Cafe Fest

A cof­fee cel­e­bra­tion is brew­ing

The Coast - - FRONT PAGE - BY AISHA GOYETTE

Cafe Lara is call­ing all cof­fee geeks to its launch party of Cafe Fest, a week-long cel­e­bra­tion of all things cof­fee, lo­cal and in­de­pen­dent from May 5-11.

“I like bring­ing the com­mu­nity to­gether,” says Lara Cus­son. “I’ve been try­ing to get the cof­fee com­mu­nity to­gether as much as possible—I think it’s im­por­tant that we all sup­port each other.”

Cafe owner (and name­sake) Cus­son reached out to fel­low cof­fee peo­ple in the HRM to par­tic­i­pate. Nine­teen cof­fee shops got on board, all of which will be hand­ing out cof­fee pass­ports to their more ad­ven­tur­ous pa­trons.

Haligo­nian cof­fee en­thu­si­asts will be trav­el­ing from the Cot­tage Cafe in Dart­mouth, to the Raven Espresso Bou­tique Cof­fee in Spry­field, Dilly Dally on Quin­pool and Tri­dent Book­sell­ers in the south end, col­lect­ing stamps for a chance to win “highly caf­feinated prizes.” The goal is to get peo­ple talk­ing about—and hope­fully walk­ing into—their lo­cal cof­fee shop. Maybe even in­spire them to wan­der into a new cof­fee shop, in a new neigh­bour­hood.

The idea orig­i­nated with small batch cof­fee roast­ers Barista Mi­cro­tor­ré­fac­teur in Mon­treal. They wanted to sup­port other in­de­pen­dent cof­fee shops, but also wanted to have a little fun, and thought fes­ti­vals were the best way to get peo­ple in­volved in a little bit of both.

The fes­ti­val has been gaining trac­tion for the past four years in Quebec and has ex­panded in num­ber of par­tic­i­pat­ing shops, spe­cial events and now, thanks to Cus­son (who’s orig­i­nally from Mon­treal), its first east coast ap­pear­ance.

The fest’s clos­ing party will co­in­cide with Open City on May 11 and be ded­i­cated to hard­work­ing baris­tas. Cus­son en­cour­ages loyal cus­tomers to come out and sup­port their favourite barista for some “very silly, very friendly” com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing a blind­folded late art chal­lenge and an­nounc­ing the win­ner of the photo com­pe­ti­tion to win a full year’s worth of cof­fee.

DANIEL DO­MINIC

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