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Get a java jive on at the Charleston Coffee Cup

Coffee lovers can get a solid buzz Nov. 5 at the fourth Charleston Coffee Cup, an event that connects local coffee shops, roasters and baristas with the caffeine-craving masses. For a chance to win two tickets, check out our contest:

Last year, the lines for the Charleston Coffee Cup extended down the steps at Memminger Auditorium, and at one point, well down the sidewalk. That’s evidence of the growing coffee culture we have here in the Charleston region, an area that until a few years ago didn’t really seriously consider the term “coffee culture” unless it came with a biscuit.

If that’s new to you as well, get thee in line for the third annual Charleston Coffee Cup from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 5 at Memminger Auditorium. You’ll see a packed auditorium of people cupping (the official way to sample coffee), serving brunch goodies, talking espresso machines, and even sipping beer or Bloody Marys.

It can all be a little overwhelming, so don’t get your caffeine buzz on so much you miss these elements of the festival. Tickets, ranging in price from $15 to $65 for a VIP package, are available at

Arabica Soda

Michael Mai of Mercantile and Mash has partnered up with friend Chris Nickels to make and distribute Arabica Soda. It’s a bright, citrus-y coffee soda already in 19 outlets in the Lowcountry, but if that sounds a little “out there” to you, stop by their booth to taste before you commit to buying a pack. You’ll be rewarded with a beverage that has many thinking “Why has someone not made this before?” In other words, I’m now making room for it in my fridge. To me, it beats cold brew any day.

Latte Art Competition

Speaking of Michael Mai, he is the organizer of the popular CCC’s Latte Art Competition, so if you double-tap latte art pics on Instagram, make sure and stick around for this from the main stage. Judges Brianna Berry of Harold’s Cabin and Chloe King of Collective Coffee Co. are awarding a $500 prize on the line for the winner.

Red Rooster

Based in Floyd, Va., this coffee roaster has a cult following among many chefs, including Charleston’s own Matt and Ted Lee. Floyd is off the beaten path for sure (unless you like music festivals or camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains) so take some time to sip their selections and say hello to some of the most genuine people in the business.

Third Wave Water

For self-professed “coffee geeks,” good water is paramount, and this year, the event has included Third Wave Water, a company based on the idea that there is an optimal formula of minerals for the perfect cup of coffee. All the participants will be using this water, which essentially levels the playing field, and so you’ll be able to comparatively taste more easily.

Jeremiah Paul Pour Over Lesson

One of the owners of Broom Wagon Coffee will teach a pour over lesson. Those that love this method do so because it can deliver a well-made, custom cup of coffee, an alternative to a French press or countertop drip machine. But it can only do that if you know what you’re doing, so learn before you decide to try it … well, before you’ve had your coffee.

BKeDSHoP Donuts

There will be plenty of brunch bite options this year, but on a cool fall day, I can think of no more perfect pairing than a cup of coffee and a doughnut. BKeDSHoP Donuts, which is a food truck and event fixture around Daniel Island and parts of Mount Pleasant, will be bringing the following flavors of their signature square confections to the event: Pumpkin Brioche with Hazelnut Pepita Toffee Crunch; Mexican Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon, Cayenne, Vanilla, and BullsBay Sea Salt; and Pecan Toffee Crunch. Actually, they will even have more flavors than those.

Coffee, etc.

And for those who can’t imagine a Sunday brunch without mimosas, Bloody Marys, or craft beer, Mac’s Place on East Bay Street will be providing libations for the event. It’s Charleston after all.

Stephanie Burt is the host of The Southern Fork, a weekly podcast.


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