Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Edinburgh Coffee Festival

At the beginning of October as our beautiful city began to chill down for winter, Edinburgh played host to its very own coffee festival. Colour me interested, intrigued and all kinds of excited. Latte loving Edinburg-ers flocked to the atmospheric and hauntingly beautiful Mansfield Traquair to soak up the buzz and satisfy those caffeine cravings.

This stunning venue became a forum for exhibitors, talks and demonstrations accompanied by a little live music allowing excited little beans to jump from stand to stand to learn more about their favourite vendors, grab a bag of java-to-go or perhaps get a taste for something fresh.

I was delighted to instantly spot a few of my own personal favourites such as Artisan Roast, Brew Lab and Machina Espresso and chat with newbies Mr Eion and Obadiah.

There were snacks and sweet treats on offer from Pinnies and Poppyseeds and The Marshmallow Lady to name but a few, and the talented folks at Pickerings Gin even crafted a coffee cocktail for the occasion with a little help from boffin, Mr Eion and a bespoke blend he had created for the event.

Personally I adore coffee, if a little late to the party myself, on admission. Over time I have gathered bits "n" pieces of equipment; deepened my knowledge and truly had my fair share of lattes and flat whites.

I've weighed and extracted. I've dabbled in cold brew and I finally know my Chemex from my Hario. Hurrah! I feel like this was the perfect timing for such an event. Edinburgh has been gasping and this went some way to satisfy my personal cravings.

The Edinburgh scene has been gently brewing in the background. It was good to take a moment to celebrate long standing roasters and encouraging to see budding businessmen and women in the city take a leap of faith to finally open that espresso bar in the hope that it It's got to be worth a shot?

Baristas and shop owners alike shared tips and tricks to improve what they do and collectively rejoice that it is indeed a fantastic time to be part of the coffee industry. We can feel this in Edinburgh, stretching down throughout the UK and extending to most major cities within Europe.

In recent times we were happy fuelling up on cheap instant just to get us through a tough day at the office. Fast forward to the present day: equipment is portable (Hario V60/Aeropress) and good quality coffee can be ordered direct to our doorstep and is always at our fingertips. People of Edinburgh- we have no excuses!

I stopped by to say hello to Eion Henderson who keeps pep in the step of caffeine hungry residents in Stockbridge via his own shop, Mr Eion.

Both Eion and I have a heart for Aberdeen. I studied there and he worked on the cafe scene in the city for the guts of a decade. Like me, he swapped the "Granite City" for "Auld Reekie" and now imports green coffee beans from London to roast on site for his cafe. This also helps him to supply other cafes with quality coffee as part of his retail empire. He is forever in hot pursuit of the perfect cuppa and will tweak technique to get something to suit every taste.

Chatting happens best over a cup of something you love. I further discovered that while Mr Eion is happily roasting coffee and sharing his wealth of expertise around the city, Mrs Eion is multi-tasking as teacher, business parter and personal sidekick by day and blog enthusiast by night.

Eion chatted with customers and invited me to taste his latest cold brew concoction created by infusing the coffee with Nitrus Oxide.

Weird Science, indeed.

I also made sure to say "G'day" to Aussie origin Sam Young, who was proudly showcasing his baby, Obadiah.

Obadiah is new on the Edinburgh bean scene and they were fortunate enough to sneak a last minute slot at the festival to let the city get a flavour for what they are about.

Sam developed his knowledge whilst working in the coffee industry back home in sunny Australia and was advised to check out a roastery in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Since landing this side of the globe he has done just that and forged a beautiful partnership with them. This fine pairing enables the roastery to positively transform disadvantaged and struggling communities in Sofia.

In exciting news, Obadiah have just secured a prime pitch in Edinburgh's historic Grassmarket to set up shop, infusing an iconic area of the city with their take on speciality coffee at its best. This could be exactly the caffeine injection that the area needs!

All in attendance would most likely agree that the event was a roaring success. I fully expect to see similar events bloom within the UK as the caffeine craze firmly takes hold.

Thanks to the organisers for inviting me along for a taste. Scotland has spoken, and she clearly love nothing better than a tasty cup o' joe!

How can I connect with Edinburgh Coffee Festival?
Facebook: Edinburgh Coffee Festival
Twitter: @edinbcoffeefest
Instagram: @edin_coffee_fest


1 comment

  1. I notice the picture regarding pickerings gin. Ive had the please of working at their location at summer hall in Edinburgh and also tasting this cracking gin.


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