About six months ago my friend Josh and I met for a coffee. We got talking about the local coffee scene, as we often do, and the potential there is in Hamilton for interesting coffee-related endeavours. At some point in the conversation Josh mentioned how he had been thinking about doing some sort of coffee event. I had thought about this too, although not as something I would have time for in the near future.
Then Josh decided that he was just going to go for it and host a coffee event — some kind of coffee “expo”. Apprehensively, I offered to help, if I had the time. I think in his excitement Josh may have missed the hesitation in my offer. A week later he was sending out emails to potential venues and a bit over a month later he booked a venue. At this point it went from being “yeah, maybe I can help” to “oh my God, we’re actually doing this.”
Over the next few months we reached out to local coffee shops and potential sponsors, had a few meetings, and got a small planning team together.
Last month we held the first Hamilton Coffee Fair. And it went really well.
The purpose of the event was to introduce people to basic concepts of specialty coffee in an approachable and engaging way, and in the process create new customers for the local coffee shops. We also wanted to get people into the downtown area to see that there is a lot of cool stuff going on in Hamilton.
The turnout was spectacular. We had 1000 people come through the event. People got to try free coffee, learn about specialty coffee, try pouring latte art, compete in a latte art competition, discover local coffee shops, ask local professionals questions about coffee, watch (and taste the results of) brewing demos, snag giveaways, buy gear, and meet people.
In short, this was an amazing opportunity for us and the local coffee businesses to share our passion for coffee with the general public. It was really cool to introduce the concept of specialty coffee to people who may not have otherwise thought about such a thing. It was amazing to see the local coffee community work together on this.
We are very excited and encouraged to see such an amazing response and so thankful to everyone who participated in making this event as fun and worthwhile as it was. We want to thank everyone who came out to the event, especially those of you who braved the chilly weather in line to hang out with us!
We had a lot of fun and we hope you did too.
Just a quick shout out to Detour Coffee Roasters, Latte 911, Eight Ounce Coffee Supply, and Finch Cafes for helping us make this event happen. And a huge thank you to Josh and Darryl for personally funding this thing.