What is Lanes Coffee Festival?
It’s an inaugral coffee festival event occurring in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley each year around ~July 20-28th. It celebrates all things coffee from many of the local Brisbane roasters and innovators.
This past Saturday was FV’s coffee festival, so of course I had to go and check it out.
It was touted as being a huge coffee festival packed with all of the best roasteries from Brisbane with masterclasses, coffee tasting demonstrations and new product launches. Think MICE (Melbourne international coffee expo) on a smaller scale.
With 19 roasters from around Australia presenting their goods, I was pretty excited to see Brisbane replicating the success of the Melbourne expo across three of the smallest lanes in the Valley: California, Bakery and Winn lane. In fact, I think this might be replacing the inaugural Bakery Lane coffee festival that was on at the same day last year.
Supposedly going from 10am-10pm I rocked up at a cool 4:30 to check it all out. However, I think I was bordering on unfashionably late and that was when most people decided to close up, move on to stronger drinks, or go home.
By this stage, the stalls that remained were vacant, the latte art smackdown was coming to a close and really, it seemed like it had already finished. I checked the brochure to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake with the closing time, but I hadn’t – it was just dead.
There had been masterclasses and tours to go on but they were booked out weeks in advance and so just milling about only kept me occupied for about 30 minutes – if that.
I walked through California Lane first and apart from the regular cafes that back onto the lane, there was only one pop-up coffee stall open. The other lanes were also virtually shut down except for the regular shops which were serving food and alcoholic drinks. In fact, I spent more time walking TO each lane than I did within each one.
They talked about new products being launched but I didn’t see that so maybe I just came at the wrong time. I also didn’t see any of the other 19 roasters that were meant to be serving up delicious bevvy’s so I was a bit lost as to what they were offering.
Having researched the festival now I can see that they had quite a bit on earlier in the day such as: Mark Falkner – Designer of the Trinity Coffee maker, who was showing off his latest innovation – the Delta Press, they had some cupping sessions with Wolff roasters and Single O and a 23 karat gold filter demonstration. So some really good things going on! I would have love to have filmed those events.
It’s great to see that Brisbane is getting it’s own festival for coffee appreciation but sometimes I wonder if these coffee events are just for people within the industry. There is a huge divide between the casual consumer of coffee and the industry and my mission has been to close this gap so an event such as this is perfect for me to whip my video camera out and film it.
So, whether I just missed the action at that time or the organisers were a bit ambitious with the opening times, I’ll never know.
This blog probably seems like a bit of a rant but it isn’t, and I probably will cop some flack about turning up earlier next time – I will! I am super hopeful that this will be an annual event, I also hope Alex, Tyler or Sam (event organisers) will read this and invite me to be a part of it next year!