I’m always on the hunt for the best coffee shops near me while I’m home in LA or traveling. Starbucks drinks aren’t my thing so I keep an eye out for cafes that have organic, fair-trade beans and unique plant-based creamers. It’s especially exciting when a place serves up Bulletproof or keto coffee with MCT oil (I opt for no butter). Next level is a cafe that offers mushroom coffee!
Coffee is a new passion of mine. I never thought I’d get into brewing the perfect pour-over or espresso (once I found reusable coffee pods). It’s taken me a while to master making delicious lattes at home (check out my recipes if you want my tips). In fact, since I fell in love with coffee I developed a dream of opening up my own cafe with delicious dairy-free cappuccinos, dreamy organic tea, and unique plant-based desserts.
Chatting up cafe baristas, geeking out with other coffee lovers and experimenting with drinks at home has taught me a lot but I still feel like a newbie. That’s one of the many reasons I’m ecstatic to attend the 2nd annual Los Angeles Coffee Festival!!!
Key Festival Facts
This year’s Festival is open to the public Saturday, November 9th through Sunday, November 10th, 2019 and is happening at The Magic Box @ The Reef in Downtown LA (1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007).
As of the time of writing this on November 7th, tickets are still on sale (and going fast). They are available for purchase at la-coffeefestival.com.
Why I’m Excited to Attend
Before I get into all of the fun elements of the festival, here’s one of my favorite parts about it: they’re donating 10% of all profits to Project Waterfall – a charity that brings clean water, sanitation and education to coffee-growing communities across the world. Did you know that 785 million people around the world don’t have access to clean water? The majority of these people are living in the same areas when coffee is grown, so this is an important cause. There will be a number of ways you can support Project Waterfall at the festival, from drinking at hydration stations to taking part in charity challenges!
Ok, now onto the fun stuff.
First, the exhibitor list looks incredible, featuring artisan coffee, gourmet food stalls and beyond. Some booths I’m excited to visit include:
- Able Coffee Roasters
- Arte Wellness
- Bluestone Lane (one of my favorite coffee shops)
- Califia Farms
- Chado Tea
- Chameleon Cold Brew (my go-to for organic cold brew…in fact, I’m drinking some as I type this)
- Crew Bottle
- Department of Brewology (I love their message)
- ES Todo Vegan Street Food
- Farm Fresh To You
- Imperfect Produce
- Lunch On Me
- Minor Figures
- Oatly (one of the best plant-based milk options for coffee)
- Raaka (they make excellent vegan chocolate)
- Rishi Tea & Botanicals
- Upruit Sparkling Coffee
Beyond the many exhibits, the festival will feature live experiences from coffee, food and equipment suppliers. Visitors will enjoy endless free coffee tastings (this is reason enough to go), interactive workshops, demonstrations from world-class baristas, delicious street food, intoxicating coffee cocktails, live music, and art. With over 10,000 plus coffee lovers and foodies, professional baristas, and coffee shop owners expected to attend, this is an unmissable event.
There are a lot of interactive experiences to be had, including:
The Lab program, which features interactive demonstrations, workshops, talks and tastings from industry experts. They’ll be sharing industry trends, tips, and a history of coffee. I’m really learning forward to this.
There’s Latte Art Live, an interactive zone dedicated to the highly popular skill of latte art, which I can’t wait to check out (I really want to master latte design). Los Angeles’ top baristas will even compete to make jaw-dropping latte art. Cool!
The Tasting Lab features masterclasses and interactive workshops where you can try some of the most interesting products out there, from coffee to tea to cocktails (it’s more than just a coffee festival people!). Join me in asking the professionals all of your burning questions, like what to look for in a good coffee or what makes the perfect cocktail.
The Kitchen is doing demos, workshops and talks headed up by culinary legends and up-and-coming restaurateurs who are making a mark on the vibrant Los Angeles cooking scene. The Street Food Market provides the opportunity to dig into delicious food offerings from LA’s top eaterie. Be sure to stop by ES Todo Vegan Street Food’s stand to get some healthy plant-based eats. The Innovation Zone is an area where you can check out the latest greatest in coffee, roasters, chocolate, tea and beyond. Coffee Cocktail Bar has a name that speaks for itself. There’s also live music, a Movie Room (featuring Califia Farms’ upcoming feature for Feeding Tomorrow), and Art Project competition.
As you can see, there’s a latte going on at this festival (I couldn’t help myself with that pun). To reduce some overwhelm, here’s the programming I suggest checking out:
- Dairy-Free Latte Art Workshop with Tricia Lu and Vinn Brooks. Sat and Sun 1.45pm
- Why You Should Value Everything in Your Cup with Sam Sabori and Angela Winnike Sat 11.00am
- Plant Milks: Discover What’s Better for You with Ashley Koff RD and Tess Masters (two women I know, love and trust) Sat 11.30am
- CBD & The New Craze with Naram Khoshaba Sat 2.00pm
- Sensory Experience with Cacao with Patricia Tsai Sun 10.00am
- Women in Coffee with Erika Vonie (moderator), Maya Albert, Devoción, Debbie Wei Mullen, Copper Cow Coffee, Kristi Persinger, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Stephanie Alcala, Freelance Sustainabilty Consultant, Sarah Dooley, Slayer Espresso Sun 10.45am
- The Importance of Sustainability in the Coffee Industry with Stephanie Alcala, Freelance Sustainabilty Consultant Sun 12.30pm
- Living The Dream: Opening Your Own Cafe with Kristi Persinger, Stumptown Coffee Roasters and John Imig, La Colombe Coffee Sun 3.45pm
Hope to see you there!
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