general higher level of comfort traveling internationally.

But that doesn’t mean that coffee festivals are gone. They’ve just adapted. And that’s where the Global Coffee Festival comes in. Created by Allegra Events—the hosts of the London Coffee Festival, New York Coffee Festival, and some six other coffee festivals around Europe, Africa, and North and South America—the all virtual Global Coffee Festival is 12 straight hours of festival programming brought straight to the comfort of your own home. And it’s entirely free!

As anyone who has ever attended a festival put on by Allegra can attest, the events are a combination of coffee conference, barista competition, educational and industry talks, arts exhibition, music, and food and beverage extravaganza. It’s the sort of festival where you take in a talk on the nitty gritty of water filtration before getting a little tipsy on espresso martinis and hitting the dance floor. The all new Global Coffee Festival will be bringing that same energy, cocktails not included. (Although you can certainly make one at home.)

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Taking place October 30th, the virtual fest will include business-focused talks from industry leaders by Ozone Coffee’s Lizzie Gurr, Square Mile Coffee’s James Hoffmann, and Grind & Co’s David Abrahamovitch. There will be home coffee lessons from three-time UK Cup Tasters champion Freda Yuan, 2017 Coffee Masters champion James Wise, and UK Coffee in Good Spirits and Latte Art champion Will Pitt. There will of course be a coffee competition, the Plant-Based Barista Masters.

And the all-virtual festival is taking the “global” in its name literally, taking attendees on coffee crawls in 12 cities around the world. Amsterdam, Cape Town, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Milan, New York City, Paris, São Paulo, Seoul, Sydney, and Toronto, the GCF has enlisted the help of in-the-know locals in each city to give attendees tours of the best coffee their home has to offer.

The best part is, the Global Coffee Festival is completely free to attend. All you have to do is register, which can be done at the official GCF website.

The final list of talks, activities, and satellite events is still taking shape. A full program schedule will be released on October 1st. For more information, a list of events, or to get your tickets, visit the Global Coffee Festival’s official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

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