Queer Coffee Collective Serves Up Brews & Brunch

The Brews & Brunch event hosted by the Queer Coffee Collective in Margate, U.K., celebrated diversity and community in the specialty-coffee scene.

BY VASILEIA FANARIOTI
SENIOR ONLINE CORRESPONDENT

Photos courtesy of Cup North

The Queer Coffee Collective: Brews & Brunch event brought a burst of vibrant energy and inclusive spirit to CAMP in Margate, United Kingdom, on May 11. Hosted by Cup North, this first-ever gathering aimed to create a safe and welcoming space for the LGBTQIA+ coffee community. 

Attendees indulged in delicious brunch bites, participated in engaging workshops, and enjoyed a variety of fringe events organized by local queer-friendly businesses. The event was a celebration of coffee, community, and queer camaraderie by the sea.

Attendees proudly displaying their rainbow flags, symbolizing the vibrant and diverse queer community coming together.

Background and Inspiration

To gain deeper insights into the event and its impact, we checked in with Hannah Davies, the operations manager at Cup North and one of the driving forces behind the Queer Coffee Collective.

The idea for the Brews & Brunch event originated from a shared vision within the Cup North team, Hannah explained: “We talked a lot about creating safe spaces within the Cup North team and we’d had an idea for a while to do something specifically for the queer community at one of our festivals, but this was challenging because we have so many other things going on when it’s a festival weekend.“

The team decided to focus on creating a unique experience for the LGBTQIA+ coffee community. “We decided to create a stand-alone event for the LGBTQIA+ coffee community—a safe space where we could meet, network, enjoy coffee and have fun!“ said Hannah.

Hannah Davies (left) and Grace Talbot share a light moment before the start of the event, setting the tone for a day filled with inclusivity and celebration.

Hannah’s personal experience as a queer individual in the coffee industry played a crucial role in shaping the event’s goals. “When I started out working in coffee there were very few visibly queer folks working in prominent positions in the industry, and looking back I think it would have helped me on my journey with coffee and coming out if I had seen people like me at events,“ she reflected. This motivated her to create an event where people could see themselves and feel safe to express their identities.

Event Highlights and Activities

The selection of activities was also carefully considered to ensure a comfortable and inclusive environment. One of the standout activities was the sauerkraut-making workshop led by Hannah herself. Participants learned about the health benefits of this ancient food preservation technique, then they got hands-on experience in making their own jars of sauerkraut. “It was important for us to offer something that allowed attendees to engage their senses and create something tangible,“ she explained. “Seeing everyone take their jars of sauerkraut home was a highlight for me.“

Attendees engaged in the Natural Dye & Plant Ink Workshop, exploring creative processes in a relaxing and supportive environment.

The event also featured a range of fringe activities, each offering a unique experience. The roastery tour at Curve Coffee Roasters provided attendees with an inside look at the coffee-roasting process. “We wanted to give people a behind-the-scenes look at one of our key supporters and partners,“ said Hannah. “The tour was a great way to connect over our shared love of coffee.“

Another popular activity was the Natural Dye & Plant Ink Workshop hosted by Eirinn Hayhow in collaboration with We Are Here. Attendees explored the art of natural dyeing and plant ink creation, and even tried their hand at coffee painting. “We aimed to offer something creative and relaxing,“ Hannah shared. “The workshop allowed people to express themselves artistically in a serene environment.“ The day concluded with a lively Espresso Martini Party, where attendees celebrated with expertly crafted espresso martinis. 

Impact and Reflections

One of the key takeaways from the event was the importance of creating accessible and inclusive events. Hannah emphasized the need for mindful and engaging activities that cater to diverse interests and comfort levels. “Accessibility is at the forefront of our events,“ she said. “We always recommend thinking about how you can make your event welcoming to all types of folks. Get creative with your event programme and don’t forget to have fun!“

Participants engrossed in the sauerkraut-making workshop led by Hannah Davies as they learn the art of this traditional food preservation technique.

Building on the success of the Margate event, the Queer Coffee Collective already is eyeing its next gathering. “We’re planning our next event in conjunction with Caffe Culture in London this October,“ Hannah said. 

She further emphasized the importance of such gatherings in creating a supportive environment. “We’re just at the start of our journey hosting queer-only coffee events,“ she said. “In the long term, I hope that we can build a series of accessible events that allow queer coffee folks to feel seen, to feel like there is an event and safe space just for them, and maybe to help them feel more empowered and confident about being queer in the coffee industry.“

Through their dedication and passion, the Queer Coffee Collective aims to make a lasting impact in the specialty-coffee scene, promoting inclusivity and representation. We are excited for what’s ahead as the Queer Coffee Collective continues to grow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior online correspondent for Barista Magazine and a freelance copywriter and editor with a primary focus on the coffee niche. She has also been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, providing content to help educate people about baristas and their work.

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