A record 30,000 people talked and drank coffee at the third annual Istanbul Coffee Festival.
The third annual Istanbul Coffee Festival took place in Turkey last week. The festival hosted a number of events, including the championships for the country’s best baristas and brewers that will represent Turkey during all World Coffee Events, or WCE competitions. Attendees included prominent coffee roasters, green buyers, café owners, and all sorts of coffee professionals from Turkey. The festival, however, didn’t just draw in Turkish members of the community, but was an international success, drawing in coffee professionals and baristas from all over the world. Last year the event was recognized as the most popular coffee festival in Europe, and this year they broke attendance records with over 30,000 coffee pros and enthusiasts coming together to compete, share stories, and drink coffee.
The festival offered all sorts of classes, trainings, and opportunities to exchange ideas and was supported by its main sponsor, PaÅŸabahÃ§e, a coffee company based in Istanbul. Leaders from all over the world taught classes, cafes from all over the world had stands, and patrons were able to enjoy a number of different drinks and treats to go with coffee throughout the four-day festival.
The Istanbul Coffee Festival was unlike most coffee festivals in that it primarily took place outside. The festival was hosted at KÃ¼Ã§Ã¼kÃ§iftlik Park, and patrons moved from tent to tent to talk to different vendors and enjoy a variety of goods. Much more like a music festival, there was a stage where musicians played throughout the event and even a green area for attendees to lie down and spread a blanket down as they took in the event. Artists had tents and displayed their work throughout the festival grounds. Attendees donned t-shirts and sweaters that said, ˜powered by coffee,’ and swag from the event was abundant. Basically, the event sort of looked like what a Coffeefest in America might be if it was crossed with Coachella.
Everything from the traditional to the modern was on display. Some vendors made coffee in ibriks, or as they are known in Turkey, cezves, while others displayed new brew methods and baristas from all over the country pushed the boundaries of their coffees with exciting signature drinks. And with such a huge attendance this year, there’s no predicting how this festival will grow in the years to come. It’s still a relative newcomer to the roster of coffee events ”it has only been around for three years ”so there’s huge potential for this event to grow and be the biggest coffee event in the world. Its popularity speaks to the growth of specialty coffee, and how it is not simply a phenomenon in one or two countries, but truly a worldwide trend that is only going to continue to grow.