Berlin Coffee Festival (31 Aug to 2 Sep) this year was absolutely vibrant and full of great discoveries.
Already in its fourth edition, the festival brings together people from the whole supply chain to share experiences and talk about relevant topics of the industry. Different from many other festivals that are aimed for coffee specialists, it is consumer driven. With a focus on building knowledge, it lowers the barriers of the Specialty Coffee world for the final consumer and creates a community that supports high-quality coffees, produced in sustainable ways.
During the first two days of the festival, there was a vast Satellite Program in cafés and roasteries around the town. People were flocking to the venues, taking part in workshops to enhance their coffee skills and get updated on innovations and new techniques. And the most important thing: everyone could taste stunning coffees from all over the world.
Here at THE BARN, we had a very busy schedule, full of hands-on workshops in our new lab and at our roastery. In our wide range of workshops, people had a better understanding of Umami taste, learned how to grade and analyse green beans, and what are the key concepts to get the best extraction. They also had an introduction to the essentials of roasting coffee and the importance of having appropriate water for brewing. Two groups had training on how to make beautiful latte art. They had a lot of fun while trying to get the best one they could.
For the third year, we were pleased to host the Comandante Cup. The competition challenged people of all levels to grind and brew the most amazing cup of coffee they could. They had in their hands the best manual grinder in the world, the Comandante, and very juicy coffee beans from us. With the same equipment set, creativity played a significant role in the final results. The atmosphere was relaxed and everybody, both the competitors and the public, had lots of fun.
Competing with 18 fellows, the great winner of this year was Peter Duran. He won the great Golden Comandante Grinder. On the second and third places were Jakub Chwieduk and Hafizh Al Fajri, who won a year subscription of the Standart Magazine and an Acaia Lunar Scale.
Sunday was the day for the big get together at Markthalle 9. Side by side, roasteries and coffee shops from different places in Europe featured their best seasonal coffees. Through talks and cuppings, coffee lovers could get closer to the Specialty Coffee World. Professionals also had the chance to exchange ideas and connect to other players in the coffee chain. It was an inspiring moment of bringing the community together and building solid relationships around delicious coffees.
In every edition of the Festival, we invite industry professionals to talk about coffee in open events at our Roastery. This year, we welcomed Mr. Emmanuel Rwakagara Nzungize and Claudia Bellinzoni (Coffee Imports) to bring us a perspective on coffee production in Congo. The country has been suffering the consequences of decades of civil conflict. Mr. Nzungize gave his insights on the chances and risks of growing and exporting coffee in Congo. He stressed the importance of strengthening Congo’s economy as a way of bringing political changes to "a country that is still ruled by the weapon.”
We also hosted an exciting talk about what is Specialty Coffee. Nadine Rasch (Primavera Coffee Importers), Jamie Jongkind (Nordic Approach), and Melanie Böhme (Mel´s Coffee Travels) gave us valuable insights and different perspectives on risks and opportunities within the Specialty Coffee production chain. Talking from different angles, they all agreed that trust and building long-term relationships are fundamental to promote sustainability in our industry.
If Specialty Coffee is about experiencing the best flavours, Berlin is the right place. The city has a vibrant Specialty Coffee scene that brings together people from all over the world. Mingling different cultures help us to evolve and grow faster. Come by for a delicious cup of coffee and let’s keep talking and sharing knowledge and expertise. Hope to see you soon!