Hamilton hipsters ‘espresso’ themselves at festival

HAMILTON – From French Press to Chemex, Cold Brew to Standard Drip, there was a type of coffee for all coffee drinkers in Hamilton to enjoy at this year’s Hamilton Coffee Fair.

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Hundreds of Hamiltonians and visitors came to experience the fair downtown Hamilton on Sunday, March 5 at the Spice Factory event venue to promote specialty coffee and the local independent coffee community.

The city of Hamilton is known for its local, trendy coffee scene and boasts some of the most interesting and unique shops in the area.

“I love supporting local Hamilton shops,” said Chris Merkus, a 25-year-old kindergarten teacher with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. “I love how Hamiltonians support local.”

The venue showcased several venders from various local coffee shops in the city and guests could taste free samples of their coffee and lattes, purchase some beans and other products to take home, participate in an ‘art latte’ competition, and more.

“It’s fun to do this with friends and go out to local events in the city,” said Merkus. “It’s also great coffee and you were able to make your own lattes [too].”

The fair opened its doors at 11 a.m. on Sunday and the line to get in extended well beyond two blocks away from the main entrance. Most visitors had to wait at least one hour to get inside the free event.

“Even though it was cold, I wanted to experience the fair and taste coffee from shops I hadn’t visited yet,” said Merkus. “It was worth the wait.”

Seasoned baristas took time to teach and show visitors how to make their own lattes and how to pour their own latte art. Latte art is the term coined for a method of preparing coffee created by pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso and resulting in a pattern or design on the surface of the latte.

There were so many people in line looking to learn the basics of latte art that one of the baristas said “it’s really all just a blur now, so many people came out”.

There are so many different ways to prepare your morning, afternoon, or evening cup coffee in this day and age that it’s worth spending time researching and familiarizing yourself with a few of them. Several coffee connoisseurs were at the event to help guests select the perfect bean, grind, flavour or method of preparation to start newcomers on their coffee journeys.

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