It’s that time of year again! We’ve just returned from a busy 4 days at London Coffee Festival and we had a blast! The festival was hosted at the usual spot, in Truman Brewery in Shoreditch (London), and was the busiest we’ve seen the festival in many years! We met with some interesting new roasters, impressive not-for-profit organisations, coffee innovators, new and old machine manufacturers and our absolute favourite people - our lovely RiSE coffee box members!
It was amazing to meet with our members who only had the kindest words to say about RiSE coffee box - this really gave Alice and Ben a boost! Plus the focus and energy to keep growing this incredible coffee club.
We named London Coffee Festival #1 in our list of best coffee events in 2023, keep reading to find out why!
New Coffee Roasters:
It was great to meet with friends old and new at LCF.
We met with and tasted delicious coffee from new roasters including SEND, Concious Coffee, Plot Roasting and Brew Coffee Plus. Many of these roasters we have been speaking to for months, even years in some cases, so it was good to put faces to names and chat about working together in the future!
Some of our new favourite roasters we met at LCF…
SEND stands for Special Education Needs and Disabilities. SEND coffee is an incredible social enterprise that aims to provide barista employment opportunities to those with special needs and disabilities and provide people with the skills and tools ready to join the coffee industry! They are based in North London and we can’t wait to work with them in coming months!
PLOT Roasting is based in Woolwich, South London.
PLOT are determined to bring top tier coffees to as many people as possible, with a focus on single origins sourced from farmers who they know and love. Good relationships make for a better cup of coffee, so they prioritise long-term purchasing partnerships with the producers they buy from, ensuring you get to enjoy their delicious coffees year after year.
Their mantra is: “We like to do things properly; roast, taste, repeat”
We absolutely loved meeting the two founders of Brew coffee plus, Dora and Enea (see below!)
There four key values are:
Origin interlinked with premium quality & consistency
They always source coffees with character that are true representatives of their origin. Predominantly, seasonal single-origins and micro-lots, with high traceability. As a crucial link between producer, barista and end consumer, Brew Coffee Plus understand the importance of being responsible in how they do business. This fits with the RiSE coffee boxes mission to be featuring responsibly sourced coffee.
Education & support
Brew Coffee Plus aims to show people that coffee can be a fantastically rich and rewarding experience. With every cup you drink, you are actively supporting local communities, small farmers growing coffee and in the case of their Organic range, the environment as well.
Brew Coffee Plus connect and meet with like-minded individuals who love their every day coffee. By thinking local, they seek to build meaningful relationships with their customers.
Their mission is consistency, honesty and leading with ethics.
We cannot wait to feature Conscious with Coffee’s Peruvian coffee in 2023. Many roasters talk about traceability, transparency and responsibly sourced coffee - but wha does that really mean?
Culainn and Lea are one of the few UK coffee roasters we have come across that really stand for traceability. So far as to show on their website exactly what the farmers are being paid per kg of coffee.
The price of specialty coffee depends on both its quality and the cost at each stage of the supply chain from seed to cup. Conscious with Coffee are committed to working as close as they can with coffee producers so that they can improve quality and bring clarity to the supply chain. This involves maintaining direct partnerships with producers and community projects, as well as partnerships with other ethical coffee exporters. They are also committed to being completely open about how they source their coffee, including who they buy it from and how much they pay.
Their coffee product pages have broken down the total cost of each coffee into three figures, and share this information where possible:
Farmgate: The price paid to the coffee producer (or the community project in which the producer is a member) for growing, harvesting, and processing their coffees.
Free on board (FOB): The Farmgate price plus the costs of milling of the coffee then packing and shipping it to the UK.
Delivered at Place (DAP): The total cost of the coffee from the farm to our warehouse (in other words: Farmgate + FOB + the costs of importing and transporting the coffee to our warehouse).
We also met some old Friends at London Coffee Festival.
Press coffee & co kept up fuelled throughout the four days! They had a stand inside the roasters village, right by the DJ and were serving up their filter from Ethiopia, Arbegona as well as their espresso Press Blend.
Climpson and sons joined Alice on the Sunday panel to discuss UK changing coffee habits but they also showcased their popular coffee concentrate and Midnight oils on their stand which went down deliciously.
Our Favourite reusable cup brand at London Coffee Festival goes to…
There were a range of reusable cups at London Coffee Festival 2023, including KeepCup, Eco Cup, and Circular and Co but our number one fave was…
TOPL is on a mission to transform on-the-go drinking by creating products that you’ll want to reuse forever. That means creating a drinking experience like no other.
The best taste comes from both flavour and smell so our lids release those all-essential aromas. With patented flow360 technology you can sip with the perfect flow, too.
Built for life, our cups are splash-proof, lockable and made from durable stainless steel with double wall insulation and a tactile resin coating to wrap your hands around.
They also have some innovative ways to integrate the cups into your everyday life when you visit cafes including digital payments and loyalty programmes and so for this TOPL really are trying to change the reusable cup scene.
The family due of Ellie and Stewart (Father and Daughter) are building this incredible brand, one for the future of reusable cups.
Our Favourite oat milk brand at London Coffee Festival goes to…
There were a range of oat milk and alternative milks at London Coffee Festival 2023, including Oatly, Alpro, and Minor Figures, but our number one fave was…
MOMA was started 15 years ago by Tom in a railway arch in Deptford, south east London. MOMA started off as an oat porridge brand and quickly grew. We love MOMA because they are committed to sourcing the best of British ingredients whenever possible, so that the quality is high but the food miles are low - great for the environment!
They work hard to create delicious free-from products so that coeliacs, vegans, flexitarians and people with lactose intolerance can enjoy the great taste and health benefits of oats.
We found MOMA to be the most genuine and passionate brand out there.
most fun moment at London Coffee Festival goes to…
Project Waterfall! This incredible charity aims to bring clean water to coffee growing communities. To highlight some of the difficulties these communities face, they had a challenge to hold a 20KG jerrycan for as long as you can. Women, particularly in African communities have to carry this 20KG can for 8 hours a day!! To highlight how difficult this is, participants (who also donated £3) had to carry this for as long as they could!
Alice - 5 mins (ranked 5th out of the women!)
Ben - 10 minutes 21 seconds (ranked 9th out of the men!)
However, our colleague Mat won the weekend contest with a whopping 22 minutes and 31 seconds!!
The Lab’s events
Our very own Co-Founder, Alice, hosted an interesting panel on last day of the festival Sunday about changing coffee habits and the future of coffee. She was joined by Nicole from Climpson, Andy from Press Coffee & Co, Alex from Fellow and Mark from MOMA. Together they discussed how habits have changed in the last few years, as time at home during COVID helped accelerate at home experimentation.
You can watch the full video below 👇👇👇