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From September 12th–14th, coffee aficionados from across the globe will invade Ireland’s capital city for the premier of the Dublin Coffee Festival at the RDS. The festival promises a wonderland of bean-related brilliance for coffee connoisseurs, and an action-packed program of events, competitions and demonstrations of the most innovative new coffee technology. Sprudge is delighted to be packing its bags for Ireland right this minute, and will be offering you spirited festival coverage throughout the weekend from Dublin. You can follow in our digital footsteps throughout the weekend on Twitter and Instagram, and festival attendees can watch us live from the event, where we’ll be hosting and introducing a series of panels & speakers.

Created by both the Irish Foodservice Suppliers Alliance (IFSA) and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe, this first-time event comes on the heels of the news that Ireland has been chosen to host the prestigious World Barista Championship in Dublin in 2016. Think of this as the first round of preparations for Dublin, in advance of a true global invasion of coffee cognoscenti for the 2016 WBC.

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An all-encompassing show, the Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival promises to nigh-overflow with highlights and attractions. The Roaster’s Village (sponsored by Marco Beverage Systems) will welcome visitors upon arrival; an exciting hub of retailers demonstrating a host of micro-roasters and sharing stories of their particular blends and the extensive range of varieties on offer at the show. Education and inspiration are key themes for the festival organizers as demonstrated by the educational platform at the heart of the festival, The People’s Stage. Presentations from farmers, importers, green bean traders, and enthusiasts will offer the ultimate source for up to the minute information and advice on coffee growing, harvesting and coffee specialties. The People’s Stage is also where you’ll catch Sprudge for much of the weekend, introducing featured speakers and hosting a panel of our own on Saturday, October 13th at 2:30PM. 

And it doesn’t stop there: The Festival Roastery is just as it sounds, a micro-roastery onsite at the event to help educate and delight the public by letting them experience the coffee roasting process firsthand. There’s also the purpose-built Brew School, offering demonstrations across a variety of brewing methods (including cult favorites like the AeroPress and Chemex). If you’re thinking, “this event sounds both educational AND fun, and also likely a bit of a spectacle,” well, we think that’s pretty much spot on.

But wait, there’s more! Some of the most popular events will undoubtedly be the national competitions, as the festival seeks out one lucky barista to represent Ireland internationally at the 2014 World Brewers Cup. Dublin Coffee & Tea will also play host to the Irish Barista Competition Semi-Finals and the Irish Latte Art Competition Semi-Finals. However, it’s not just the pros at work here: the National Home Barista Competition will make the stage available for amateur enthusiasts, designed to replicate the famous World Barista Competition with celebrity chef Domini Kemp at the judging table. If you’d like to take up the challenge, you can download the application form here.

Of course, the absolute best reason for coffee lovers to come along to the festival is to indulge in the abundance of coffee on offer, but an enthusiast’s gotta eat. The Food Village will showcase handpicked artisan food and beverage suppliers whose product compliments the coffee and tea drinking experience. 

Full weekend passes for €15.40 or one day tickets for €10.40 are available here. We look forward to seeing you there! Last but not least, do consider joining us for a surely raucous afterparty and latte art competition on Saturday the 13th at Hatch & Sons, sponsored by La Marzocco UK and featuring the first-ever Dublin set from DJ Sprudge.

Helen Cullen is a freelance writer based in Dublin. This is her first feature for Sprudge. 

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