New York City is known far and wide as the city that never sleeps, and for good reason. No matter the time of day you’re guaranteed to see some version of the city’s bustle. Be it the 6pm’s midtown traffic or the quieter ambiance of a mostly-empty-but-not-quite subway car at 3am. Becoming the city that’s always up and always going doesn’t come easily- or without a considerable amount of coffee to make it so. While not as caffeinated as cities like Seattle or San Francisco, New York still has a thirsty love of coffee.
The New York City Coffee Festival is a jubilant celebration of that love. A gathering of nearly 100 different vendors, mostly from the coffee industry, the NYC Coffee Festival is a vibrant demonstration of New Yorkers’ distinct love for all things coffee. The New York Coffee Festival is happening this weekend, from Friday 10/13 to Sunday 10/15 at the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th street in Manhattan.
About the NYC Coffee Festival
Created by the same people who established the Craft Coffee Festival, which highlights the growing independent coffee roaster scene in New York, The New York City Coffee Festival is a larger and more encompassing event for roasters across the city as well as experienced industry professionals and other sponsors. Now in its third year, the festival is expected to draw a crowd of roughly 12,000 coffee lovers, baristas, shop owners, and others for a weekend of boundless coffee sampling, educational workshopping, and industry networking.
According to the website, The New York Coffee Festival is also the kickoff event of the charitable Coffee Week NYC, which aims to promote the spirit of coffee while also raising funds for clean water and sanitation projects in coffee-producing communities all over the world.
What to Do
First and foremost, drink all the coffee you can muster. Unlimited coffee tastings from some of the finest local coffee shops and more are nothing to sneeze at. Beyond just coffee drinking, though, the festival offers food, live music, educational workshops from experienced industry professionals, and live latte art.
As the festival will draw over 85 coffee, food, and equipment suppliers it is a great networking opportunity for anyone in the industry or thinking about joining it as well as regular coffee lovers. You can connect with local roasters and artisanal coffeemakers from here in NYC while sampling unlimited coffee and take in lessons from experienced members of the industry.
Notable participants in the festival this year include; Gotham Coffee Roasters, a Brooklyn-based coffee company with an espresso bar in Chelsea, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, the Portland-based dynamo of the coffee industry in America, and Coffee of Grace, the coffee company established by Robert De Niro’s wife Grace Hightower De Niro in cooperation with Rwandan coffee farmers.
In addition to the vendors and samplings, there will be a demonstration of Coffee Masters, a competition between 16 baristas to demonstrate their unique coffeemaking skills. Through 7 challenges the baristas have to prove their skills, timing, and presentation. Challenges include “Signature Drinks” and “Latte Art”.
Coffee for Charity
The entirety of the proceeds from the weekend’s Coffee Festival will be donated to Project Waterfall, an organization that aims to deliver safe drinking water and sanitation projects for up to 100,000 people, specifically in coffee-producing countries in Africa. In addition to Project Waterfall, the festival supports Charity: Water, another nonprofit organization that seeks to bring water and sustainable water delivery systems to communities all over the world.
Last year, the New York Coffee Festival raised more than $75,000 for Project Waterfall through ticket sales and on-site fundraising. With the projected attendance of the festival this year, that number could potentially climb to $85 or $90 thousand.
Tickets – Price and Perks
To attend the New York Coffee Festival you must buy a ticket, costing anywhere from $25 for a Standard, single-day pass all the way to a $75 VIP Multiple All Day Pass.
The standard ticket will get you entry to the festival for a three-hour session as well as unlimited free coffee, educational workshops, and live music.
The VIP ticket (single or multiple days) will get you all-day entry, unlimited free coffee, educational workshops, and live music as well as a New York Coffee Festival tote bag, espresso martini cocktail, priority access and a copy of The New York Coffee Guide 2018.