The participating cafes and restaurants are running exciting coffee-related promotions throughout the two weeks of the festival. Customers get to enter a prize draw by rating their coffee experience at each venue. The cafe voted by the public as being the best will be announced at the festival finale.
The Coffee Festival will culminate in a barista-style competition on Sunday 20th May, during the Good Food Market, staff from participating establishments in and around Totnes will compete to be named the best barista in town. There will be entertainment laid on and demonstrations to the public in the skilled art of coffee making.
The fortnight co-insides with World Fairtrade Day on the 12th May, The festival is working with the Totnes Fairtrade group to raise the profile of quality fairtrade coffee. Totnes has one of the highest number of cafes, restaurants and shops, using or selling Fairtrade products, in proportion to the size of population, in the country.
The festival has been initiated by Transition Town Totnes. One of the organisers Holly Tiffen, says:
“Totnes has a really special and unique High Street, home to a wealth of independent cafes and shops. Unlike so many other British towns Totnes has avoided the generic cloning of it's town centre, as a result it is a creative, vibrant and attractive place to live and visit.
A group of us got together to find a way to celebrate the town's rich diversity. The idea is to showcase the many independent cafes and restaurants that the town is host to, and flag up the great coffee makers (baristas) that they employ. The Totnes Independent Coffee Festival aims to send out a clear signal to any Chain Coffee Shops that Totnes is doing just fine for quality coffee venues and their presence would not be appropriate in Totnes.”
Modbury based, Owens Coffee will be sponsoring the barista competition by providing their lovely coffee for the event. The barista participants will be using the Beanbug; an espresso machine mounted on a rather bespoke and funky red tricycle. The Beanbug is local resident, Richard Taylor's new coffee enterprise, that will be launched during the Coffee Festival. The Beanbug will allow the barista to use practical skill to pull a perfect coffee, and experiment with the variables to tone the coffee to taste.
Look out for posters in participating cafes and restaurants. And don't forget 20th May - Coffee Festival Finale Barista competiton in the Civic Square and Poultry Walk from 10.30 - 3.30