The Amsterdam Coffee Festival, 2018.
Editors note: So, this was meant to be uploaded quite awhile ago so I sincerely apologise. I periodically lost access to my photos from the event, and no one likes a blog post without pretty photos so I thought it was best to wait. Hope you enjoy!
If you had told my younger barista self that I was going out to Amsterdam to cover their Coffee Festival I would not have believed myself. Heck, if I’d told myself last year I pretty much wouldn’t have believed it either. That’s why I’m super stoked to say that this year I got to travel to the Amsterdam Coffee Festival and check out the opening day.
I flew out on the Thursday, managed to look around a couple of coffee shops recommended to me by the Best Coffee App, and then was able to dedicate the entirety of the Friday to what has to be the happiest place on earth. Move over DisneyWorld - there’s a new contender in town and they’re called Amsterdam.
No, but seriously, it was absolutely amazing.
I would speak about my adventures in Amsterdam on the Thursday, but I’m pretty sure you’re all more interested in my Friday, which was when I spent time at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival. My blog is going through some changes, so look out for a travel post sometime down the line, but we’ll stick to the coffee stuff for now.
It took me a little while to get used to the fact that everyone spoke English. I don’t even mean just at the coffee festival, but in Amsterdam as a whole - I can’t even begin to explain how well the English language was spoken. They spoke better English than most people in, well, England. Really put us lot to shame if I’m completely honest…! A couple of awkward laps around the coffee festival and I realised everyone could speak perfect English, and that was where I really started to enjoy myself.
(I mean heck, I sat down and watched the baristas doing their thing on stage whilst I got my grips with this and this was sure as heck interesting - I never really sit down for long and watch the championships when in London as the venue is so packed and stuffy, so it was refreshing to really soak it in whilst in Amsterdam. The fact I took more in and they were speaking Dutch really emphasises how frantic the London Festival can be).
Much like it’s London sister, the Amsterdam Coffee Festival was split into two main rooms: the first was where the larger exhibitors were, whereas the second hosted smaller, but a greater variety, of the coffee industry in the Netherlands. If I’m completely honest, both sides had their flaws, but i definitely spoke to more people in the second room. That might have simply been because of the fact that I’d got my footing a bit and knew I could talk English in the rooms without being spat on for not learning the local language.
I didn’t actually spot the second room of the Coffee Festival until I’d done the rounds of the main barn/hall at least several times. Unless I was being completely oblivious, there weren’t actually many signs pointing to the second room, but from how busy the latter room was I don’t think they really needed signage. If at any point I felt most at home in London it was in this section: it almost got a bit too much for my anxiety if I’m completely honest (I’m not too good with small spaces and loads of people knocking into me). I nearly gave up, but then I spotted the gloriousness that was Assembly Coffee.
Okay, I know, I know, I really shouldn’t have visited them, but I’d been so good with the two days travelling in a strange new place on my own it was nice to get a little bit of a warm welcome from a site I was used to back in London. And heck, since I was there I ended up becoming engrossed with Koppi, the roasters next to Assembly’s stand, and chatting to the guy + gal heading the stall for a good half an hour. They got my vote for the best stand in the post-festival survey.
As the trip to the airport loomed ever so nearer, I helped my seeing-double-i-was-that-caffeinated-state by grabbing a huge bowl of street food pasta. I had gnocchi with creamy pesto, and it reminded me of how good Allegro’s festivals are with their food. I mean obviously, people who have that much of a developed palette that they can taste flavour notes of coffee definitely need good tasting food to accompany it.
Quite grudgingly, |I traipsed back to the airport, wishing that I could stay in Amsterdam for the rest of the festival (and what sounded like an amazing launch party). Heck, scrap that - I was wishing that I could stay in Amsterdam for-EVER.
Which leads me to say one thing: thank you for having me, Amsterdam - i’ve not had that much fun in a very long time, and you looked after me so well.
I’ll be seeing you soon, I’m sure.
Until next time, my lovelies. x
(Look below for the Youtube video I took whilst I was at the Amsterdam Coffee Festival, as well as some more super cool photos)