First time at the Tallinn Coffee Fest – Coffee story by Aivar

Hidden in magical Telliskivi, Vaat taproom is a sanctuary where we geeks gather to play chess and drink craft beer every Wednesday. You can meet interesting people there, grow your network without having to visit saunas and find somebody to listen to your neverending talk about coffee. That’s how I met Aivar, a software engineer from Tallinn. Aivar plays a killer defense in chess, goes to the gym regularly (not like me), and has never been to Tallinn Coffee Fest. Until this year, of course. Let’s hear his story.

My coffee story by Aivar Romandi

Previous coffee experience

I was a tea person before, and I consider drinking coffee a new habit. I usually drank cappuccinos or lattes, but lately I switched to black coffee. Most of my coffee consumption happens in the office, where we have a standard Jura coffee machine. The machine in our office grinds the beans on the spot, brews the coffee quickly and efficiently and makes a decent cup of coffee.

My parents always drank filter coffee. A Finnish brand called Luxus was their usual choice. But as a child, I didn’t like the taste of coffee. Even when I started to drink it more regularly, it was mostly for the caffeine spike. I knew that many fancy coffee brands exist and that beans that grow in different areas taste differently. I also knew that the roast level significantly impacts the taste, but that was pretty much that.

Crowd for Tallinn Coffee Fest 2022
The line was something

My experience with Tallinn Coffee Fest

And on Saturday, (Sep 3 2022), I was standing in a line in front of Kultuurikatel to buy a ticket for Tallinn Coffee Fest 2022. It was also my first time visiting Kultuurikatel, and the place is pretty cool. I finally walked in, and the whole premise was filled with people and the aromas of fresh coffee. I didn’t know where to start, and I felt like a headless chicken. 

Kultuurikatel
Amazing Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel)

First, I went to the 2nd floor and bought a small Turkish coffee from the Turkish Embassy stand. The first sip of coffee gave me some courage, so I went to Illy coffee stand and got a cappuccino. I found it to be delicious and nicely presented. During the breaks from trying different coffees, I walked a lot, saw a few old acquaintances, and it was nice to chat with them.

I really liked the gallery that had colourful close-up pictures of coffee crystals. I remember seeing these pictures previously at Balti Jaam Market. Later on, I found out that the pictures were also used as a promotion for specialty instant coffee by Kohe. 

Kohe Coffee crystals
Kohe coffee crystals

At the Gemoss stand, I tried a carbonated drink made of coffee cherries. It tasted like lemonade, but not too sweet, more on the sour side, reminding me of cranberries. They recommended I try out the stuff that Rudy’s Kombucha has on display.

I was intrigued by the coffee kombuchas and alcoholic kombuchas offered there. The coffee kombucha was more pleasant than I anticipated. It had balanced sour and bitter tastes. I got to meet the owners and chat with them about kombucha, and I also got to try the alcoholic kombucha that they had. The alcoholic kombucha tasted like a celebratory drink, reminding me of champagne. It would be really nice if I’d find it somewhere in Estonia as well, I have only seen the non-alcoholic versions. 

Next was Rocket Bean, which my friend and coffee guru Jozo recommended I try. Their baristas were so friendly, and I asked for something special, so they offered me espresso made from Magic beans.  It was the best coffee I have ever had in my life! So many different tastes in one cup, and together it was like an orchestra of deliciousness! I was carried away.

Crowd near Rocket Bean Booth
It got crowded

At some point, I had some milky oolong tea by Chado. It was nice to take a small break from the coffee tasting. The tea tasted a bit velvety, in the best imaginable way.

Before the festival was over, I went to the Coffee People stand, talked a bit with the barista there and got another coffee. The barista explained to me that coffee should taste good even when it’s not hot.

My final stop was at Caffebo, where I got another cup of coffee, made from their Tõde coffee. While drinking the coffee, I had the pleasure of hearing about the Caffebo’s history and products. The story about the creation of tastes was a fascinating insight into the coffee industry. 

Second floor view in Tallinn Creative Hub
Second floor view

Near the entrance, Coffeestar Ristiku Röstikoda stand was calling to me with the smell of their flavoured coffee. I bought some chocolate cherry flavoured coffee there, and they ground it for me. 

Glass French press
My new French press

The conclusion

In conclusion, I had a great time, and I will be going to the next Tallinn Coffee Festival, too. I would like to express my gratitude to Jozo for giving me an idea of how to spend one sunny Saturday. I recently bought a French press, which will surely see some usage soon. Who knows, maybe I will become enamoured with coffee as well.

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