Brewed Awakenings: New York City Coffee Festival

 Photo Credit II Serena Tuomi

Photo Credit II Serena Tuomi

 

Hundreds of attendees walked into The New York Coffee Festival (TNYCF) this year and were immediately overwhelmed by the aroma of hundreds of freshly-brewed roasts from vendors across the city. Taking their first steps onto the show floor, they were greeted by a maze of booths. Different baristas waited, ready to offer everyone their favorite sample and talk with them about their companies.

The festival is an ode to the beverage many all devote our mornings to-- coffee. Espresso machines, teas, tote bags, coffee drinkers, lattes, art, and more litter the room. The art surrounding coffee draws other creatives in as well. This community, that was once was only coffee drinkers, now includes a diverse array of artists using their various mediums to connect.

To balance caffeine consumption, attendees can also enjoy a variety of street food in addition to the coffee.  Need a rest? Take a break and sip on a coffee-cocktail in the lounge while listening to whatever artist is currently performing on the small stage. In addition, there is a display area for coffee art and a funky piano room.

The festival hosts over 100 vendors and numerous other events which happen on site, including live latte art showdowns, a barista competition, a lab where barista-led workshops and demonstrations are held and a ‘village’ where attendees can discover new products and brands.

After garnering huge success, this is the festival’s fourth year. Since 2015, 100 percent of the profits have been donated to Project Waterfall, a nonprofit that delivers water to coffee-growing regions in need.

“The New York Coffee Festival is New York’s flagship coffee event, celebrating the burgeoning specialty coffee scene in this great city,” said TNYCF’s website. “With exceptional coffee, as well as food, cocktails, live music and art on offer, it’s an unmissable event for coffee lovers of all levels.”

The festival hosts over 100 vendors and numerous other events which happen on site, including live latte art showdowns, a barista competition, a lab where barista-led workshops and demonstrations are held and a ‘village’ where attendees can discover new products and brands.

“Our main product here is our cold brew,” Chris from Chameleon Cold Brew said. “Just a year ago people had no clue what cold brew was, they wondered if it was some sort of beer. Fast-forward to today, everyone everywhere is drinking it.”

 
 

According to MassiveHealth, NYC consumes 6.7 times more coffee than the average city, with 3,389 coffee shops. Predictions are already being made as to the locations of the next 200 coffee shops that will be planted as reported by Medium.

It is not just the coffee community that continues to grow, but also the market for matcha, chai, other teas and beverages as well. TNYCF hosts a large amount of non-coffee vendors. It is evident, these creatives are all drawn in by the tight-knit community that has been formed around coffee.

Amy, the founder and owner of the Brooklyn based chai company, Dona Chai, joined the show this year.

“I was in a food studies program when the idea came to me,” Amy said. “Four and a half years later, and here I am. The need for chai here in New York is really high. Back then, there was almost no one doing chai and I wanted to share my love for it with the city. When I first began, I was getting really positive feedback. It really validated my suspicions.”

The coffee community is more than a community– it’s a family.

The coffee community is more than a community– it’s a family. This was easily communicated by the Bluestone Lane team. Lou and Ana, employees at Bluestone Lane headquarters, happily chatted with visitors all day long about their excitement for the event and their love for coffee. TNYCF created an atmosphere where total strangers could come together over a shared passion.

“My favorite go-to beverage is an oat-milk latte,” said Ana, from Bluestone. “I also love our cappuccinos as well. The cocoa dust is my favorite.”

As stated on TNYCF’s website, “Whether you're a beginner, coffee aficionado, self-confessed coffee geek, or key industry stakeholder, we're curating an immersive programme just for you.”

Interested in attending this festival next year? Check out: www.newyorkcoffeefestival.com.

All photo credit to Serena Tuomi.