Some of the Climpson's Crew made their way to Budapest for the World of Coffee Festival. Cafe Manager Stacey shares her experience on volunteering and her time at the festival!
After attending a few other coffee events such as the incredible Barista Camp in Estonia and Co:lab in Barcelona, I've increasingly found myself feeling connected to this massive, dynamic coffee community. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to have the opportunity to make somebody else feel instantly connected to our community and the World of Coffee in Budapest captured my imagination so much I couldn't turn it down.
For me, volunteering was a complete game changer. The entire event was packed with innovative new products, passionate farmers in traditional dress showcasing their coffees and of course more incredible competitions than it was possible to watch! I was lucky enough to be working opposite the WBrC stage. For the first time there was a ‘serve the audience bar’ on the Curtis stand where the competitors could come and brew their coffee for the crowd. Whilst the competitors were actually on stage I had the opportunity to batch brew (and therefore excessively taste) the incredible selection of coffees on their behalf for the audience. The guys on the Curtis stand really looked after me and I got to taste some jaw-droppingly good coffee while watching a full days worth of performances - the dream!
The volunteer team was a cross-section of passionate coffee people from all areas of the industry, hailing from all over the world. I think what makes the World of Coffee special is that it is a rare opportunity for a barista like me (usually to be found hidden behind my cafe bar) to feel a palpable connection with our worldwide coffee community - even if just for a few days.
A highlight for me was the opportunity to watch the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. From the roasting process right through to being served a beautiful little cup of dark, rich coffee it was a wonderful experience that will stay with me for a long time; a sweet reminder of the many fascinating human elements and traditions involved in the physical product I love so much.
I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering to anyone even slightly interested in coffee. Not only it is a chance to give a little something back to our community but its an incredible opportunity to learn, connect and understand that coffee is not just the brown stuff that we drink - it also represents a vast network of incredibly passionate people from bean to cup. As for the World of Coffee? See you next year!