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London Coffee Festival 2014

London Coffee Festival 2014Tickets to the London Coffee Festival 2014 were going for £11.50 (the best price with various discount codes was 2 tickets for £20). Probably not a good use of money, I thought, then promptly won a bid on ebay for a pair for £0.99. Score, TG.

The days were split into three three-hour sessions, but the queue to get in meant a later start time (though an improvement on last year’s 45-minute wait). The one we were in stretched all the way to Spitalfields until some marshalls snaked us round a back street:

London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014

Inside the building, it was lively, with blaring music and shouting hipsters. Friends and i thought it too commercialised though – very few coffees for complimentary tasting, most charging £1-2 per cup. The True Artisan Café section brought together several independent cafés, selling coffee at more-or-less usual prices. “Why bother queuing and pushing through crowds for this, when i could just visit these coffeshops at my leisure?” pouted one person:

London Coffee Festival 2014 Kahlua Coffee House, London Coffee Festival 2014
Ozone Coffee Roasters, London Coffee Festival 2014

What is the goal of a coffee festival? To educate the palates of coffee-lovers and convert non-coffee-lovers? To showcase products? Just a trade show? If i had to organise one, the emphasis would be on education; to raise the standard of coffee-making and appreciation amongst the general public and in that way, bringing greater enjoyment of the good (though fallen) creation in which we live.

Union Hand-roasted Coffee had regular roasting demonstrations beside their cafe/shop:

London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014
London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014
London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014

And the cupping challenge (find the odd one out) was fascinating, though we had to purposefully get one of the guys to talk us through the cups after:
London Coffee Festival 2014
The Make Decent Coffee Lounge was fun as usual because we got to compare drinks from the same beans made by different brewing methods, though the more scientifically picky might point out that there would be far too many variables in the mix:

Make Decent Coffee Lounge, London Coffee Festival 2014 Make Decent Coffee Lounge, London Coffee Festival 2014

Interesting sampling at the Ethiopian coffee booth (not the usual Yirg and Sidamo), though sad to have missed Roundsquare Roastery‘s whisky cask coffee:

London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014

Stopped to look at gadgets too of course, and contemplated home-roasting with a Hottop Drum Roaster, grinding with Hausgrind‘s handmade mills, and made my first rather horrid latte-art at the Sage Coffee Machine booth:

London Coffee Festival 2014
Hausgrind, London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014
Sage Machine, London Coffee Festival 2014 London Coffee Festival 2014

Sobering to think though that God isn’t glorified through our mere enjoyment of creation but our acknowledgement of him as Creator and Lord over all:

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. (Romans 1)

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