My first time at a coffee festival was last weekend. It was a pretty fun day but as a first-timer, there are definitely some things you need to know. I asked a friend of mine to go with me to the San Antonio Coffee Festival and as two coffee lovers (and festival goers) we had a great time. The weather here can be unpredictable this time of year so I didn’t feel too bad planning something that was a free event.
As a first time attendee, I really didn’t know what to expect. It was only the second year of the event so there wasn’t much I could find online to prepare myself. Now that I’ve been, I wanted to share some highlights of the day plus some tips and things you need to know for next year. The San Antonio Coffee Festival is a very popular event, so I came up with 7 things you need to know before you go.
My First Time at a Coffee Festival: 7 Things You Need to Know
1 – Buy Tickets Online Ahead of Time
Even though admission to the coffee festival is free, you’ll want to buy tickets for a flight of coffee tastings. A 4-flight tasting costs just $5 so it’s really affordable. We actually bought our tickets on our phones when we arrived, rather than wait in the long line to get tickets. Then just walk up and get your phone scanned in exchange for tickets. You’ll present one ticket per cup of coffee to taste at any of the vendor booths you choose.
2 – Park and Walk
Be prepared for parking lots to fill up. The San Antonio Coffee Festival was held at La Villita Historic Arts Village downtown, so parking was at a premium. We found a garage and walked just a couple of blocks. If you have to walk far, you can always walk along the Riverwalk for a good portion of it, which helps make the walk more enjoyable.
3 – Go Early
This is probably the most important thing you need to know. There were a lot more people there than I expected, resulting in long lines at each of the vendor booths. Once you get your coffee, I recommend getting into another line immediately. You can drink your coffee while you move up in the line. We made the mistake of drinking our coffee off to the side, again because we had no idea there would be that many people there.
4 – Go With Someone
You’ll be waiting in a lot of lines so go with friends or a significant other. The San Antonio Coffee Festival is a perfect date activity, just make sure they like coffee as much as you do.
5 – Fido is Welcome
Dogs are welcome at the coffee festival! San Antonio is a pretty dog friendly city, and this is a great event to bring them to. However, if your pooch is not good with large numbers of people or crowded spaces, you might want to leave them at home.
6 – Great Coffee
The variety and quality of coffee vendors is outstanding. There were over 80 specialty coffees to try and most were brands I had not heard of. My favorite of the day was definitely Summer Moon. They even make their own sweet cream, which was decadent. Each of the vendors has unique ways of roasting and brewing and there are coffees sourced from all over the world.
7 – What to Wear
Dress comfortably and appropriately because you’ll be outdoors. It was a little chilly when we arrived but it warmed up. And the coffee helped. I decided it was the perfect event to wear this embroidered velvet bomber jacket for the first time. Something about the embroidery patterns and colors said “coffee festival.” Is that weird? I guess the design reminded me of some of the patterns and colors I saw in South America last year. I love this jacket, and it was a gift from my mom so that makes it extra special. I wish it was still in stock, but I did link some other bombers I love below.
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xo – Erin
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