2018 Ultimate Coffee Festival Guide

It’s coffee festival time! Yes, that’s right. While Baristas around the world are preparing to compete in the various competition – Latte Art, Brewers Cup, Barista Championship – Roasters are busy getting the best out of their beans in order to ensure that perfect cup is served.

Coffee Festivals give coffee drinkers and freaks the chance to experience the best of the best, getting some deep insights into the industry and the fascinating world that is coffee. Through the various festivals, you will be taken to a new coffee level. You will hear the world specialty coffee being thrown around and will be in the right place to find out exactly what that means. OK, it is quite complex, but you have to start somewhere. And once you start, I’m afraid like many, your love and respect for coffee will increase.

It’s all about the journey from bean to cup and giving your senses a coffee ride like they have never had before. It is your chance to taste locally roasted coffee, with beans coming from the highest quality coffee farms from around the world. By witnessing various Baristas in action, you will come to understand that passion, persistence and search for that ultimate cup and coffee experience is an unstoppable force.

March 2018

Coffee Friday + Finals Swiss SCA Latte Art, Brewers Cup and Barista Championships
Location: Zurich, Switzerland
When: 9 March, 2018.
Kaufleuten, Zurich
Entrance Fee: Free
Link: https://www.coffeefriday.ch
Tips: As this takes place in my home city, I will be there. If you have never participated in a Cupping session, or Cup Tasting, then the Cupping with Interamerican at 11:30 is for you. From 12:00 onwards, you will also be able to try the coffees that are being served during the competitions. There is also usually live Roasting where you will learn all about the roasting process. Highlight for me is definitely the Barista Championship final. These guys and girls have been training for months and their performances are always worth watching. If you plan to attend, don’t forget to say hello!

The Amsterdam Coffee Festival
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When: 9-11 March, 2018.
Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
Link: https://www.amsterdamcoffeefestival.com
Tips: I visited this festival for the first time in 2017 and loved it! A beautiful, unique location. Similar to the London festival, there is a lot to see, do and coffee to try. I highly recommend visiting the website and checking what’s on and also getting your tickets early. I enjoyed the Coffee and Food Pairing and The Lab, which also has sessions in English. The Street Food Market also had amazing food to try, which you will need to keep you going. One of the fun and tasty parts of the festival are the Coffee Mixologists. Loved the creativity and taste of the coffee cocktails. Yum!

Melbourne International Coffee Expo
Location: Melbourne, Australia
When: 22-24 March, 2018.
Melbourne Showgrounds
Link: http://internationalcoffeeexpo.com
Tips: This is the biggest coffee event in Asia-Pacific. Check on the program for more details.

April 2018

The London Coffee Festival
Location: London, UK
When: 12-15 April, 2018.
The Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane
Link: https://www.londoncoffeefestival.com
Tips: I have had the pleasure of experiencing this fabulous festival in 2016 and 2017. The best advice I can give you is to visit the website and pick what you would like to see. There is so much! And this years program looks amazing. I would recommend getting some knowledge sessions in by visiting The Lab. Try some of the best coffee in the world from the UKs best Baristas at The True Artisian Cafe. Make sure you drink some water in between your coffees to stay hydrated too. Make sure you get your tickets in advance as there are usually long queues outside and it can get rather crowded, which means its warm. No jumpers required. Prepare yourself for the ultimate coffee festival experience. It’s huge!

May 2018

Glasgow Coffee Festival
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
When: 19-20 May, 2018.
Link: http://www.glasgowcoffeefestival.com
Tips: This year, the Glasgow festival will host the UK Brewers Cup. The program looks great and tickets are already available online. Unfortunately, I won’t make it to the festival this year but I am sure my coffee friends Brian from Brians Coffee Spot and Scott from Caffeine Magazine will be there.

June 2018

2018 World Barista Championship and World of Coffee, Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When: 20-22 June, 2018.
RAI Amsterdam
Link: https://www.worldofcoffee.org
Tips: The main event, the World Barista Championship, will this year be held in Amsterdam. If you are a coffee freak and want to get a behind the scenes experience, register as a Volunteer. I volunteered at the 2016 World Barista Championship in Dublin and highly recommend it.

August 2018

Berlin Coffee Festival
Location: Berlin, Germany
When: 31 August – 3 September, 2018.
Markethalle Neun
Link: https://berlincoffeefestival.de
Tips: This festival is on my list of festivals to visit in 2018.

October 2018

The New York Coffee Festival
Location: New York, USA
When: 12 – 14 October, 2018.
Metropolitan Pavilion
Link: https://www.newyorkcoffeefestival.com
Tips: This festival is on my list of festivals to visit in 2018.

November 2018

Cup North
Location: Manchester, UK
When: 3-4 November, 2018.
Victoria Warehouse
Link: https://www.cupnorth.co.uk
Tips: I visited Cup North in 2016 and was pleasantly surprised. It is a more intimate version of the London Coffee Festival. You really get a chance to get up close and personal with the Baristas and roasters and will not have the massive crowd that you will get in London. A relaxed festival to visit and Manchester has some great cafés to visit as well.

The Milan Coffee Festival
Location: Milan, Italy
When: 30 November – 3 December, 2018.
Spazio Pilota, Milan
Link: https://www.milancoffeefestival.com
Tips: What a way to end the coffee festival year! This one is definately on my list for 2018.