The grounds of the North Market are being prepared for a celebration of Columbus’ local coffee scene.
The market is set to hold its third annual Coffee Roast Brunch Sunday, featuring 13 roasters from Central Ohio set to provide samples of their brews.
Alongside the wide variety of local coffees to be available, there are several events, ranging from the educational Espresso Drinks 101 to a panel competition to judge participants home roasted coffee.
Sheila Hunt Rossiter, director of marketing and development for the North Market, said local roasters and the Columbus community are the driving force behind the event.
“In some industries, sometimes you find a lot of people not wanting to participate together because they are seen as competitors, but the coffee community in Columbus really has a passion for coffee. They have a really great synergy and when they work together, it’s amazing,” Hunt Rossiter said.
She said the number of coffee lovers expected to attend the event is so large, they’ve had to move the sampling section outside.
“Last year about 1,500 to 2,000 people came to the coffee roast event,” Hunt Rossiter said. “We wanted to look at that and make it more of a welcoming event for our guests, and that’s why we decided to move it outside to the farmers’ market plaza.”
One of the local brewers to be featured is the Dayton-based Boston Stoker, Erik Fenstermacher, manager of Boston Stoker’s OSU campus location, which is located at 1660 Neil Ave., said the Columbus coffee community is so large that it should soon rival that of bigger cities around the country.
“(Last year’s coffee roast) was awesome, just to see the level of coffee culture at the roast event in Ohio. You see this in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, but I didn’t know it was so well-developed in Ohio,” Fenstermacher said.
John Justice, the operations director for the downtown Columbus location of Cafe Brioso at 14 E. Gay St. and another coffee roaster set to be featured at the event, said he hopes it will help roasters overcome competition and connect with each other and the local community.
“Coffee is a funny thing. It’s like oil, nobody understand how much is consumed around them,” Justice said. “The idea is not only to bring people in to show the local coffee scene and what we can do with it, but also to create a sort of working relationship with the local roasters so we weren’t so negative or competitive with each other.”
Justice added the coffee scene in Columbus is set to soon be one of the best in the nation.
“We really think Columbus is going to be the next Portland of coffee and beer.”
Mick Evans, co-owner and director of retail operations for One Line Coffee at 745 N. High St., said Coffee Roast Brunch is a great opportunity for local residents to learn about coffee and really understand what it takes to make a good brew.
“This event allows the Columbus customer base — the coffee-drinking people of Columbus — to come and see what each roaster does individually, learn about their particular roasting style to kind of make associations with what a coffee roaster does and how it translates to the flavor of the coffee,” Evans said. “It really provides access for the community to learn about coffee and start to appreciate it in new light.”
The North Market Coffee Roast Brunch is scheduled for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Market, located at 59 Spruce St. Tickets for the event cost $14 in advance on the North Market website, or $20 day of the event.