CUPNORTH ’16 // Manchester

A brief look back CupNorth.

I’m in no way ‘in the know’ when it comes to coffee, despite drinking more than my fair share.

The main reason for going was actually to take inspiration from the brilliantly crafted brands that populated Victoria Warehouse, but it did provide a nice change of pace and the opportunity to gain some insight into what usually goes in my mug.

I was initially apprehensive that it would be quite an insular gathering – an event meant for those in the industry, rather than the run-of-the-mill coffee enthusiast.

Especially with specialist events like this, it can feel like you need to know every aspect there is before you can discuss it with the seasoned baristas or artisanal roasters.

However, it came as a welcome surprise that everyone who I spoke was more than happy to chat about coffee, as well as general bits and bobs.

You know, like regular human beings.

I should have given them more credit to be honest.

And, naturally, the more experienced coffee connoisseurs were open to imparting any knowledge they could to those would wanted to find out more.

Union were more than willing to take me through some of the key things I should know in terms of tasting technique, and Allpress were probably the most chatty bunch there.

I’d forgotten that everyone there had come because they were interested in coffee – a common, unifying trait that brought CupNorth together in the first place.

They were all there because they wanted to be, with some level of passion for coffee, and enjoyed engaging with people.

Presenting myself as a coffee novice seem to garner the interest of a fair few who wanted to ensure I left feeling comfortable talking coffee in the future.

Overall, it was a great experience, and showed me that even though a community can see closed off in some way, whether that be through knowledge, position or otherwise, they’re still likely to open up to you if you show an interest.

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