Arabica aficionados can celebrate the capital's burgeoning coffee culture at the London Coffee Festival later this April - a four-day bean binge bringing a range of coffee-related activities under one roof, as well as a raft of artsy and foodie spin-off events.
The flagship event of UK Coffee Week, the London Coffee Festival runs from Thursday 25th April until Sunday 28th April at the Old Truman Brewery off Brick Lane in east London.
Tea may remain the national drink, but coffee is fast becoming London's favourite hot beverage of choice. In the past few years independent coffee shops have cropped up all over the capital, which has been infused by a strong appreciation for artisanal specialty-grade coffee served by passionate baristas very much outside the branded coffee chain juggernaut that haunts our high streets. The London Coffee Festival is a nod to the growing demand amongst more savvy and discerning consumers for premium quality coffee.
Paying homage to London's love of the coffee bean, the four-day festival boasts eight zones dedicated to the art, science and appreciation of coffee; numerous stalls and stands with artisanal coffee to sample and buy; the latest vintage coffee kits on display; a range of interactive barista demonstrations and competitions; plus a full programme of musical and artistic events - not to mention food markets to help soak up the caffeine. Located in the heart of east London, the Old Truman Brewery is found on the flamboyant Brick Lane and nearby the markets and decent London Restaurants found in and around Spitalfields.
Two industry days on Thursday and Friday (10am-5pm) are followed by one public evening session (5pm-8pm) and the Espresso Martini Launch Party (8pm-10pm) on Friday night before the weekend opens the festival completely to the public with three 3-hour sessions - Brunch (10am-1pm), Lunch (1pm-4pm) and Teatime (4pm-7pm) - taking place on both Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets sold out at last year's festival, which welcomed around 12,000 visitors, so make sure you book in advance. Tickets start at £9.50 with 50% of all sales going towards Project Waterfall - a charity aiming to raise £1m to deliver safe drinking water and sanitation projects for up to 100,000 people, specifically in coffee-producing countries in Africa.The four-day festival underlines the exciting and evolving coffee boom in London and welcomes coffee-lovers of all calibres to be part of the roastery revolution. For more information please take a look at the comprehensive preview and guide to the London Coffee Festival produced by the website LondonTown.com at http://www.londontown.com/London/London-Coffee-Festival.