Things to Look Forward to at This Week’s New York Coffee Festival

Coffee consumers and industry professionals will unite once again for the festival’s fifth year of discussions, drinks, and interactive experiences.


Photos courtesy of Allegra Events

Allegra Events is bringing back the circus-like New York Coffee Festival to the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan for a fifth year this week, October 11-13. When we say circus-like, we’re referencing more than the gasket ring-toss games that Partners Coffee held last year at their circus-themed booth. The festival has always been a carnival of anything coffee-related that both consumers and industry professionals indulge in annually, and this year they are donating again to Project Waterfall—a charity working to bring clean water, sanitation, and education to coffee-growing communities. Here are some things to mark on your to-do list for the event:

Industry pros will lead workshops on perfecting latte art.

Plant & Dairy Latte Art Throwdowns

Watch Latte Art Live and Breezey Masters, where baristas will go head-to-head to pour both plant and dairy-based works of art. It’s hosted by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze and Bluestone Lane. Newest Glitter Cat trainee Ujae Lee and Coffee Fest Latte Art Champ Emilee Bryant will be among the many pros helping attendees perfect the craft by leading workshops on pouring exceptional art.

Discussions about climate change, barista sustainability, and more will take place throughout the weekend.

Discussions at The Lab

There will be insightful panel discussions with leading industry figures that cover crucial, relevant topics in the coffee world right now. Some of the ones we’re particularly keen on are:

  • Baristastainability (Friday, October 11, at 3 p.m.) with Jenna GotthelfCounter Culture Coffee – Counter Culture’s NYC Regional Educator will summarize a study the company did in spring 2019 that focused on factors affecting the sustainability of baristas.
  • A Mill of Their Own: Cup the First Harvest from Women-Owned Wet Mill (Friday, October 11, at 2 p.m.) with Jeanine NiyonzimaJNP Coffee – JNP debuts the first harvest of coffees from a wet mill in Ngozi Province built and owned by seven Burundian women.
  • Can You Recycle That? Why You Should Care About the Life of Your Coffee Cup (Saturday, October 12, at 11 a.m.) with Cliff Albert, Seda Packaging – Cliff explains the difference between recyclable and compostable cups, and offers environmentally sound ways to dispose of yours.
  • A Sommelier’s Approach to Coffee (Saturday, October 12, at 2 p.m.) with Ryan Bailey and Maya Albert, NoMad – Experts from NoMad discuss how blind-tasting techniques from their sommelier experience apply to tasting coffees as well.

Lots of Food and Drink

The vendor village, street food market, and kitchen will be bursting with plenty of caffeine, bites, and demonstrations to quench any thirst and satisfy an appetite. New to the festival, The Chocolate Factory will also be an area entirely dedicated to the art of chocolate making and chocolate tasting. *drool*

Roast Masters is a brand-new competition at NYCF this year.


A new competition called Roast Masters will pit 25 North American roasters against each other, and people have the opportunity to nominate New York’s Best Barista, who will go to the upcoming London Coffee Festival to continue the competition against London’s finest coffeemakers.

The list continues, with other activities planned like the Movie Room, the return of the Sensory Experience, live art, music, and more, truly making this a jam-packed weekend. For a full schedule and tickets, head over to their website.

About Katrina Yentch 221 Articles
Katrina Yentch (she/her) is a freelance writer and Barista Magazine's Online Editor. When she's not writing, you can find her napping, cooking, and drinking whatever's on drip.