We’ve just spent 4 days at London Coffee Festival, roasted kilos of coffee and spoken to hundreds of people about the IKAWA roasters and although talked out, are completely buzzing.
London Coffee Festival has really become a fixture in the coffee calendars now and seems to have grown with the burgeoning coffee scene in the UK – and beyond – as we met loads of Europeans and even Americans we’d met before at SCAA.
The Industry days on Thursday and Friday were a great chance for us to catch up with some of our professional customers, many of whom are importers who use the Pro Roaster to sample roast in their offices, but also in origin.
This was the third year we’ve exhibited at London Coffee Festival, the last time was two years ago and IKAWA has come a long way since then developing the smartphone app to replace the computer, and we now have products people can actually buy – or back in the case of our Home Roaster!
Above Left: Andrew at LCF this weekend with smartphone controlled Home Roaster Above Right: Rombout at LCF 2013 with an earlier version of roaster and software!
The two things that really stood out for us were the really strong sense of community at the show, and the impressive level of coffee connoisseurship – not just within ‘the trade’ but from real enthusiasts with ‘normal’ day-jobs who love to indulge their coffee habits at the weekend! I think in many ways this echoes our experience of first few days on Kickstarter where we’ve had some excellent feedback, support and really well considered and informed questions all from people who are excited by our innovation.
We met a guy who has two home espresso machines at home and had come to the festival specifically to work out which grinder to buy, several people who’d pan roasted coffee only to fill their kitchens with chaff for days, and a guy who’d tried modifying a popcorn maker to roast coffee, and added a microphone to be able to hear the first crack! He was particularly impressed by the Home Roaster – as you can actually see the beans bouncing around when they crack, and the roaster is so quiet it’s easy to hear them too – so no need for a microphone!
For people who have already invested in excellent coffee making equipment (ranging from espresso machines to grinders, or aeropress etc), the idea of having the opportunity to now focus on the roast of the actual beans they put through it seemed like a natural next step - so we're really excited to play a part in making that happen; accessible for people who've never considered Home Roasting, and will also allow home roasting enthusiasts to indulge their curiosity!
It was also brilliant to actually meet with our future customers! We’ve been developing the IKAWA roaster for years, and recently had a lot of late nights and early mornings preparing for our Kickstarter project, so to hear the coffee loving community getting so stoked by the prospect of roasting their own coffee at home was really motivating for us.
Our Kickstarter project for the Home Roaster is live right now until 1st June – find our more here.
Next stop Amsterdam Coffee Festival on 15th – 17th May.