SF Coffee Festival

Talk about your favorite cafes, local barista events, or plan your own get-together.
bonjing
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#1: Post by bonjing »

I know I'm a few months early but we're excited to go. This will be our first coffee event, but what can we expect? Covid aside, are the crowds crazy, will we be waiting in long lines just to try various coffees, will there be deals to be had? We have the all day pass so hopefully it will all be worth it.

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TomC
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#2: Post by TomC »

I'm completely done with food/beverage festivals in the greater Bay Area, specifically large "coffee-fest's" or whatever they might be called. I've never been to a single one that could support the volume of attendees. Crazy long lines, standing shoulder to shoulder in crowds of folks who may not be really into coffee, but are more into sharing their minute-by-minute updates on social media (food festivals are incredibly popular with the younger crowds here), it's just not worth the bother.

There was one CoffeeCon that both Jim and I attended, but weren't participants, however, volunteers, that also had some amazing presentations ( George Howell's History of Coffee) that was pretty cool, along with a home/hobbyist coffee roasting presentation that Henry Chang and I put on. That was a pretty cool event, but has since seemed to be quite the exception.

I went from SF Coffee Fest/Con, whatever, to the SF Tea Fest back in I think 2018 and swore it would be my last, after going to some several times over the years. You're packed like sardines in a warehouse usually, overpaying for what you experience, and leave quickly. There's nothing other than samples of random and mostly new vendors looking to make a name. Most of them are unimpressive.

However, not to sound like a total sourpuss on the idea, I'd show up to any local coffee event that brought in George Howell to speak.

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yakster
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#3: Post by yakster »

I agree with Tom, I was out in the parking lot doing home roast demonstrations on my Behmor and a hot air popcorn popper (everyone wanted to see the popper in action) next to Henry at that one. It wasn't too bad in the parking lot but it was jam packed inside and I probably won't return due to that, unless we get someone like Jim or George Howell giving a presentation.
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michaelm1982

#4: Post by michaelm1982 »

It's a mixed bag. The crowds are rough and you will be hanging around in long queues as other people have mentioned. But it's great to talk to those that are passionate about coffee and this is often the only chance you get to do that. There are sometimes classes or demos that are ticketed events during the festival - grab a spot on one of those if you can.

chipman

#5: Post by chipman »

I still feel nervous going to a restaurant. A food festival? Not a chance.

bonjing (original poster)
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#6: Post by bonjing (original poster) »

Thank you for all the replies.

Yes my biggest gripe might be all those people trying to update their online social status. Watching you tube to see what the past events are like they are all the same "mmmm, coffee, smooth". I want to see what's there, talk to the vendors about what coffees they are offering, what's new to coffee world even though I probably wouldn't understand and of course try new coffees.

SF isn't getting any easier or cheaper to navigate around so if we get to try some "local" offering in one spot I think it may be nice.

Did the venue have A/C, I hope they do!

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TomC
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#7: Post by TomC »

bonjing wrote:Thank you for all the replies.



Did the venue have A/C, I hope they do!

None at the last one i attended. It was "steamy".

Of pretty much all of the vendors in attendance, the only one I found worthwhile that I wasn't already familiar with was Alexandre Farms Dairy. Their milk is pretty incredible.

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18gramssf

#8: Post by 18gramssf »

We went to the 2019 one and thought it was great! But yea, be ready to wait in long lines and fight hoardes of people.

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doubleOsoul
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#9: Post by doubleOsoul »

I'm with Tom on this one too. I'd make the drive in from Sac if a few of us wanted to meet up there but it's just way too much in a small, incredibly hot venue.

bonjing (original poster)
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#10: Post by bonjing (original poster) »

Thank you for the recent replies. The fest sounds like a good idea, poorly executed venue or a too big for its britches. Still very excited to go since I am now having better pulls on my machine. No longer just sour, have salty too. not great progress but progress none the less :P :lol: