WAKE UP! The Dublin Coffee and Tea Festival is kicking off this weekend at the RDS – bringing with it three days of sights, sounds, tastes and the all-important smells of your fave hot drinks.
Here are the key things you need to know.
This ain't their first rodeo...
The Dublin Coffee and Tea Festival takes place in the RDS from tomorrow until Sunday (September 11-13) – but it's not its first time out.
Last year’s festival saw almost 6,000 people
visit the RDS over the three days of the festival, and this year's will aim to replicate that success with a similar
line-up of exhibitors, events, talks and competitions.
Tea and coffee are big businesses in Ireland
Very big. And getting bigger.
To put numbers on it, we consume 3.980 tonnes of coffee a year (2012), with the coffee marketing being worth nearly €72m; we are one of the highest consumers of tea in the world, and the market is growing all the time with new demands for specialty products – these along have a retail value of €109 million.
Last year the visitors were heavily weighted towards coffee drinkers
According to the organisers’ stats, a full 71% of the 6,000 visitors were there for the coffee (or at least were primarily coffee drinkers). And 73% of these have their own coffee machines at home, which gives you a pretty good insight into what we're dealing with here.
The festival will preview the World Barista Championships, which will be coming to Dublin in 2016
Yes indeed, one of the biggest coffee events in the world will be coming to Dublin next year – giving café workers a good reason to start upping their skills, which is pretty great for the rest of us.
The competition sees competitors from 50 countries preparing 15-minute presentations where they prepare four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four original signature drinks.
There'll also be other coffee-related competitions
There’s the Home Barista Competition, a slightly smaller-scale contest for either espresso or filter coffees. And for those who like a bit of visual flair, thirteen competitors will show off their skills in the latté art competition – which will be definitely worth a visit!
There’ll be an on-site micro roaster…
Where you can see the full coffee-making process from the very beginning.
It will smell amazing.
…and a brew school…
Where you can be shown one-on-one by the experts how to make chemex, cafetiere, syphon, aeropress and other made-up-sounding home brewing techniques.
…and an online FAQ that answers any pressing coffee-and-tea-making questions
This week it’s Coffee Angel’s Karl Purdy. Check it out here.
There will be more than 60 exhibitors at the festival
The festival hosts a very impressive exhibition section, with stalls from Ireland’s top coffee roasters, tea blenders, coffee machine makers, trade specialists, info stands about coffee/tea origin countries, media and design partners… and almost all of them will be giving presentations and demonstrations throughout.
There’s also the People’s Stage, featuring talks and presentations all about, well, tea and coffee.
It’s not just coffee and tea, either; there’ll be food
A whole village of artisan food, including fancy chocolates, preserves and other fantastic snacks and edibles.
No coffee headaches here!
Take a break from the smells and sounds of brewing and pouring with the outdoor music stage. There’s some really brilliant acts, like Spies, Paddy Hanna, The Statics. There’s a full timetable on the festival website.
There will be free samples.
Yes, free samples.
And it's pretty cheap
You can buy tickets here, for pretty damn reasonable prices.