Coffee fests offer stimulating diversions

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Coffee fests offer stimulating diversions

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From left: Jung Geum-ho, a veteran barista and founder of the Namhae Treasure Island Coffee Festival roasts coffee with his old machine. Provided by Haeoreum Art Village; Gangneung Coffee Festival offers a variety of coffee-related programs including coffee-making and bean-roasting experience programs, coffee art and machine exhibitions. Provided by Gangneung Coffee Festival


Korea has felt the buzz of the coffeehouse craze and city streets throughout the country are lined with big-name franchise coffee shops and mom-and-pop operations.

So it’s time to drink up and head out to one of the festivals that have sprung up to offer that total coffee experience.

The Gangneung Coffee Festival began its 10-day run yesterday, and the star of the show is a vast selection of brews from around the world.

One of the festival’s first events is the “Gangneung Barista Awards” contest that attracts contestants of all levels and continues through tomorrow. Young people will get their chance next Wednesday and Thursday at the “CAEA National Student Barista Awards” sponsored by the Korea Ability Educational Association.

Gangneung has recently rebranded itself as a city of coffee because it has a number of chains and artisan coffee shops, some of which roast their own beans, and seven coffee academies.

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The coffee festival looks to offer a variety of coffee-related events, such as coffee-making and bean-roasting experience programs, coffee art and machine exhibitions and photographs featuring coffee. Coffee entrepreneurs also can sign up for seminars about the coffee industry.

Aside from the festival, be sure to check out “Coffee Street,” where 20 coffee shops alongside scenic Anmok Beach put out rich aromas of coffee that overpower even the smell of the sea.

If you go farther south, you can experience coffee-related activities along with sessions on pottery making and natural dyeing programs. Namhae Treasure Island Coffee Festival is held at the front garden of Haeoreum Art Village in Namhae, South Gyeongsang, where a craft studio and shops, and folk archives are located.

Jung Geum-ho, a veteran barista as well as founder of the village and coffee festival held there, prepared various experience programs for the two-day event that starts today. Festival highlights include free instructions on roasting drip coffee and a display of coffee trees.

Following the two festivals are the Cafe & Bakery Fair 2012 at KINTEX in Ilsan, Gyeonggi, and Seoul International Cafe Show 2012 at COEX in southern Seoul where more business-oriented sessions and seminars will be held.

By Park Eun-jee [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]
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