Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
Denver Post file photo
Colorado Daily file photo
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
If you go
What: Coffee Fest
When: 1-4 p.m. Saturday at Arts Hub, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday at Erie Coffee Roasters
Where: Arts Hub, 420 Courtney Way, Lafayette; Erie Coffee Roasters, 3000 Airport Drive, Hanger #307, Erie
Cost: $15-$26, kids ages 12 and under free
More info: tinyurl.com/CoffeeFest19
For some, coffee is a luxury. For others, it is a necessity. When that alarm clock sounds and the sleepy-eyed wake to take on the day, first thoughts usually consist of the brewed goodness. Java. Brew. Mud. Whatever name you assign to the daily fuel, it’s often the initial incentive to not hit snooze and emerge from the confines of a toasty comforter.
This weekend, the first annual Coffee Fest — a celebration of the latest and greatest in caffeinated culture — will take over Lafayette and Erie in an event complete with demos, tastings and film screenings. There will be a heap of top purveyors of the freshly roasted beverage on hand to disperse knowledge and free sips.
“Our event is an attempt to educate coffee lovers about what goes into a great cup of coffee — from farming to roasting to a skilled barista performing their magic,” said Julia Joun, an organizer for the Flatirons Food Film Festival who partnered with Erie Coffee Roasters for the event. “Along with education, we want to provide a delicious and fun experience.”
The two-day happening, made possible with a grant from the Lafayette Cultural Arts Commission, will be held at Arts Hub in Lafayette on Saturday and the Erie Coffee Roasters facility on Sunday.
Artist Craig Peterson, a man known for incorporating the bean juice in his paintings, is making the journey from Pennsylvania to display his imaginative offerings. For Peterson, the idea to utilize coffee in his art came when he was in the process of crafting a gift for his mother.
“I wanted the paper to have an aged look,” said Peterson. “I knew tea could be used to stain things, so I actually tried tea first, but the same night I brewed coffee, and it was a much better effect. Once the paper was stained, I did calligraphy lettering with a Sharpie marker to make the saying ‘Live, Laugh, Love.’ After that, I made all of the pieces with coffee and Sharpie until I started adding in watercolor.”
Peterson’s work captures a thoughtful tribute to the natural world with majestic scenes of foxes, bears and tents under starry skies and on mountainsides.
“I like using the coffee because you never really know what you’re going to get when staining the paper,” said Peterson. “Even my pieces that are painted inside of a coffee ring are always unique because each ring is different.”
Children attending Coffee Fest will be given the opportunity to try their hand at some coffee art of their own.
“I do not have a specific brand of coffee that I use in my work,” said Peterson. “I basically just use whatever I buy at the store to drink. I haven’t experimented a lot with which roasts give lighter or darker stains, but I have gotten cool effects from instant coffee.”
Baristas and roasters from Fox Dog Coffee, East Simpson Coffee Co., Erie Coffee Co. and Precision Pours will be in attendance to answer any questions and deliver savory samples of both hot and chilled varieties.
Bites from Eat at Community and Tip Top Savory Pies will be provided, along with mini burritos courtesy of Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.
“Erie Coffee Roasters and our partners attending the event on both days will be providing seed-to-cup education and everything in between,” said Lisa Zautke, who co-owns Erie Coffee Roasters with her husband, Nate Zautke. “We’ll have information booths that explain the history and culture of coffee, some of the processes employed after harvest, the roasting process, all the way to how to compost with your coffee grounds.”
In addition to finding out how to make the most impressive latte art and to see the precision involved in perfect espresso shot-pulling, attendees will get an opportunity to taste flavors of coffee they may not have experienced before.
“There’s always something new popping up in coffee, and the trend in cold brew is still climbing,” said Lisa Zautke. “We’ll have our Citra-hopped cold brew on nitro tap to cover that end of things. Another unique and not yet well-known product to keep an eye out for is cascara or casca. We will have samples of our hot and cold versions of cascara on both days available for tasting.”
Cascara is concocted from dried coffee cherries and said to have a brown sugar-like flavor that starts out sweet and gets bitter as the taste settles.
“I am very excited to see an event like this highlight our vibrant local coffee community,” said Tamas Christman, CEO of Boulder-based Dragonfly Coffee Roasters, which was recently named 2019 Micro-Roaster of the Year by “Roast Magazine.” Christman said he will be in Boston this weekend for the annual international Specialty Coffee Association conference, but he will appear in a video introduction to the film “Caffeinated.”
In addition to the documentary “Caffeinated,” which tells the story of the reemergence of coffee as a culinary experience and shines a light on hard-working farmers, the film “Coffee Propaganda” will also be screened.
“As an industry, we are at a very exciting time in coffee history,” said Christman. “I think we will see new innovations across several areas in the near future.”