Instead of being made to feel like garbage by instagram models and bloggers, and getting annoyed by girls on their boyfriends shoulders obstructing my view of the music, and swealtering to death and then freezing to death in the dessert, I chose (couldn’t afford the tickets/flights/luxury airbnb) to spend my weekend drinking (drowning myself in) coffee, nibbling (inhaling) on coffee related food items, and sipping (getting drunk) on coffee infused cocktails. You could say I was living my best life.
The festival was held right off of Brick Lane, which if you’ve ever been to London, is the capital of the British hipster. Upon arriving I was given a London Coffee Festival tote bag, which I took three of, because um hello, perfect for groceries (so I don’t have to pay the extra 5p per plastic grocery bag). Sandow Coffee was also giving out free cans of their new cold brew soda, which I was skeptical of because lemon-lime and coffee doesn’t sound like it should work. But it does. Trust. I was also given a copy of the London Coffee Guide which is basically my new bible. It contains every coffee shop worth knowing, and I plan on going to all 236 of them. In fact as I type this, I am sitting in Lumberjack, which was featured in the book and is somewhere I would’ve never found on my own.
After standing in line too long for some really shitty tacos (I needed to eat something because otherwise I would’ve gotten the shakes from too much caffeine and nothing would’ve soaked up the alcohol. I got pretty damn drunk off of one and a half drinks as it is), and then making our way to the bar to get our free espresso martini’s made with Sandow Coffee cold brew, we meandered our way through the festival, tasting every free sample thrown our way and jamming to some really good live music. I was in Heaven.
Here are the highlights from the festival in no particular order
Two words: Coffee Spread. After being given a sample of this delicious food of the gods, I promptly purchased a jar of the camarmel macciato flavor that is not yet in stores. Let me tell you, this spread on toast with peanut butter is heavenly. It will be a miracle if the jar lasts a week. The spread also comes in an original espresso flavor, which is just as nice tbh, but the allure of having something not in stores yet was too good to pass up.
If you signed up for their mailing list and followed them on instagram, you were given a chance to toss some rings on a can of their new cold brew soda in a chance to win some prizes. Of course being the competative American, I had to try my hand at their game. After watching a huge line of people in front of me fail, I easily managed to get my ring on the can and won a can of their spice flavor cold brew soda. Leave it to an American to win. The soda also comes in a citrus and original flavor, but the spice was by far my favorite. And one of the girls their complemented me on my pastel yellow manicure. Flatter me and consider me a customer for life. That’s basically how my husband got me.
I love Grind as it is, but I thought their booth was the best because they were giving out free alcoholic beverages, which is how you win at everything in my humble opinion. Not only was it free alcohol, but it was a free and delicious coffee infused cocktail that I’m going to get absolutely obliterated on the next time I go to Grind. Also, the baristas there were by far the most lively, interactive and hilarious. Plus their tin of house blend coffee is so instagrammably perfect it’s disgusting. Obviously we purchased one. They’ve also recently released a rewards program with exclusive looking black cards and I’m all about that life son.
I didn’t actually get anything from the Bailey’s booth, but it looked heavenly. The were serving coffee and Bailey’s freakshakes, iced coffee and donuts and they all looked so damn good. I am actually a little sad I didn’t go, but my waistline and lactose intolerence is glad I did. You can find their recipe for their freakshake here. Don’t say I never did anything for you.
Common coffee makes picking out coffee really simple. Especially when you’re drunk and can no longer tell the difference from a Brazilian to an Ethiopian. They break it down in to four categories for you; Bright, Complex, Strong, and Sweet. And they taste exactly like what their name says. We tried the Bright and Sweet flavors. The Bright tasted like sunshine in a cup with notes of lemon, peach, and tea, and is the perfect coffee to get your day started on a sunshiney note. Sweet was definitely the most surprising flavor, and I mean that in a good way! If you normally like sugar in your coffee, then this is the blend for you. Without actually having an sugar in it, it actually tasted really sweet! It would be the perfect coffee with a slice of chocolate cake. We purchased the Bright blend and had some this morning. It’s literally the perfect Sunday coffee. Get on it.
America has had cold brew as a pretty mainstream for a few years now (shoutout to Dunkin Donut’s cold brew and Starbuck nitro brew for getting me through many a work shift), but England has been seriously lacking. Besides Sandow, their hasn’t been much to offer. Enter Her, which sells Cold Brew concentrate. As someone who used to live in close proximaty to a Trader Joe’s and regularly buys their concentrate when I go through a period “oh my god I’m so poor I need to stop buying so much coffe at Dunkin'”, I’m well versed in the concentrate coffee arena, but for my British babes, cold brew concentrate needs to be mixed with either 2 parts water or milk to 1 part concentrate. If you try to drink it straight up, you’ll start to hear colors so I don’t reccomend it. Her’s was actually better than Trader Joe’s, no shade to Joe. And they are also releasing a range of cold brew sodas, in an original, orange peel and ginger tonic flavor. I tried the orange peel and it was pretty damn tasty. They aren’t on the market yet, but defintely keep a lookout.