Coffee and I have been in a committed relationship for over a decade now. In all seriousness, there isn’t a day that passes where I’m not drinking coffee. I’m at that stage in my addiction where if I don’t have some form of caffeine by 10am I can expect a horrific migraine that will last all day long. Since I’m a coffee addict (I’ve accepted it, so should you) I was incredibly excited to hear that there was a coffee festival coming to Los Angeles and let me tell you it was a fantastic event!
About the LA Coffee Festival
Allegra Events hosts this fantastic festival. The first coffee festival was held seven years ago in London, right when they were making their way onto the coffee scene. Flash forward a few years, and now they have successful coffee festivals not only in London and New York but in Amsterdam, Milan and next year they will host a coffee festival in Cape Town as well.
With so much fantastic specialty coffee in LA, it’s crazy to me that this event was the FIRST EVER in Los Angeles. With each ticket purchased, 10% of the sales are donated to Project Waterfall, which helps bring clean water to coffee growing regions. How cool is that?
What to do at the Los Angeles Coffee Festival
Well, drink coffee of course! You get to enjoy as many complimentary coffee samples as you can handle. There is also live latte art demonstrations, live cooking demos, a movie room, you can attend panel discussions, don’t forget to hit the hydration stations, there is even a music stage, discover innovative products, enjoy a coffee inspired cocktail and enjoy the street food market.
There was so much to experience at this festival, and I wish I could mention everyone in detail, but that would make this post incredibly long. So here are just a few of the highlights for me.
We’ll start with the cortado made with a single origin espresso from Costa Rica that I got from Stereoscope Coffee, who is based in Buena Park, CA. I was lucky enough to get the last drink, and the last bag of this single origin and I couldn’t have been happier, I saw on their Instagram earlier in the morning that they would be on the bar for a few hours, so they were high on my list. The espresso was to die for! A natural processing method is used on this single origin, and you can definitely taste the wine notes in the expertly made cortado! I will be making my way to Buena Park soon to see what else this coffee shop has to offer.
Silk Barista Collection was there with a fabulous Earl Grey tea latte topped with gold! They also partnered with STōK Cold Brew to bring my favorite, a cold foam mocha made with their cold brew. Both were so delicious I forgot to get a picture.
Quantum Energy Bars are not only vegan, soy free, and gluten free but 1 bar is the equivalent of 1 shot of espresso! They have 4 flavors-coconut, caffe mocha, crunchy peanut butter, and dark chocolate. I tried the peanut butter and mocha, both were amazing, but I prefer the caffe mocha a little better.
Flat Brew Coffee Spread is the world’s first coffee spread. They use Arabica coffee, cocoa butter, sugar, and cream to create this delicious spreadable coffee. It comes in three flavors at the moment-Espresso, Caramel Macchiato, and Decaf Espresso. I tried both the Espresso and Caramel Macchiato with the Espresso being my favorite. I can easily see myself spreading it on a croissant or bagel in the morning!
The coffee cocktail bar was pretty notable, I got a Turbo Coffee-which used Grey Goose Original, Mr. Black Cold Press Coffee Liqueur, and a tonic. It was the perfect balance of alcohol and coffee, except for the bartender being a little heavy handed.
Cognoscenti Coffee was another highlight for me. Their incredibly badass and beautiful La Marzocco Leva Espresso Machine caught my eye, and their talented, friendly barista let me come around to check it out and gave me a demo of how this beast works. She also let me sample the Guatemalan espresso she was pulling, I’m not usually a fan of coffees from Guatemala, but this one was fantastic! I just wish I could remember the name of it and the barista, what can I say? Too much coffee and nothing to take notes with, rookie mistake.
Other Fantastic Things
Some other notable vendors were: Bluestone Lane Coffee, Califia, Elmhurst-makes incredible plant-based milk alternatives only using 5 ingredients! Their cashew milk was to-die-for, Milkadamia, Lee’ Poof which is coffee infused cotton candy, and NotNeutral had a coffee mug I almost couldn’t resist.
I only attended one discussion, but it was the right one, Women’s Impact on the Coffee Industry with Kristi Persinger/Erica Shafer from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. It was a great talk, and I learned a lot in that 30 minutes, I wish they had a longer time slot.
So there you have it, my experience with the first ever Los Angeles Coffee Festival. I left highly caffeinated, with lots of swag, and with even more coffee knowledge. This was such a fun experience, and I can’t wait until next year! Did you make it to the coffee festival? Have you been to the one in New York or London? Will you go next year? Let me know in the comments below!