Everyone is invited to tune in for engaging topics by roasters across Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina—and win prizes.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Feature photo courtesy of No Filter Coffee Festival
As the flyer asks, “What else are you gonna do?” You’re in your sweatpants, picking up random hobbies, and baking loaves of sourdough and banana bread to consume—why not tune in to a coffee festival at the same time? The No Filter Coffee Fest has been working hard to put together a colorful array of American Southeast-based coffee roasters for a virtual weekend of coffee classes, roaster demos, and giveaways!
The No Filter Virtual Coffee Festival (formerly known as POUR Festival) comes from the minds of Diana Mnatsakanyan and Matt Dudley, whose first live editions of the gathering have been selling out in Charlotte, N.C., since it started in 2017. After giving the Southeast coffee community a ton of love and support during the first weeks of the COVID-19 shutdowns, they figured they’d take it a step forward and proceed with a virtual edition of the festival this year.
Simply tune in to the Instagram live stream May 12-16 to hear coffee all-stars give their take on topics like “Instant Coffee Hacks” (Summit Coffee) and “Building a People-First Business” (by Enderly Coffee). The festival will also keep COVID-19 in mind, with many of the discussions incorporating shelter-in-place-friendly subjects like how to make coffee cocktails (by Cocoa Cinnamon) and brew espresso at home (by Lem Butler of Black & White Roasters). For the full schedule, visit the official website.
Although No Filter is a project by Diana and Matt, much of the week’s content comes from the minds of the Southeast coffee community themselves. “For the most part, our coffee partners decided for themselves what they wanted to present,” says Diana. “Matt and I wanted to give everyone a chance to speak about something that interested them because, let’s be honest, that’s what makes the best content! People love to see someone passionately sharing information that they enjoy, and I hope that everyone who tunes in can find something to connect with during the No Filter Virtual Coffee Fest.”
Diana herself is particularly looking forward to the instant coffee hacks, as well as the coffee cocktails demo with Brianna Berry because, “She is one of the most brilliant coffee professionals I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and she is really creative with flavors while still maintaining approachability. It’s going to be a good class. Plus, who doesn’t love a cocktail on a Saturday?!” Who doesn’t love a cocktail any day of the week at this point though, right?
Another bonus of being a part of this festival is getting a chance to grab some swag to use at home too—thanks to Oatly, participants who tune in to the discussions will be able to win some surprise goodies.
“I hope that attendees recognize the significance of their specialty-coffee culture!” says Diana. “All of our presenters represent locally owned businesses that support their neighborhoods, contribute positively to their cities, and reflect so well on the Southeast as a whole. COVID-19 has made it painfully apparent how precariously positioned all of these wonderful humans and small businesses are, and the importance of us (consumers, customers, neighbors) uplifting one another whenever possible.”
This event is free and open to anyone with a solid Wi-Fi signal in their area. No sweatpants are required, but comfy clothes of any sort are encouraged! From Diana: “Catch me tuning in to the virtual sessions while sporting my Lou & Grey Signature Soft wide-leg pants (they are SERIOUSLY THE SOFTEST PANTS I’VE EVER WORN) and one of my several dozen coffee shirts, snagged from folks like East Pole Coffee, Spiller Park Coffee, and Queen City Grounds.” Supporting coffee folks in comfort—sounds like a plan to us!