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A festival dedicated to coffee? Count me in!

For the second year in a row, the NDSM in Amsterdam hosts the Amsterdam Coffee Festival (May 15 – 17). While it’s primarily focussed on coffee, there’s a variety of tea, chocolate and concession stands.

Coffee! Coffee everywhere!

There’s plenty of coffee to go around, roasters, brewers, machine manufacturers and so on. Each will offer you a cup of coffee (or espresso in my case) and tell you all about their product.

The Roasting Party Coffee's

Left to right: Colombia Las Birsas, Nicaragua Colibri Azul and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe

I’ve met a few dutch roasters but the one roaster that stood out to me the most was The Roasting Party. I generally tend to stick to espresso’s when sampling coffee and they offered me a shot of their “The Captain”, which was one of the better cups I’ve had that day. While I’m all for purchasing from local roasters, I might just have to make an exception for their coffee.

Ikawa Home Coffee Roaster

The Home Coffee Roaster, a tiny package packing a big punch

I also met the people behind the Home Coffee Roaster, Ikawa. It’s the smallest roaster I’ve ever seen and one thing that’s missing is the smell of fresh roasted coffee. I personally love the smell of fresh roasted coffee, but it’s not for everyone. You can use a smartphone or tablet to load or adjust roasting profiles for different coffees and to observe the progression of the current roast. Their project runs on Kickstarter until the 1st of June 2015, however the project is 140% funded already, backing it at Kickstarter is basically just ordering now. I hope to one day get one to review as well.

Cold Brew and Cold Drip

I like my Cold Brew, I even wrote a post about how to make your own not too long ago. Apparently I’m not alone, I ran into a new bar every 30 feet that sold either Cold Brew or Cold Drip. The only thing I didn’t see was Nitro Cold Brew, a system where the beverage is served through a draft system much like beer in bars. The only liquid coffee I took home were two bottles of Dutch Coffee Cold Drip by Batavia Coffee, one of which is a Yirgacheffe based.

Dutch Coffee Cold Drip, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Colombian Santuario

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe and Colombian Santuario

The PUSH Tamper

The PUSH tamper from Clockwork Espresso

Clear directions are always a big plus!

A few weeks ago the PUSH tamper was publicly put on show at the World Barista Championship 2015 by Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. Ever since it’s been published about on a number of websites. I got to meet Pete from Clockwork Espresso who travelled all the way from the UK to the festival. He showed and demonstrated the PUSH, with which he aims to turn tamping into a repeatable process. So far I’m pretty impressed with it. I can’t wait to get my hands on it to put it through its paces for one of the first ever reviews on Whole Latte Coffee.

Base of the PUSH tamper by Clockwork Espresso

More in a future review!

Tea and Chocolate

As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, there are a few things to see besides hot and cold coffee. There’s also a number of chocolate and tea vendors, each willing to give you a taste of their best brew. Chocolate is something that pairs very nicely with coffee and espresso in particular, which is why I spent a little bit of extra time at Taza Chocolate. I’ll be the first to admit that my knowledge of chocolate making is very limited at best. The people at Taza told us their coffee is ground with cylindrical stones, each about a foot in diameter. Stone ground chocolate is a lot coarser than your regular tablet of chocolate which makes for a very different mouthfeel too. I’d definitely recommend it!

Espresso machines

Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle

The Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle, a sight to behold.

Apart from a few other manufacturers like IberitalSan Remo, Nuova Simonelli and Victoria Arduino, there were two brands of machines that seemed to be used at every stand. One of those manufacturers is Kees van der Westen, which is actually designed and built in the Netherlands. These machines are a beautiful sight wherever you see them and this was no different. Their stand had a few of their machines, most notably their special edition Spirt Triplette named “Caffè Racer”.

Back of the Kees van der Westen Spirit Triplette Caffè Racer

As if a normal KvdW Spirit isn’t gorgeous enough already…

The other manufacturer that seemed to have supplied even more of the stands is La Marzocco, more specifically the Linea 2 or 3 group versions. It isn’t entirely surprising though as it’s one of the biggest manufacturers of commercial grade espresso machines on the planet. Aside from their fairly regular Linea’s, they also brought a few Linea Mini’s along. When the first review was released on Coffee Geek a few weeks ago, I thought it’d be smaller compared to a regular Linea. It is smaller, however it isn’t as small as I thought it would be.

La Marzocco Linea Mini

The not-so-mini Linea Mini

Go, visit the Amsterdam Coffee Festival

That’s my only advice. Either this year (if you read this in time and live nearby) or next year, the Amsterdam Coffee Festival is quite enjoyable and even worth a bit of a trip. For more photo’s visit my Facebook page, and while you’re at it give it a like as well.