Food & Drink

Last-minute (caffeine) rush gives Manchester coffee festival £6,000 shot after Kickstarter cash pours in

Two clever coffee connoisseurs have raised nearly £6,000 after brewing up the idea of a holding a coffee festival in Manchester this November.

Cup North was conceived by roasting expert Hannah Davies and Ricardo Gandara, who hope to bring together coffee lovers, experts and craftsmen whilst showcasing a strong selection of the black stuff and foodie businesses.

After meeting last year at the Chorlton coffee festival last year, the pair used Kickstarter to ask Mancunians to back a ‘bigger and better’ coffee extravaganza.

And they smashed through their £5,000 target with eight hours to spare and exceeded their goal by £900 – but only after the donations poured in at the last minute.

Hannah told MM: “I’m over the moon as we were not expecting this to happen. We were only at £1,500 in last Wednesday so it was panic stations flyering all over Manchester, holding a PR evening and a coffee tasting but it all paid off in the end.

“As I work in the coffee industry I just want people to know all the great things that are going on in it!

“Ricardo has actually been away for the last three weeks in Portugal so I’ve been on my own freaking out but it’s all good as he’s back home now and I’m going to see him later for a drink!”

Over November 1 and 2, revellers will be able to expresso themselves and try an array of coffee from across the globe accompanied by a delicious selection of authentic street food.

BRAINS BEHIND THE BEANS: Hannah Davies and Ricardo Gandara founded the event

Those in attendance will be able to take a break from the daily grind and get the chance to learn more about coffee and how it’s made.

Roasters, brewers and baristas will all be converging to share knowledge as well as cups of the hot stuff.

Hannah said: “Most people don’t go a day without a cup of coffee but so many live life not knowing anything about it and there’s some really good coffee to be had, so that’s part of our quest.

“When you present people with a range of single origin coffee, they sometimes don’t recognise it’s coffee and it takes a while to get their heads around it, when they appreciate it there’s a wow moment and then there’s no going back. That’s what we want, to convert people.”

Tamper Tantrum, the coffee equivalent of TED talks, will also be at Cup North.

Organised by Steve Leighton of Has Bean and Colin Harmon of Ireland-based 3fE, the talks feature well-respected industry professional discussing coffee before opening it up to a wider discussion among cappuccino aficionados.

The talks are recorded to create a bank of videos that people can be passed on to future coffee lovers on the science behind a good brew and the social aspects behind the drink.

The discussions have taken place all the world and Hannah and Ricardo are excited to bring them to Manchester.

“I think Tempa Tantrum had a big hand in securing support, for the last few years they’ve been abroad and I just wanted to make them accessible to the people up north,” she said.

Another real success story for coffee-loving crowdfunders came last year when Peter Gibson and Luke Tomlinson set up Grindsmiths with the help of donations from Mancunians who can’t get enough of a good cup of joe, scooping more than £10,000.

Through the kindness of other who shared their vision, they were able to create a safe haven where people can stop by for a much-needed cup of java and all those who gave money were paid back in on coffee once the shop was open.

Hannah said: “I think there’s a real sense of community here in Manchester.

“One thing I’m really passionate is the north and doing stuff for us and I think we get a lot of support from local people who know we do that and want to show that we have a great knowledge and understanding of good food and coffee, and people want to share which is great.”

Cup North’s sponsored charity is Coffee Kids, who support families that are involved in coffee production, they will be hosting the family area at the java spectacular and all children under 12 go free.

Delicious food and drink will be accompanied by demos by professional coffee experts, art by Mancunian collective Makers Dozen, and live music from local bands.

Hannah told MM: “The ArtWork building in Greengate where we are holding Cup North has been an inspiration – it’s a factory with original features and we wanted to do something in there that captures the personality of Manchester while doing something really educational as well.

“I’m buzzing. It’s been lovely getting so much support, it’s really reassuring and positive. I can’t wait now.”

Main image courtesy of Cheryl Foong with thanks

Related Articles