I should really be a millionaire by now. There are so many ways this could have come about but I believe the easiest means would be as a coffee pusher. By that I mean I should have received commission, probably from Starbucks since that’s my favorite, for all those non-coffee drinkers I have made caffeine addicts.
Let me assure you those new coffee lovers have never regretted a moment since this wondrous beverage entered their lives. It is not only delicious it is what saves many from murdering someone at work.
I have loved coffee for what seems like an eternity. College I suppose was what made me need it on a regular basis, then graduate school and working full time made me a morning, noon, and night consumer. I am the type of coffee drinker that has espresso in my cup while I am yawning. At this point I honestly don’t know if it helps keep me awake but I just love it. There is something about smelling freshly brewed coffee that makes getting out of bed to go to work a little more manageable.
My love of coffee is one of the first things you learn about when you meet me. I most likely have a thermos of it in my hand whether I am commuting, running errands, or even getting my nails done. I wear it like a perfume. Come the fall holiday season the first thing that excites me isn’t hearing Christmas music but rather seeing that Starbucks has put out their infamous red cups. That’s how I know holiday latte season is upon us. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. I even organize the afternoon trip my coworkers and I will take when they go on sale. Buying one and getting one free is too good of a deal to miss out on. I am kind enough to make sure everyone has a “thunder buddy”.
Since I am a girl who most definitely hearts coffee, and F.Y. I. decaffeinated coffee isn’t a type of coffee, there was an event I just had to attend. The New York Coffee Festival was coming to town!! I signed up immediately.
The only kind of similar event I have ever been to was The New York Times Travel Show (http://bit.ly/2dwLCOE). I figured this festival would be a similar event where a big venue has many stands where you go around sampling goods and learning about the different brands. Of course I was right.
The New York Coffee Festival was hosted in the 69th Regiment Armory. This grand building is a certified national landmark used nowadays for trunk shows, Victoria Secret Runway Shows, and remains the nerve center for the U.S. 69th Infantry Division, which played a crucial role during World War II. There is nothing like having a little history mixed in with my coffee.
This coffee festival started out on a sour note. I had tickets for the ten a.m. to one p.m. slot but when I arrived at eleven a.m. I had to get on the back of a line that went clear around the block. Apparently we all had the same timed entrance tickets, which now seemed pretty pointless. Thankfully the line moved pretty quickly and we were assured once we entered we would not be rushed out. That calmed me down.
You can smell the coffee before you see it. That made getting to the head of the line harder rather than easier. But once we were inside it was like we had stepped into Willy Wonka’s factory but there was coffee instead of candy which was like a dream come true.
The armory is a big space but it was poorly laid out. In some sections there was barely any space to walk from table to table between the hordes of people and the stands. Meanwhile there was a lot of dead space in the center, towards the back. If there was a plan to their layout I never figured it out.
After having a few scolding hot, yet delicious coffees I knew I need to find a cold brew. Between the crowds and drinking nothing but hot beverages I was about to become a puddle. Luckily I found just what I was looking for.
Sunup Green Coffee was one of my absolute favorites out of the entire festival. According to their website:
“Sunup is brewed from organic coffee beans that have never been roasted. Not only is it brighter in color and lighter on your tongue than roasted coffee, but it’s smoother going down and feels great on your stomach. A simple recipe of only two ingredients…made from organic green coffee and cane sugar.”
Sunup is the easiest drink I have treated my stomach to and it was grateful. I got the caffeine I need, with a new drink I actually like, plus there isn’t any acid burning a hole in my esophagus. It is quite literally the perfect drink.
Damn I think I spoke to soon. My other favorite drink was of course from France. There really isn’t anything that country does that doesn’t make me smile. This next drink has me smiling just thinking about it and I haven’t yet figured where I can get my hands on it next.
1883 Maison Routin is a line of syrups that are mixed into seltzer water and their brewed coffee. What you get is an iced beverage that is mildly sweet with a flavor you cant quite put your finger on. I could have walked around with one of those cups in my hand all day. It’s what I miss the most.
