Everyone's favorite time of year has arrived. As winter approaches, days spent with a cup of coffee under a blanket are here. To celebrate autumn with the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the Istanbul Coffee Festival has returned to the city for the fifth time. The festival, which kicked off yesterday, will continue until Sept. 23 and offer new flavors and brewing technology for caffeine lovers.
One of Europe's biggest coffee festivals, the Istanbul Coffee Festival will entertain participants with its new motto "The Source, the Journey, the People." Global producers and coffee machine manufacturers as well as brewers, retailers, coffee bars, chocolatiers and boutique coffee shop owners will introduce the latest trends in brewing to coffee lovers.
Coffee and more at the festival
The source: This year's Istanbul Coffee Festival puts the spotlight on the sources of coffee and will host various panel sessions and workshops focusing on its origins. During the sessions, coffee's journey into our lives, how coffee culture spreads throughout the world, the most delicious coffee beans, women's role in the coffee industry, coffee's future, brewing methods and the variety of coffee cultures around the world will be discussed.
The journey: As a part of the "journey," festival goers will have different coffee experiences and a chance to take part in workshops and professional coffee brewing sessions. With this section of the festival, coffee lovers will create their own coffee journey with traditional, modern and futuristic approaches.
The people: The gathering place of coffee lovers, the Istanbul Coffee Festival offers the chance to enjoy the outdoors before it is too cold to hangout outside. With different activities related to coffee and brewing and live music by local artists and bands, the festival will offer an atmosphere where people of all ages can enjoy a hot cup and good music.
Apart from coffee-related events, the festival goes beyond the beans this year to introduce a new activity area called "Coffee & More." Participants will be able to check out exclusive designs and try new flavors that compliment a good cup of coffee.
Competition for the best coffee
As a member of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA), the Istanbul Coffee Festival will also host this year's SCA Turkish Championship. During the festival, "Best Barista," "Best Brewing," "Best Roasting," "Best Latte Art" and "Best Kettle" competitions will be held.
Turkey's coffee market
Coffee has held a special place in Turkish culture for over 500 years. Turkish coffee is considered a brand and dominated the sector until the widespread arrival of foreign brands in the 2000s.
Turkish coffee, lattes, white chocolate mochas and filter coffee are the most popular coffees in Turkey. In the last five years, annual coffee consumption per person increased from 600 grams to 1.1 kilograms. It is also one of the most rapidly growing retail sectors. There are 61 coffee shop chains in Turkey, and 85 percent of them are local brands. While two of the eight international coffee brands are based in the U.S., the others are from South Africa, Australia, Germany, Finland, the U.K. and Austria.