More than 30 quality-focused coffee roasters will be making the trek to Charlotte, North Carolina, next month for the return of the No Filter Coffee Fest (formerly known as the POUR Coffee Festival).
Designed to bridge the gap between specialty coffee roasters and coffee-loving consumers while nurturing the Southeastern United States coffee scene as a whole, the event will take place Sunday, Sept. 25, at Camp North End.
“Consumer habits have shifted due to COVID and we wanted to bring folks together in the spirit of amplification of the great work being done by coffee professionals and coffee businesses all over the Southeast,” No Filter Coffee Fest Co-Founder Diana Mnatsakanyan told DCN. “Our Southeastern coffee community is talented, creative and most of all resilient, and we want to celebrate that.”
The original POUR festival was founded by Mnatsakanyan, who’s currently the Southeast market development manager for Oatly, along with fellow Charlotte coffee professional Matt Dudley of Marco Beverage Systems.
Following a two-year in-person hiatus due to the pandemic, a name change to No Filter and the launch of an online-only event, the founders have enlisted a third partner for in-person return, Erin Hunter of the Charlotte-focused marketing firm Let’s Meet CLT.
Tickets for the 2022 event start at $25, and guests will be allowed unlimited samplings from more than three dozen craft roasting and tea companies from throughout the Southeast. A series of workshops and panel discussions are being organized by Brianna Berry of the Charleston, South Carolina-based coffee consultancy and events firm Talk Coffee to Me.
This year’s event will also introduce a retail section organized by Louisville, Kentucky-based home and prosumer coffee equipment seller Prima Coffee Equipment.
All of this collective coffee buzz reflects the remarkable growth of the specialty coffee market in the Southeast over the past five years, as dozens of new roasting companies have emerged alongside scores of new coffee shops.
Mnatsakanyan told DCN that when she started her coffee career in Charlotte, there was literally one specialty coffee shop in the city serving pourovers. As the number of quality-forward shops has grown exponentially, so too have consumer habits.
“We see this increasing demand for more bespoke, specialty-style offerings like house-made syrups, unique seasonal specials, single origin coffees, and the like,” Mnatsakanyan said. “Consumers are also asking more of their coffee: Where are roasters sourcing their coffee from? What kind of processing methods were used? What are the values of the coffee companies that I buy from? Which are not at all questions that were asked when I cut my teeth as a baby barista.”
Among the list of exhibitors at this year’s No Filter Coffee Fest are: Counter Culture Coffee, HEX Coffee, Black and White Coffee Roasters, Arteo, Enderly Coffee Co., Giddy Goat Coffee Roasters, PERC Coffee, Slingshot Coffee, Trail Blaze Coffee Academy, Summit Coffee, Huskwell, and Getchusomegear.
For tickets and information, check out the No Filter homepage.
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Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine.