Eating & Drinking

Java time! Coffee festival takes over Horticulture Building in March

Ottawa is turning into a coffee-mad city, saturated with great espressos, lattes, and cold brews. Indeed, we’re so spoiled for choice that even the most devoted joe lover would find it virtually impossible to visit every shop, chat up every barista, and savour the complexity of all the micro roasters have to offer.

Ottawa Coffee Fest to the rescue! The flagship coffee event celebrates the coffee scene with exceptional coffee, obviously, as well as speakers, workshops, live music, and munchies. Aimed at both the beginner and the serious coffee geek, Coffee Fest has supplemented the many coffee offerings with a curated program of workshops — some are free; some require registration and tickets.

Among the offerings: Be a Barista offers tips and tricks from the pros at Bridgehead ($50), Happy Goat hosts a cupping workshop ($15), and Chef Gilles from Massine’s Your Independent Grocer shows off some recipes showcasing coffee (free). Preregistration required.

A quick sampling of who’ll be there includes local big names like Equator, Bridgehead, and Happy Goat, along with smaller (for now) local players like I Deal Coffee, Engine House, Cloudforest, Animated Coffee, and 10 Fourteen. 94 Celsius is coming in from Montreal.

And you can feel good about drinking all that coffee, knowing that a portion of the festival proceeds go to supporting Birch Bark Coffee Company’s water initiative for Ontario reserves.

Hot Tip: Even the biggest coffee lover can only swig so much before they get jittery. Take a break from mainlining caffeine and listen in on one of the talks in the “Behind the Bean” lecture series.

Hot Tip #2: Need a quick hit before you hit the road? Espresso stations will feature a rotating schedule of vendors.

Date: Saturday, March 23

Time: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Tickets: $15 online; $20 at the door (kids 12 and under free). Attendees then buy tokens (50 cents each), with most samples priced at one token.

Find It: Horticulture Building (Lansdowne Park).