There were some good elements and some not so good elements, as with all festivals that are starting out. The Sunday crowd was abound with rumours of horrific Saturday queues and disorganisation. We saw none of that although it makes me worry that next year everyone is just going to show up Sunday instead and expect it to be the "good" day.
My choice picks of the day were, unsurpringly, the food vendors rather than the coffee vendors. Doughzy Donuts and Neary Nogs were there offering their sweet goodies. I've bumped into these guys at a fair few festivals now and they always bring in a crowd. New (to me) vendor was Indie Fude, an online store for all things Irish and Artisan. It has your Bacon Jams, your chilli oils, all the preserves and home made syrups you can think of. They even have a Chocolate Fudge Fondue which just sounds filthy gorgeous.
The lads from Broughgammon Farm were delightful as always. I love their Goat but this time we branched out into a Veal Burger and it was yummy. Next year I'm hoping it'll be a coffee crusted burger because hey, it is a coffee festival after all!
Speaking of coffee themed offerings the guys from The Bearded Candle Co. were showing off their new range in its new fancy jars. I'm determined to get my hands on a Turf candle. Determined!
Beverage-wise I'm a bit of a coffee heathen. I like my coffee sweet enough to melt the teeth so I avoided the potential judgement of the purist coffee shops and their exceedingly "Hip" distillation methods and opted for a tea from Sukí. Note to self: stick with the Peppermint or the Belfast Brew. Chocolate flavoured tea is not something you will enjoy. Lotus flower tea from S.D. Bell's, however, is something you absolutely need in your life. Immediately.
All in all I had a lovely day at the festival. Will I rush back? That remains to be seen but I wouldn't say no. I have just one suggestion for the organisers, you need to streamline your coffee competitions to reduce wastage. I saw about 3 litres wasted in a very short time and felt a little bit sad as each Latté met its demise in the bucket of doom. I would've quite liked a latté as I watched.
Keep an eye out for the next NI Coffee Fest and check out the vendors I've mentioned at the links below. Trust me they're worth your time.