Java nirvana: Columbus Coffee Festival at Ohio Village offers two-days of caffeine bliss – The Columbus Dispatch

For the past six years, the Columbus Coffee Festival has been the place to sample coffee from from Greater Columbus and around Ohio.
Last year, the festival switched to a drive-through model, where guests could pick up a curated box of samples. This year, the event is back Sept. 25-26 at its home at the Ohio Village.
“It’s a nice area to walk around and slow down. It feels like you actually get to enjoy your coffee,” said Heather Yost, the director of events for Columbus Underground, which sponsors the festival.
“You can walk up and chat with the coffee roasters or vendors. It’s an old-time area, a time when you weren’t connected to your cellphone, you didn’t have the TV on, everything was hands on and slower,” she said.
As soon as you enter the festival, you’ll receive a mug that you will use for all your samples of coffee.
“Each year we do a different mug,” Yost said. “It’s a cool collector’s item. The idea was to cut down on waste. If you use little sample cups, you’re adding to the landfill. And then there are areas where you can rinse your mug, if you want to.”
You will also receive a map showing where various roasters — as well as vendors, food trucks, musicians, yoga classes, ax throwing, watercolor painting and more — are located on the grounds of Ohio Village, and a guide to the roasters with bios and information about their coffee.
There will be more than two dozen roasters at the festival this year, most of which will be on the grounds both days. Participants range from familiar local favorites such as Stauf’s Coffee Roasters and Crimson Cup to smaller local roasters such as Kahawa Coffee and Glacial Roasting to out-of-towners like Cincinnati’s Deeper Roots Coffee and Indianapolis’ Tinker Coffee  Co.
The festival is broken into two sessions each day. Morning sessions have sold out but tickets remain for the afternoon.
“We’re doing something a little different this year, which is that we’ll be having an hour break between the sessions,” Yost said. “We want to be able to do some extra cleaning, and give the roasters and everyone else a break, for mental health.”
The coffee roasters enjoy the festival as much as the guests.
Tim Hofmann owns micro-roastery the Coffee Mess in Hilliard, where he’s operated since 2014, after learning to roast coffee while living in Baltimore.
“The coffee culture of Columbus is pretty neat,” he said. “It’s very cooperative. I had a lot of support as I was getting started from other larger roasters. Meeting other coffee roasters is always a very positive, collaborative kind of an experience. And Coffee Fest is where that all comes together.”
Kenny Sipes, the founder of the Roosevelt Coffeehouse — the mission of which is to help organizations fighting hunger, unclean water and human trafficking — has been involved in the Columbus Coffee Festival since 2015.
This year, Roosevelt Coffee — under the banner of the Roosevelt Foundation, which includes both the two coffeehouses and the roaster — will be offering cold brew at the festival.
“Our cold brew is pretty incredible. It’s bright, light, and doesn’t have that ashy aftertaste you sometimes get from iced coffee,” Sipes said.
Though he sometimes finds the festival exhausting, he still enjoys being there.
“I just love that there are that many people enthusiastic about coffee,” he said.
“We try to make it the most cool and calm and fun experience,” Yost said. “We’re just excited to be back in person. There’s something about sharing coffee with others that makes it even more fantastic.”
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The Columbus Coffee Festival will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 25-26 at the Ohio Village at the Ohio History Connection, Interstate 71 at East 17th Avenue. Tickets for afternoon sessions, which run from 3 to 6 p.m., cost $20 for a single day or $30 for both days (morning sessions are sold out). Check the website for other options. The festival follows all state and local health directives, for those not vaccinated, masks are requested. Masks are required when indoors. For more information, visit www.columbuscoffeefest.com.
Will your favorite coffee vendor be represented at the event? 
Check out the list:
Anibal Colombian Coffee
Backroom Coffee Roasters
Cherry Blend Coffee Roasters
Glacial Roasting
Hemisphere Coffee Roasters
morrison coffee
Noted Coffee Roasters
Silver Bridge Coffee Co.
Yield Coffee Roasters
Humble Mornings Coffee Co.
GREATKUP 
Black Kahawa Coffee
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters
Coffee Connections
Crimson Cup Coffee & Tea
Deeper Roots Coffee
Florin Coffee
Roaming Goat Coffee Co.
Roosevelt Coffee Roasters and The Roosevelt Coffeehouse
The Coffee Mess
Tinker Coffee Co.
Coffee Emporium
Jennings Java Artisan Coffee Roasters
Java Central Cafe and Coffee Roasters
Importin’ Joe’s Ethiopian Coffee
Fifty5 Rivers BARge

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