Coffee Fest: Fueling Downtown St. Louis With Exciting Competitions And The Hottest Industry Trends Of 2014

By Molly Rippinger
In Food

The St. Louis coffee scene will be buzzing with activity when the Coffee Fest trade show rolls into Downtown May 30 – June 1. This is St. Louis’ first time playing host to the national event, which began back in 1992 when dedicated professionals gathered in Seattle to share tips, techniques and tricks of the trade. More than two decades later, Coffee Fest brings together the best retailers, distributors and manufacturers from the industry all under one roof.

Latte coffee art

Image courtesy of Coffee Fest

Specialty coffees, gourmet teas and alternative beverages will be pouring all weekend long at the Cervantes Convention Center. While local roasters and baristas will certainly be present, one of the most exciting hometown representations will be Sump Coffee partaking as one of six finalists in America’s Best Coffeehouse Competition. At Coffee Fest, the pool of finalists will go head-to-head in a realistic simulation of their actual coffeehouse setup – complete with three team members, their own limited menu and preferred equipment for specific brewing methods. The teams will be judged as Coffee Fest-goers walk up to the counter and order a beverage, just as they would at any other coffee shop. In the end, it’ll all come down to a combination of the popular vote and secret-shopper scores before a new Best Coffeehouse is crowned in the Midwest.

Other contests for professionals to showcase their skills include both a latte art and espresso competition. For those looking to expand their coffeehouse repertoire, classes and workshops will be held throughout Coffee Fest, covering everything from frappes and smoothies to the perks of loose-leaf teas and on-site roasting.

Coffee connoisseurs who aren’t in the industry don’t have to worry about missing out on all the action. Registration for $30 general admission can be found online or completed at the door Friday and Saturday from 7:30am to 4:30pm and Sunday from 12pm to 4pm.

Exhibition hours are Friday and Saturday from 12pm to 5pm and Sunday from 12 to 4pm. Educational training hours are Friday and Saturday from 8am to 6pm, Sunday from 8am to 4pm. A full schedule of events is available through the Coffee Fest website.

701 Convention Plaza, Downtown, 314.342.5036.

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