Sunday 20th May - I don't think we could have asked for a better day!! The sun shone, everything went to plan and the whole day was just joyous! The atmosphere created by the live music was spectacular, the good food market was, as ever, a fantastic array of deliciousness and everything we hoped for of the day, and more unfolded.
On the final day of the coffee festival - we assembled at 8am and set to work helping the fair-trade stall set up, the Beanbug take it's postition and to decorate and prepare the poultry walk and the part of the Civic Square the Good Food Market kindly let us use. Coffee West set up (after a few minor electrical logistics were resolved) and by 10am the festival was in full swing! We had the wonderful Matthew and Me startin g the days musical play list, which totally lifted the mood and I'm sure was great for the nervous barista's to make coffee to. The Beanbug coffee machine is different from anything the nine competing baristas had used before so they were really valiant in their quick learning and getting used to it, under the fantastic guidance of Jamie Banwell from Base Coffee.
So, on one side of the road we had the three judges tasting and sampling the coffee entries, the wonderful, innovative and fantastic looking Beanbug coffee trike, the fairtrade stall with all their goods and information and Owen's Coffee exhibiting their products and explaining to the public about the delicacy of a well roasted coffee bean. Across the road from them was the petition signing table, the musicians on the raised wall area under the tree, Fungi Futures explaining the amazing process of turning coffee grounds into delicious gourmet mushrooms and Coffee West supplying the coffee-enthusiastic crowds who then sat and enjoyed the sunshine and music at the chairs and tables loaned to us generously by Tangerine Tree cafe and Willow Vegetarian Restaurant! That's not to mention the numerous small food producers who were selling Thai, Indian, Israeli, French, vegetarian, Spanish (to name a few) dishes to the milling visitors. Around lunchtime, the sun broke through the clouds, Holly Ebony sung beautufully, followed by Tom Gloin, Rebecca Mayes, Nemo Jones and the afternoon was finished with everyone dancing to the Samba Band.
The end of the day was celebrated with the exciting winning announcements - Fat Lemons was voted best coffee in Totnes as voted by the public, Rumours was voted best atmosphere and customer service by the public, Gary Jagger from La Fourchette won best barista and Josh Erlick from The Barrel House won best coffee art. The day before (Saturday) the planning committee spent a few of hours data entering the score card results and were amazed at the positivity of the scores and how incredibly close the end results were. Evidently, the cafe's of Totnes are much loved and respected by the public.
Throughout the day there was much discussion and debate about Costa coming to town. The majority of people were in support of the 'No to Costa' campaign, very keen to tell us why Costa shouldn't come, with a few unsure, and fewer still thinking its presence would be a good thing. It was fantastic to be able to engage with people and to hear their points of view as well as to give our own. I love discussing the subject of localism which I feel is so current and important and to give a wider context of local econmic strength and resilience in the face of chains dominating the market.
For more information about the No to Costa campaign see here.
Sima cutting - TTT Food Group