Coffee Fest New York 2014 Wrap-up

Thursday March 13, 2014 // By Liam Bucher

Where to begin, where to begin?

This being my first trip to the Big Apple, I had plenty to look forward to on top of what we were hoping to be another great show from the folks over at Coffee Fest, they did not disappoint. With Jon and Jay arriving early on Thursday to complete set-up on the booth, Tia and I arrived into the city right around 5:30 p.m. that night and ready to go!

We started the trip with a fantastic dinner at Brasserie Les Halles off Park Avenue with the team at Cappuccine. The menu was flush with classic French items and and some of the best steakon the east side of NYC, and yes, we all ordered our favorite cuts of steak, when they are talked up that much, you have to try it. We did get a little adventurous in the appetizers, trying an order of escargot! If you ever have the chance to try it, I highly suggest you do. Order it cooked in butter and garlic, you can't go wrong. After a delicious entree, lots of stories and talks of how the show will go, we were treated to a delicious cheesecake and 'bananes flambées' cooked tableside. After walking slowly out to catch a cab, we caught some zzz's, anticipating the first day of Coffee Fest.

We were off to a hot start on Friday, filling our 50 schwag bags with some goodies for everyone who stopped by the booth! Man, did those go fast. If you stopped by the booth and we were out of the bags, we are very sorry you weren't able to grab one. Opening day is always a bit nerving, as you are waiting to see how the turn out is. The good news is, Tia and I didn't have a chance to leave the booth. We met some current customers and were able to speak to some (hopefully) new customers as well and shed some light into the story of Barista Pro Shop and what exactly we do! Once it began slowing down a little we decided to go walk the floor and check out some of the products and brands exhibiting. This is one of my favorite parts about the show! There are so many delicious snacks and drinks that make you want to come back for more!

After day one of the show, we were off to dinner with our friends at KIND at a restaurant in the Chelsea market called Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina, a wonderful Italian market style restaurant that caters to take-out and sit down. You can't beat hand-made pasta, a glass of red wine, and meats and cheese.We finished off a wonderful evening with some coffee/espresso and some tasty chocolate desserts.

Day two started early, Tia was helping instruct a frappé blending class at 9:30 a.m. so I had some extra time to prepare the booth on that morning. After sh strolled over to the booth we finished up another 50 bags and then walked the floor before the start of the show speaking to some of our partners and as well as seeing as much of the floor as we could before it was back to the booth. While the show seemed to start off a little slower than the day before, it wasn't long until we had twenty to thirty people hovering around the area. At this point we were so pumped to see how many people wanted to learn and talk with us about their shops and coffee in general. 

After a great day of answering questions about products, Barista Pro Shop, and just about everything else, we zoomed over to the meat packing district where we were set to have dinner at the Italian steakhouse, Macelleria, with some of our friends at Torani. This was a very cool restaurant, it used to be a butcher shop back in the day and you could still see the large sliding door where the cooler was in the back room, (now the kitchen where you can watch the chefs cooking up your meal and making fresh pasta). Another night of fine steaks around the table and tasty sides. The highlight of the night was Jay and Tia taking down the Porterhouse for two. Yes, it is as big as it looks.

Day three had come and unfortunately, that meant we were closing in on the end of our stay in the Empire State. While Sundays can typically be slower at the shows, this day seemed just as busy as the previous, and provided us with even more people to meet, chat with, and learn the story of their business and how we can help them. I also have to make note of our attempt to create a Yo-Yo throwdown at the end of the day right by our booth. We were handing out Yo-Yo's in the schwag bags all weekend hoping we could get everyone back to the booth, but unfortunately we couldn't get it going.

There are also some really awesome products we saw while walking around, like a machine that sliced and juiced oranges when you hold your cup under a spout, some Cookie Chips (which kind of reminded me of Nilla Wafers), and some cool POS systems for cafes.

We also got to tast some samples of new products from some of our partners, like a new DaVinci smoothie that will be making its debut later this Spring, and a delicious frozen chai from David Rio. Also, I'm not sure if anyone reading this currently makes this drink, but Tia and I were quite fond of Red Bull with syrup, which goes well with the fruit flavors from DaVinci, Torani, and Monin, try it out!

On a more serious note, Barista Pro Shop sends out much appreciation and thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth this past weekend and talked shop with us, and for the continued support of all of our vendors who exhibited at the show; Cappuccine, David Rio, DaVinci, Oregon Chai, Jet, Caffe D'Amore, Big Train, Dr. Smoothie, Espresso Supply, Java Jacket, KIND, Monin, Novus Tea, Pacific Natural Foods, Toddy, Torani, and Umpqua Oats.

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