No Filter Espresso Fest


A man pours coffee from a glass pitcher into a small cup for a festival attendee.

The biggest espresso gathering within the Southeastern U.S. returned to caffeinate the Carolinas.


Pictures by Emily Moss 

No Filter Coffee Fest, the biggest espresso gathering within the Southeastern United States, returned in late September for its 2022 version. The competition began out with principally native Charlotte, N.C.-based roasteries, however attendees now discover their new favourite drinks from cities throughout the Carolinas, from the mountains of Asheville, N.C., to the coasts of Charleston, S.C. Some distributors come from so far as New York, and even greater firms like Rishi Tea now make an look.

Speedy Progress

The magnitude of No Filter Espresso Fest’s development since its debut in 2016 is spectacular. It began out modestly with a dozen distributors, and there have been over 60 at this 12 months’s providing. No Filter has been going sturdy for six years, minus just a few bumps alongside the best way (i.e., 2020); it has at all times tailored and are available again stronger than in earlier years. 

A twenty foot long rainbow made from colored balloons, with white balloons forming a cluster of clouds at the bottom of the arch.
The 2022 No Filter Espresso Fest was sponsored by Third Wave Water.

This was my third 12 months attending, so I drafted my providers as a volunteer for the occasion. Workers was unimaginable of their communication months prematurely, leaving nothing in query on the day of the competition. A smooth-running occasion from behind the scenes matched the view from an attendee’s perspective.

Deal with Water Remedy and Recycling

Viewing the spectacle from either side, first as a volunteer after which as an attendant, my appreciation has grown exponentially, particularly within the waste and water remedy aspect of manufacturing. This 12 months No Filter partnered with an area composting firm, Crown Town Compost, to correctly eliminate and reuse all of the grounds from the espresso consumed. (That is one thing that isn’t usually a priority on your common competition attendant, however extremely appreciated.)

No Filter Coffee Fest attendees mill around the convention center tasting the wares.
This 12 months’s No Filter Espresso Fest featured over 60 distributors.

Together with recycling, water remedy was a distinguished theme on this 12 months’s occasion, which was sponsored by Third Wave Water. The corporate additionally held a serious time slot within the occasion’s Studying Lab seminar block. Along with a number of panel discussions, attendants have been handled to a wide range of espresso tools demos hosted by some large names in brewing, equivalent to Baratza. For those who have been fast sufficient to get passes, VIP ticket holders acquired entry an hour sooner than commonplace ticket holders. Native roasteries and sponsors additionally gave out goodies as further incentives for getting in as VIPs.   

The competition started with a latte throwdown sponsored by Summit Espresso and ended with an afterparty sponsored by Hex Espresso.

Bookended with Enjoyable

With a weekend filled with leisure, locals had their fill of coffee-fueled enjoyable. The No Filter Espresso Fest was preceded by a pleasant latte artwork competitors, hosted by vendor Summit Coffee, the place novices and professionals alike joined in on the festivities. Publish-event was a competition first: an afterparty for all folks within the espresso enterprise spectrum. Hosted by Hex Coffee, the afterparty was a spot for enterprise house owners new and outdated to attach, and an opportunity for café house owners to fulfill with roasters to kind future connections.

With over 700 tickets offered, this was the biggest No Filter Espresso Fest in attendance so far, in each distributors and ticket holders. The occasion’s management is altering arms after this 12 months, so it is going to be intriguing to see how No Filter will develop with future endeavors.          


A multi-generational native of North Carolina, Zechariah Moss stop the restaurant business after a decade to pursue his love of inventive writing. Whereas unable to flee his love for espresso, he moonlights as a contract copy/ghost author for buddies and companies. His workplace could be present in a number of espresso outlets throughout the Carolinas. 

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