A Recap of the 2023 New York Coffee Festival

Brewing Creativity and Compassion

The aroma of freshly roasted beans, the gentle hum of espresso machines, and the excitement of fellow coffee enthusiasts – that’s the magical atmosphere you experience at the New York Coffee Festival. Held last weekend, this annual event is a paradise for coffee lovers and a celebration of all things java. I had the pleasure of attending for the first time this year, and I’m eager to share my experience and highlight some of the amazing brands that graced the festival.

The New York Coffee Festival is more than just a caffeine extravaganza; it’s an event with a heart. This year, 100% of the festival’s profits went toward supporting clean water and sanitation projects in coffee-producing communities through the fantastic initiatives of Project Waterfall. So, not only did we savor incredible coffee, but we also contributed to a noble cause.

Brands That Brewed Excellence:

  • Blank Street Coffee: Blank Street Coffee has maintained its reputation for being a small, cozy coffee shop with great coffee and affordable prices. Their presence at the festival was a testament to their commitment to quality and accessibility.
  • Minor Figures: Known for their exceptional plant-based milk, Minor Figures is a game-changer in the world of coffee. The Barista Oat, in particular, paired beautifully with espresso. Carbon Neutral and B Corp Certified.
  • Atomo: Atomo wowed us with their innovative approach to coffee. They’re on a mission to create coffee without coffee beans, which is both delicious and eco-friendly.
  • Coffee Ilusco: Coffee Ilusco’s coffee-themed illustrations were on full display at the festival. Their artistry brought a unique dimension to the world of coffee, and their creations were almost too beautiful to drink!
  • Parlor Coffee: This Brooklyn-based brand delivered some of the finest single-origin coffee I’ve ever tasted. Their dedication to quality and direct relationships with farmers shone through.
  • Mr. Black: For those who appreciate a touch of indulgence, Mr. Black was the place to be. Their coffee liqueurs were rich and irresistibly smooth.
  • Slate Cafe: Slate Cafe offered a unique experience with their precision-brewed coffee. Their attention to detail in every cup was truly impressive.
  • Oatly: As a dairy alternative pioneer, Oatly’s barista edition oat milk is a favorite among coffee professionals and enthusiasts. It froths and steams beautifully, making it a perfect choice for lattes and cappuccinos.
  • Joe Coffee: Joe Coffee is a local favorite, known for its commitment to fair trade and high-quality coffee. 

The Inspirational Jonathan Rubinstein

One of the festival’s most memorable moments was a talk by Jonathan Rubinstein, the founder of Joe Coffee. He shared his insights on running a cafe business that goes beyond profit margins. His principles of fair compensation, inclusivity, holding leadership accountable, and getting to know his staff as individuals were truly inspiring. Considering Joe Coffee has a staff of 300, this is no small feat. It was a powerful reminder that businesses can make a positive impact on their employees and communities.

Latte Art Competition

In the midst of sipping on fantastic coffee, I had the pleasure of witnessing the Latte Art Competition. The competition was fierce, and the talent on display was awe-inspiring. Baristas transformed simple cups of coffee into canvases of art. The intricate designs and creativity were a testament to the skill and passion that go into making a great cup of coffee.

Conclusion: The 2023 New York Coffee Festival was an incredible experience that combined a love for coffee with a commitment to making the world a better place. From the diverse array of brands to the insightful talk by Jonathan Rubinstein and the stunning latte art competition, it was a weekend filled with warmth, creativity, and compassion.

I can’t wait to return to the New York Coffee Festival next year, eager to explore even more remarkable brands and continue supporting the meaningful projects it champions.

xo Regan

P.S. For more information on how you can contribute your own unique artwork to our Coffee Table Art Book publishing in 2024, please visit our artist application page to learn more about this amazing opportunity.