It really was a great day from start to finish - the weather was superb and it seemed a shame to be spending it indoors, up until we got inside when we were enveloped by the heavenly smell of roasting and freshly brewed coffee. It was a very well attended show, (expecting 22,000 visitors) with an eclectic group of visitors (he's referring to beards...H).
While Helen sat herself down for a Social Media seminar from We Are Spectacular
( it was brilliant, thanks Mark!–H) I went off for a meander and bumped into a fellow coffee roaster and supplier, Jim Lee of Lee and Fletcher
. We went to see what times the world’s biggest cupping was being held, at
D R Wakefields, a global green coffee importer, and two o’clock meant we could join it after lunch. We listened in on ‘An Overview of the Australian Market’, and wandered off to find a cup of coffee.
Jim and I made our way through some of the smaller aisles and found a wonderful company who imported micro-lots from her home country of Guatemala; we were both very excited by the idea of a yellow cherry micro-lot from Huehuetenango, and who wouldn’t be.
We played around on an exhibition that was selling a brilliant device called an AeroPress, invented in 2005, which uses air pressure to improve extraction of flavour. We tried two differently prepared cups, prepared in front of us using the same water, identical Ethiopian beans, same grind and roast but one made with the AeroPress and one made with the popular mini Pour-Through method. Astonishingly the AeroPress was vastly superior in its flavour and surprisingly in its depth of body. Watch World Champion Barista Gwilym Davies showcase it here.
I was feeling ‘lunchy ‘ by then so phoned Helen to find out where she was. “It sounds like you’re speaking with your mouth full!” I said. Turns out she’d found the chocolate hall and was making short work of the samples…
It wasn’t my idea of lunch so we dragged her out of there and made our way to the Curry Mile for a cracking lunch courtesy of Bengal Village