What is better than a hot cup of coffee or tea on a snowy winter’s day? How about sampling dozens of different coffees and teas? This past weekend my husband and I took the ferry to NYC and trekked to Brooklyn. The annual Coffee and Tea Festival was being held in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn. After attending the Philadelphia arm of the festival a year or two ago, I was looking forward to the NYC version.
About the Festival
Hosted in the Brooklyn Expo Center, this year was the 12th annual Coffee and Tea Festival. The two-day festival includes more than 75 exhibitors in more than 28,000 square feet of space. The organizers, Starfish Junction Productions, also put together other festivals. In addition to the Coffee and Tea Festivals in NYC and Philly, they have festivals dedicated to beer and hard cider among other beverages. There’s even an iced tea show!
Coffee and Tea Festival
The more than 75 vendors that participated this year represented coffee and tea loving destinations from around the world as well as from just around the corner. England, Japan, Finland and good old NYC-based companies were proudly showing off their wares. There were a few of the big names, such as Harney & Sons and Capital Teas. But the majority were small to mid-sized companies. Not all were hawking tea or coffee, either. There were honey and cookie companies, among others. Nearly every exhibitor had samples to provide — whether that be small cups of tea or coffee, or slices of cookies and cakes.
But it’s more than just samples and shopping. In addition to access to the vendors, there are coffee and tea-related seminars! The festival hosts both free (included in the price of admission) and paid (additional fee required) seminars. The seminars range from beginner level introductory talks to more advanced topics. This year included a seminar on mushroom coffee, decaffeinating coffee and the ever popular matcha green tea.
What to Expect
If you’re an adventurous fan of coffee and/or tea that wants to sample countless varieties, the Coffee and Tea Festival is for you. The value is in being able to taste new brews and get face time with the brands. Ask your questions or discuss the products with the vendors right then and there. But if you’re already familiar with the majority of the vendors exhibiting, the festival becomes less valuable. While vendor prices tend to be slightly discounted for the festival, it becomes less economical once you add in the ticket. A single day’s general admission was $25. Make that $35 if you want early admission and the tote bag of samples. That said, if you’re interested it’s easy to make a day of it and get your monies’ worth if you attend the seminars and sample and shop in between.
If you missed this year’s festival, don’t fret! The first annual Coffee and Tea Festival NYC: Iced is set for June at the Brooklyn Expo Center. The Coffee and Tea Fest will also return to Philly in November of this year as well as NYC in 2018.
Check out the trends I spotted at the festival! I’ll soon be sharing what products I picked up this year. Be sure to check back!
Thanks to the Coffee and Tea Festival for providing me with admission to the event. All opinions expressed are my own.