If you have been reading my blog then you knew I would be attending London Coffee Festival 2018 at The Old Truman Brewery. Having worked there last year, it was great to attend as a punter and check out all the areas I didn’t have a chance to last year as well as reconnect with the people I had met in 2017.
The main difference between working there and going as a guest? Having a shot of coffee liqueur was a perfectly acceptable thing to do upon entering the building. I went for the lunchtime session (13:00-16:00), but we did arrive half an hour early and leave half an hour late, there was just so much to do!
Now I am definitely a fan of swapping normal milk out for tasty alternatives and I definitely used the festival as a way to sample lots of different alternative brands without having to buy them in the supermarket. The semi-skimmed and skimmed Rebel Mylk were both delicious and the normal mylk in a coffee was also coconut-ty and lovely. We also got a free bottle to take home with us which I was very happy about. I also tried Minor Figures oat milk for the first time and was really impressed by how light and tasty it was as an alternative. Finally, Bonsoy soya milk was also delicious and didn’t leave the same aftertaste you normally get from soya. It was also great to bump into the guys at Almond Breeze who have been demonstrating for a white how great latte art can be using their barista blend, defeating the belief that you can’t create great latte art without normal milk.
Obviously, I drank a LOT of coffee at this festival. I always try and find places I’ve never been to before and am always on the lookout for new coffee spots in London, but a lot of the festival is about showcasing the different elements involved in coffee making (the beans, the machines, the milk). I still love Ozone coffee beans, who were back again with Latte Art Live. I also tried Five Elephant, who are unfortunately based in Berlin, but good to know about if you are ever on holiday there.
We did come across 640 East who are based in Canary Wharf and their USP is that they are 640 square ft of 2 converted shipping containers. Part cafe, part bar, with a great location for sitting outside in the summer, I will definitely try check them out once the summer weather arrives.
As I mentioned in my first post about London Coffee Festival, I booked into the Masterclass with Mr Black:
The Tasting Room – Choose your own Adventure – Home Coffee Cocktail Masterclass
Throw the dice or spin the wheel and land on a coffee cocktail. Mr Black’s mixology experts Alix Nardella and Simon Toohey will show you how to create a delicious coffee cocktail at home!
I had never tried Mr Black before, but it is such a tasty Australian coffee liqueur, far less sweet then a lot of the normal ones and genuinely tasty on its own. It’s definitely the kind of thing I would go for instead of a normal coffee after dinner.
The Masterclass taught you how to make 4 different cocktails using their liqueur, these were an Americano, a Negroni, an Espresso Martini and a White Russian. These were designed to be relatively simple cocktails that you could throw together in the evening if you had a group of friends round, they all work really well as after dinner drinks.
An Americano using the coffee liqueur, is 1 part Campari, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part Mr Black and 1 part soda. Simply add the first 3 ingredients to ice, pour into a glass and top with soda water. This is an easy one to pre-batch and add the soda to at the end.
A coffee Negroni is gin (20ml), Campari (20ml), Sweet Vermouth (15ml), Mr Black (10ml) all mixed over ice. I definitely found this better than a normal Negroni and actually quite enjoyed it, it’s also another one you can easily pre-batch and put in the fridge to then get out when you need it.
An Espresso Martini, such a classic coffee cocktail. We actually made this with 2 parts Mr Black and 1 part espresso, but this works with equal parts vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso traditionally. The base of Mr Black is vodka which is why it can be made simpler.
Finally a White Russian, which was simply a shot of Mr Black, topped up with oat milk. Oak milk is a delicious milk to use for this cocktail as it doesn’t hide the flavour like normal milk does, it is also far less creamy.
The gin we used was Napue, which is actually one of my favourite gins and I was so surprised to see it at this event as it’s not your traditional gin at all. If you haven’t tried it before I would definitely recommend it – turns out we have both met the same brand ambassador!
Such a good workshop and I’m totally sold on Mr Black, will definitely be adding a bottle to my collection very soon and this was such a cheap and fun workshop to break up the festival, highly recommend!
Cold pressed juices
Last year I tried so many of the Moju free samples and have loved seeing it appear in one of my favourite coffee stops – Black Sheep Coffee (Great Portland Street branch). I went back to try their new chilli shot and it was incredible, though I did have to wash it down with their orange cold press (because I could).
This year I also went to House Press which I hadn’t heard of before, they had a selection of delicious cold pressed juices defined by their colour or what they were useful for. I had the RED Recover & Cleanse which is beetroot, carrot, orange, apple, lemon, ginger and pineapple.
These are also not currently available in supermarkets, but look out for them in your favourite coffee shops as I suspect they will be popping up over the next year.
Let’s talk about peanut butter
Finally, I had to give these guys their own section because they are just too delicious. Jackpot motherfucking peanut butter is so unbelievably delicious. I’m not the kind of person who can eat peanut butter straight from the jar, but I could definitely eat this one! I tried this last year and completely forgot about it until I saw them again, as they aren’t in your normal supermarkets, and now I’ve actually ordered a jar online because I really need it in my life (oops). Totally recommend if you ever see them, they have a list of places they supply to on their website so keep your eyes peeled because they’re so worth it.
If you got a chance to go to the festival let me know what your favourite part was!