New to Berkeley: Festival celebrates all things caffeine

The inaugural Berkeley Coffee and Tea Festival takes place on September 24th

Whether you’re partial to a cup of third-wave, single-origin, shade-grown espresso, a frothy decaf cappuccino, or a low-fat soy chai, it’s likely you enjoy coffee or tea in some form.

Cognizant of this, and of the fact that there are dozens of coffee and tea purveyors in our midst, the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce is holding the first Berkeley Coffee and Tea Festival on Saturday September 24th at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in downtown Berkeley.

More than 30 specialty coffee, tea and dessert vendors will convene to showcase their products and services and to provide tastings and  information about the brewing world.

Special activities will  include a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony and two workshops — Coffee 101 and Tea 101. The Coffee 101 panel discussion will be moderated by Kenneth Davids, the founder and author of the Coffee Review. The panelists for the discussion are Shirin Moayyad (Peet’s Coffee and Tea), John Di Ruocco (Mr. Espresso), Craig Becker (Caffé Mediterraneum), Phil Jaber (Philz Coffee) and Vincent Virzi (Berkeley Coffee and Tea).


The Tea 101 panel discussion will be moderated by James Norwood Pratt who is widely considered to be the world’s most widely read author on tea and tea lore. Mr. Pratt wrote his first book on tea in 1982, has since served as founder and editor of Tea Trade magazine. This panel will include Eliot Jordan (Peet’s Coffee and Tea), Sina Carroll (Red Circle Tea), Donna Ho (Far Leaves Tea), and Ned Heggerty (Silk Road Teas).

The festival takes place at Hotel Shattuck Plaza on Sept. 24, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase on the Chamber’s website or at the door on the day of the event. Follow the Coffee and Tea Festival on twitter at @coffeeteafest.

To find out about more events in Berkeley and nearby, bookmark Berkeleyside’s recently launched Events Calendar. We also encourage you to submit your own events.