Had the pleasure of attending the Coffee and Tea Festival again this year, and even after having been out till the wee hours the night before, I managed to have a great time. Strolling around, sipping great coffee, how could I not? The Annual Coffee and Tea Festival is a great way to experience the unpredictable spring weather in New York City. It was held at The Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th street in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.
I met up with some old friends like Café La Paz , makers of an amazing Mexican instant coffee called Café de Olla La Paz Chiapas and Cup for Education, a non-profit that has made its, mission assisting the rural communities of Central and Latin America dependent on coffee farming with obtaining the basic tools needed for education like books, furniture, etc., and managed to make some new friends as well.
Yes, the Festival is about Coffee and Tea, but by now you guys know, I’m all about the coffee, so here it is.
Jalima Coffee’s Marcela Zuchovicki did a professional cupping demonstration with audience participation.
The Turkish Cultural Center also did a presentation on Turkish Coffee and cultural mores which included a shadow box demo to illustrate stories about coffee. I thought the Turkish Coffee story was so interesting, that I will be visiting the Turkish Cultural Center here in New York sometime next month so that I can bring you the full experience.
Jada was an interesting product. In fact, I made a beeline for their booth when I arrived. These are little pouches of organic coffee and tea that you place in your mouth (makes me think of the chewing tobacco that the ballplayers used to use, but not so toxic). I tried one (the coffee of course) and surprisingly, it wasn’t bitter and I had the flavor of drinking a cup.
Here’s a bit about the pouches from their website:
“Little did they know, he had discovered that by sucking a roasted coffee bean, he could enjoy the taste and get just enough caffeine "kick" to get through the day. The drawback was the eventual breakdown of the coffee bean and having to spit or ingest the bean shards. He knew there had to be a better alternative, and the idea for the coffee "ja-da pouch" was born. Andrew started with teabags. He cut the teabag paper for pouch material, hand-stitched the edges and filled the pouch with coffee grounds. “
El Pedral Gourmet Coffee, Ancestral Coffee, Green Mountain Coffee, Omoma Coffee they were all in attendance. One of the things I have noticed over the past two years is that if you really pay attention to the coffee you drink, it will speak to you. It can tell a story that will be engaging, intriguing with a plot full of twists and turns that will rival any fiction novel you choose. Start with the soil. Whatever the history, it will be there in your first sip, molding and shaping that flavor, different from one farm to the next. These coffees are just that way, so I’ll be focusing on them individually over the next few weeks to bring you their compelling stories.
Keurig, the single cup coffee maker company was represented with Green Mountain handing out samples using the Keurig Coffee Machine. I tasted some Island Coconut and was immediately transported. This flavor was so good, it has me thinking about getting my very own Keurig machine.
And yes, Starbucks was there handing out drink after drink. Are you surprised?
Please visit the Coffee and Tea Festival website for more about the exhibitors and the festival itself.
Hope to see you next year!