EXCITING NEWS BREWING FOR BIRMINGHAM COFFEE FESTIVAL

Following the success of last year’s Birmingham coffee festival two Midlands businessmen are set to stage a second celebration of “the humble bean.” As a lover of all things coffee (I have around 4 cups of coffee a day), this event is right up my street.

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The three-day festival at the iconic Custard Factory in Digbeth will be the first major public event since the venue’s major revamp under its new ownership.

Last summer more than 3,000 people poured through the doors at a two-day event celebrating the UK’s vibrant coffee culture boom amongst independent traders.

This year the festival is running for three days, including a trade day, and up to double the number of people are expected to enjoy the seductive aromas and tastes
produced by artisan roasters.

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Dudley Internet entrepreneur Joshua Burchell and coffee blender business partner Tom McCormack, have lined up more than 40 exhibitors, demonstration by world-class baristas, musicians and tasting competitions for the city’s Creative Quarter bash in Gibb Street on June 8, 9, 10.

Other attractions to tempt the taste buds will include gourmet street food, coffee, cocktails and trendy alternatives to the usual wide variety of caffeine choices.

Joshua, who runs JMB Global said: “With the building work that’s been done in the Custard Factory courtyard, there’s a huge display area now available to us in what’s a relevant and exciting, historic setting. The festival is all about showcasing the humble bean and to provide a platform for traders to show off their diverse range of coffees, cakes, breads, front of house, coffee machines and alternative beverages.”

Spiced turmeric latte, exotic chocolate drinks and teas along with special treats for vegans will also feature alongside speciality coffee brews from all over the world.

Tom, who runs Cole & Mac Coffee Roasters and last month opened the Blends Coffee House in Stourbridge, said: “From independent coffee houses and specialty
roasters, to companies that are expanding across the UK, we’re all coming together to celebrate the gift that is the coffee bean.

“Coffee traders serving the so-called hipster culture are generally fiercely independent and they’ll all bring something uniquely taste-defining to the festival. Beans will be on sale and other foodstuff, but no one will be allowed to sell coffee drinks, so for the price of a ticket you could load out with caffeine samples all day.

“For 25 to 35 year olds there has been a steady shift from bar culture into the coffee social scene – it’s the new thing to do . . . find the latest coffee house and check it out. Last year we had people turn up from Bristol, Oxford and even Paris and we’re expecting to draw visitors again from well outside the city. My own coffee house experience in Stourbridge is proof that demand is growing and within just a few weeks have had to take on extra staff to meet demand.”

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Sponsors of the Birmingham Coffee Festival include Alpro, La Marzocco and Java Lounge. Other partners are 200 Degrees Coffee, speciality roasters Iron & Fire and
BWT water + more.

Tickets are £6 online – birminghamcoffeefestival.com – and £8 on the door.

All musicians taking part will be busking and money raised will be donated to The Black Country Kitchen, a voluntary organisation that helps provide hot meals for the homeless and needy.

See you there (I’ll be the one cradling numerous lattes throughout the day).

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