GUEST BLOG: The Coventry Caffeine Hit

FarGo Village has become the “go to” area of Coventry for independent business and creatives over the past few years. Most weekends there is an event, a market or something interesting going on. The creative quarter is set inside re-purposed industrial buildings close to Gosford Green on the East of the City center.

FarGo Village embraces its urban setting by showcasing local street artist, and every service reflects the colour, diversity and history of the city. I’m sure there will be plenty of further developments as Coventry has won the honor of being City of Culture 2021.

This was the first Coffee Festival in Coventry, and I sure given the popularity of the event, I’m sure won’t be the last. The Box, FarGo was a good venue for the event, though it felt like there should have been a few more companies that could have been fitted in.

As for me, I had a special interest in the event. I am very passionate about my coffee, and even worked as a barista, cafe manager, and a chef in the past. I have been on the other side of the machine and I understand the intricacies, the precision, and the long journey involved in creating that perfect cup of coffee. I enjoy the differences and the nuances within flavours that make the difference between a good and a great coffee. I love the fact that the way milk is managed can make or break a cup of coffee, and that it is such a fine balance between quality, skill and equipment to create the black magic that is coffee. I love coffee, it is one of my passions, so I went into this with verve and enthusiasum, and I was not disappointed!

There was a crowd around the Java Lounge stall at the entrance to the room, as the barista was demonstrating latte art. Their latte art is showcased on instagram, and they seem to specialise in adding colourings into their milk to create weird and wonderful art on top of their coffees. They have a strong following on Instagram because of their unusual images. Java lounge were one of the sponsors for the event, so a big thank you to them. But there coffee itself is not to be ignored beneath the fluff of the milk foam.

The two house blends were also being showcased, as filter coffee, and I got to sample them while chatting to one of the barista.

There wasn’t just standard coffee and cows milk on offer. I was glad to see that Minor figures, an Oat milk and coffee artisan held up the ethical side of the areas. Within FarGo, there is a vegan cafe ( Totally Vegan), and Backhaus who ethically source their supplies.

I generally hate cold brew. Most coffee shops offer mediocre rubbish and charge a fortune for this latest fad. But the latest trend is to stock cans of great quality tasty nitro cold brew. This is the best one I’ve had. It is smooth, creamy and the flavour packs a punch! Even better I found the Cafe W inside Waterstones in Coventry stocks it! Made by Minor Figures, they also have a latte and mocha in the range. (Both which contain oat milk).

In addition, Minor Figures also make oatmilk based products, and have a dairy disloyalty card in coffee shops to celebrate world plant milk day. This is about changing the way people think about the dairy industry, and change their regular habits. It s also a great incentive for coffee shops to offer British made milks rather then the standard soya milk, which in itself also has a wide environmental impact.

The awesome bakers at Backhaus, always do stunning cakes, but this one maybe my favourite yet! This Orange chai cake was so packed with flavour! The icing was light and fluffy, as the surprise curd in the middle really added an extra zing! A perfect accomplishment to their Quarter Horse coffee! Based FarGo Village itself, The bake house is a cafe, bar, venue and has recently opened a cookery school. I personally love this place, the staff are fab, the food is stunning, and the social values of the enterprise are fabulous.

Backhaus also provided the entertainment for the day with their live stage which included several local acts. Here are some links if you fancy checking out some midlands base talent: ElkTrees and QueensStylusboyMixtape Saints.

One of my favourite coffees of the festival was the house espresso blend from New Era Coffee. This new rooster based in Birmingham have branded their coffee around their love of ska music, and are more then happy in Coventry where The Specials originated!

The espresso is gutsy and sweet, with a beautiful lingering after taste. It was the nicest milk free coffee of the day. Very impressive for a company that has only been going since January!

Another new start up that attended the Coffee Festival, was Kaffee Haus. With only a few months under their belts, these guys are hitting the ground running with three coffees. One which is a good decaffeinated blend, which had had the caffeine removed using the Swiss water method, meaning that no unnecessary chemicals have been used. With big plans for the future, I’m keeping an eye on this company!

If coffee wasn’t to everyone’s taste, there was also Born Wild Tea, and Queen of Camellias offiering ethical sourced teas, herbs and compost able packaging.

There were also a few other businesses in attendance such as Ed’s Coffee House, from Coventry Market, a Birmingham based cake maker and the Independent Coffee Club.

I was upset That local family run coffee house Bean and Leaf had to drop out at the last minute, as this is one of my favourite central Coventry cafes. They offer Guest coffee which changes seasonally to give you fantastic filter options like V60, Kalita, Aeropress and Clever Dripper, as well as their regular roasts from Caravan Coffee roaster. Hopefully they will be able to attend the next one!

All in all, the event was lively, friendly and very delicious! I came away feeling satisfied, happy and of course Caffeinated!

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