From Thursday to Sunday, Brick Lane's Old Truman Brewery will host The London Coffee Festival. This city is awash with coffee fiends, so it's sure to be a popular event. And why not? Coffee may well protect you against loads of diseases, plus we all know caffeine makes you more alert and sociable. It's the acceptable face of stimulants: the only psychoactive drug the majority of teenagers can get away with doing with their parents.
However, as much as I like coffee, I can't fathom how coffee festivals work. It's not like a beer festival where over half a day you can sip on half pints, get through a dozen and leave tipsy. Two or three coffees is enough for most people. So are coffee festivals like pretentious wine tastings, with consumers aspirating the coffee before a quick sip and spit into a bucket? If not, I'm assuming after a few hours the festival will be full of jitters and wide eyes.
Even the cocktails will be laced with coffee. On the Friday night, hip-hop producer DJ Yoda will be gettin' jiggy wit it (or whatever it is hip-hop DJs do), while you hit new highs with the classic espresso martini and the Baileys flat white martini – a heady mix of Baileys, vodka and espresso. My brain recoils when I try to imagine what a Baileys flat white martini hangover would feel like.
After the festival head over to Callooh Callay for The Gentlemen's Agreement cocktail (it's not as though you'll be getting any sleep). Bulleit Frontier Whiskey and The Gentlemen Baristas have created two blends of Bulleit X Gentlemen Baristas barrel aged coffees: The Trucker for espressos and Gatsby for filters, with the latter used in The Gentlemen's Agreement.
On The Gentlemen's Agreement, I'm told "the warm spice notes taken from the Bulleit Bourbon barrel are highlighted by roasted coconut and nutmeg, which contrasts with a slight citrus lift at the back palate, accentuated by the floral orange flower water." No doubt all true. But more importantly it's the combination coffee and bourbon – the blending of two of the universe's most joyous combinations of atoms. It will wake you up and get you drunk – it's the cocktail for the twired (sorry, that is indeed a portmanteau of the words wired and tired) generation.