The Queen City will be abuzz with the annual Cincinnati Coffee Festival this weekend.
The caffeinated celebration returns to Music Hall Ballroom Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22. A major fundraiser for the Ohio River Foundation (ORF), organizers say the festival has become the Midwest’s premier coffee event.
Thousands visit the festival every year to experience the variety of coffee roasters, tea purveyors, bakers, pastry shops and chocolatiers. Popular local roasters like Seven Hills Coffee, Deeper Roots and two-time People’s Choice Award winner FigBrew will also be on hand. Attendees can enjoy hundreds of free tastings, plus live music, latte art, professional demonstrations and the chance to see the latest equipment and accessories.
The Latte Art Throwdown is one of the festival’s most popular events, where you can watch a master barista create latte art. This year’s celebrity judges include New York Times best-selling author Kim Harrison and Local 12 reporter Luke Jones. The competition will be head-to-head, bracket-style where the judges will determine whose milk-pouring aesthetics will advance until one barista is crowned the Supreme Latte Artist of Greater Cincinnati.
If you enjoy watching the baristas craft latte art, you can also learn how to make your coffee-inspired art with Cincinnati artist Anissa Pulcheon. Pulcheon will be working with festivalgoers to paint an original, large-scale coffee-themed painting.
Demos will include a variety of coffee topics, including how to make coffee and tea mocktails, chai-making, water quality and home brewing and cupping. You can see the full demo schedule here.
Musical performances include rock and soul artist Matt Waters; folk and Appalachian bluegrass singer Maria Carelli; bluegrass duo Scott Carnder and Aaron Jacobs; folk singer-songwriter Dan Van Vechten; blues, jazz, folk and pop trio Anna & The Deeper Well; and folk, country blues and ragtime group Jake Speed & the Freddies. See the full lineup here.
To help manage crowds, the event will once again use timed entry, with a limited number of tickets available for each time slot. You’re also encouraged to buy tickets in advance.
Ticket prices are:
- Weekend Pass: $35 in advance/$41 day-of
- Gold Early Entry (8 a.m. Saturday; 9 a.m. Sunday): $25 in advance/$31 day-of
- Early Entry (9 a.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. Sunday): $20 in advance/$26 day-of
- All other entrance times: $17.50 in advance/$23.50 day-of
You can also get a 10% discount on five or more tickets at 2 and 3 p.m. You can buy tickets here. Sales will benefit ORF’s efforts to protect and conserve the Ohio River watershed.
“Everyone deserves clean water. The Festival also provides a great opportunity to educate people about the connection between water quality and protecting our local rivers and streams. There’s a lot that goes into producing a great cup of coffee, but coffee is actually 98% water. Without great water, you can’t have great coffee,” Judi Cogen, the Cincinnati Coffee Festival event director, said in a press release.
Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. More info: cincinnaticoffeefestival.com.Subscribe to CityBeat newsletters.
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