When we first arrived at the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, we were expecting a buzz (and to get buzzed). Yet we weren’t prepared for the seemingly endless maze of coffee brewers and stalls. It’s clear that the coffee industry has simply exploded – and it’s not just down to Costa or independent coffee-loving hipsters. London Coffee Festival saw a huge range of coffee brewers, sellers and distributors – from the fresh and independent, to the big corporate companies (although Starbucks were doing their best to remain inconspicuous behind a different branding style). There was also cake, boozy coffee cocktails, weird sensual taste experiments, ice-cream… Who knew coffee was more than just a life-saving hot beverage?!
1. Coffee is truly an art
The dominating rise of social media has seriously changed the way we perceive coffee. The process of creating the drink has now become an art (those of you who like to Instagram their lattes, can understand why). The LCF ran some pretty spectacular live latte art sessions, which certainly opened our eyes to what is ‘likeable’ coffee.
2. Baileys and coffee = the naughtiest combination
Baileys were ultimate crowdpleasers at LCF. Not only did they provide delectable Baileys-infused macaroons, fresh whipped cream (with a kick) and croissants, but their cocktails were just far too tempting for an early Friday afternoon. They were mixing up a selection of coffee cocktails, including some heart-attack inducing collaborations. You remember the stir Freakshakes caused when they came to London? Well Baileys teamed up with Molly Bakes to create their very own adult version. We also adored the warming cup of cinnamon heaven, Baileys Grind Time, which was created in collaboration with Grind. By 12pm, it’s safe to say we were pretty content…
3. You can do some weird things with flavours…
For those at you that enjoy a caramel flavoured latte, you’ll be well aware of the sugar and syrup creators, Tate and Lyle. The guys at their stall lured us in and before we knew it we were inhaling caramel coffee flavoured steam, while listening to music and, when we did come up for air, they’d give us a piece of fudge to shove in our mouths. The purpose? Apparently our tastebuds react to a combination of sound and scent… but we didn’t really know what was going on. (We weren’t going to pass up the chance of fudge, though.)
4. Coffee, apparently, is the perfect excuse to stuff your face with food/cake/biscuits.
— Biscoff (@lotusbiscoff) 23 February 2016
It wasn’t just coffee at LCF, oh no. There were also vendors serving up ice cream, chocolate, pastries and cakes. They guys at Propercorn (an office essential) were even there dishing up their kernels of heaven. But one thing that can’t be left unspoken was the Biscoff. You know those little Lotus biscuits you tend to get given with a coffee (in a cafe, not at home)?Well, it turns out it’s even more delicious as a spread. It’s recommended to dip your Lotus biscuit in your Biscoff. Now that’s a kind of food inception we enjoy.
5. Honey water is the next big thing
— Just Bee Drinks (@JustBeeDrinks) 9 April 2016
Move aside coconut water, because there’s a new Queen Bee in town. The Just Bee team were at LCF and brought us a range of their delicious and refreshing (and low in calorie) flavoured water. We just had to try all three, which were Blueberry, Apple and Ginger and Lemon and Green Tea. A caffeine-free buzz.
6. And then there was tea.
A photo posted by T2 Tea (@t2tea) on
Caffeine, as we know, comes in many forms and LCF wasn’t only catering to the coffee lovers. There was plenty for the tea fans too. We absolutely adore the tea at T2. Our favourite flavours include the unusual Melbourne Breakfast and the extremely aromatic Earl Grey. Their teaware is also beautiful. Made of fine bone china, its a treat to the eye as well as to the tastebuds. You can browse this season’s collection on their website.