Besides the many cups of coffee I tasted, that includes the ones with alcohol at the Baily’s and espresso martini stands, I also watched more brewing demonstrations than I could count. I was impressed by them all but one stole the show.
I have never seen any episodes of Breaking Bad so I was never a fan but I do love Bryan Cranston and now I love his Breaking Bad counterpart Walter White. Well Walter’s Coffee that is. But when you see a guy dressed in a bright yellow hazmat suit “brewing” coffee that looks like dry ice is swirling around it, you are going to walk over to see what the hell he is doing.
I didn’t notice the name of design of the shop until later. The gimmick, idea, and creativity are off the charts here. The coffee was also fantastic and I had a nice little chat with the owner. I hope to visit their shop in Bushwick sometime soon.
Despite coffee being the theme of this festival tea was not left out in the cold. I had a sample of TeaPigs’ liquorice and mint tea. It is unlike any tea I have had. The flavor was subtle but bolder as it went down. It was refreshing and comforting without being overwhelming. I would have bought one of the small boxes they were selling but they were slightly out of my price range that day.
Half way through the festival my stomach was begging for food, despite the low acid in the coffees I was drinking. Not to be outdone by coffee, the festival had a section in the back called “The Village”. The food was for purchase for the most part but it was delicious and had quite an array of items. There was avocado toast, crepes, peanut butter cups with flavors like bacon, and pretzels, like the everything one I had. It filled the spot until my friend and I were done with all things coffee and could move on to lunch at Marta’s (http://bit.ly/2cZ3Bwa).
One of our final stops was at Toddy. This is technology brews cold coffee that you can keep in your refrigerator maintaining the high quality of the beans. But that’s not all.
“The Toddy, a cold brew system that creates a superior-tasting cup of STEAMING HOT coffee. And, with 67% less acid than hot brewed coffee, it's easier on sensitive stomachs….By extracting the bitter acids and oils that other brewing methods leave behind, the Toddy Cold Brew System produces a smooth, low acid concentrate ideal for hot or iced coffee or tea.”
For a brief history and significance it has on our lives, please watch this short video provided to us by the Smithsonian Channel:
I bet you are getting a craving for a piping hot or iced cold cup of coffee right now. I know I am!
Fall must be the season of food festivals. I feel like I am seeing more announcements than ever before. But if I had to choose another to attend this year it would have to be the Beignet Festival taking place in New Orleans this weekend. I am devastated to miss this. I wish one would fall on my birthday; I would be there in a heartbeat. That would be one delicious birthday celebration.
There was a dumpling festival the week after I attended this event but I could not make it due to a previous commitment although I am marking it down to note for next year and the year after that.
Another stand out festival is the Chile Peppers event happening at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. There will be all sorts of goodies to be sampled as well as purchased such as chocolate, hot sauce, candies and even pickles made with you guessed it, Chile peppers. That’s for those of you who are a little bit spicy.
If you go to the Travel Channel link below you will find the upcoming food and wine festivals nearest you. Who doesn’t need a list like that on hand?
No worries if you do not have love for fried desserts or coffee (probably means you’re an alien) there is a festival out there for everyone. A “Festivus for the Rest of Us” if you will!
Last but certainly not least, in a twist of fate New York City hosted another coffee assembly this weekend. The NYC Craft Coffee Festival featured “twenty specially curated roasters and coffee shops with unique beans and flavor profiles with a soundtrack provided by live entertainment at Villain in Williamsburg.” For food Brooklyn Biscuit Company and the Doughnut Plant were their selling their specialties. For a moment I was sad I missed seeing Doughnut Plant but then I got a grip when I remembered their newest location is near my home and I can go there anytime.
As for the NYC Craft Coffee Festival I will hit them up next year as I am now focusing on 2017.
To be continued……………………………………………………………………………..
For More Information:
For Other Foodie Festivals: