Culture: Rob Butterworth talks about a showcase of speciality coffee
We spent last weekend at the London Coffee Festival. This is the largest speciality coffee event in this country and showcases the newest developments in the industry and high quality products, from beans to machines and everything in between. For us, coming from Suffolk, it was a chance to see the wider scene and bring home some fresh ideas.
This was our seventh year in attendance and we had another great experience. It was a pleasure to meet and chat to so many people who love coffee like we do. For the industry, this is chance to swap ideas and get excited about the future; for the public, it’s an opportunity to taste coffee from dozens of roasters and indulge a passion for speciality coffee.
We chose to feature two coffees this year: a Peruvian washed coffee from farmer Raul Mamani, who we met on an origin trip to Peru last year. The other from Claudio Pintero, a Brazilian farmer who, unusually for the region, uses totally organic farming methods. We were fortunate to be featured in the La Marzocco Roasters Village with a group of roasters from around the country (and as far afield as Berlin). La Marzocco are innovative and established machine makers from Florence, Italy. Like us, they have a long history, having been founded in 1927, leading the industry for almost a century.
It was great to have the whole coffee process, from farmer to barista and every other step (including roasters like us), represented in one event and gave us an opportunity to see what’s new in our industry. We were excited to see so many environmentally friendly alternatives in terms of packaging and reusables as this is something we’re always trying to improve as a business.
One of the highlights for Butterworth & Son was seeing the team from Applaud Coffee in Ipswich featured in the festival’s True Artisan Café and using our Four Bean Blend in their signature drink. The Cococcino, a drink made with coconut syrup, espresso and almond milk, topped with toasted almonds, went down a treat and it was great to see them representing the coffee scene here in Suffolk. We were joined on the Butterworth & Son stand by some talented baristas from Guat’s Up! in Bury St Edmunds, serving up espresso on the La Marzocco Linea Mini and hand-poured V60 filters, which brought out the notes of both of the coffees we had chosen to feature.
As well as manning our stand, we attended plenty of cuppings (the industry-standard method of tasting), trying some amazing coffees along the way! Excitingly, this was our first time presenting a cupping at the festival and were able to put on a table of new coffees and taste them with some really passionate people.
Overall, we had a great festival and are excited to see what this next year brings. The festival atmosphere (and plenty of coffee) kept our energy up all weekend and we’re now back to roastery, excited to get back to work and looking forward to doing it all over again next year!
Rob owns Butterworth & Son coffee roasters and tea smiths, based on Moreton Hall, and Guat’s Up! café in Guildhall Street. His job takes him around the world visiting coffee farms to source great coffees.
butterworthandson.co.uk / guatsup.coffee