Craving a strong cup of Joe? You’re in the right city for it.
Recently, Pittsburgh was named one of the best cities for coffee lovers in America. Whether you take it black, add cream or a sprinkle (or two) of sugar, the city’s wide range of options when it comes to caffeinated beverages can keep any coffee lover on their toes.
And from October 19 to 26, Pittsburgh’s coffeehouses, roasters, shops, and organizations are coming together to celebrate the rich coffee culture of the city. In its fifth year, Pittsburgh’s Annual Coffee Week celebrates “The Heart Behind the Craft” with events, drink specials, and a friendly competition or two.
What is Pittsburgh Coffee Week?
Pittsburgh Coffee Week celebrates coffee across the city, but more importantly, it highlights the people around the bean. From the diehard customers to the friendly baristas, roasters, technicians, importers, and farmers that make Pittsburgh a special place for coffee.
“I think what makes Pittsburgh special as a coffee city is the sense of community amongst shops,” says Robert Chaffin of Commonplace Coffee. “There is little competitiveness amongst businesses, and most shop owners or managers are friendly with each other. This sense of camaraderie is why something like Pittsburgh Coffee Week can exist, because shops recognize that we’re all in this together.”
Local participants in Pittsburgh Coffee Week include:
- Arriviste Coffee Bar
- Commonplace Coffee
- Convive Coffee Roastery
- De Fer Coffee & Tea
- La Prima Espresso Co.
- Lending Hearts
- Maggie’s Rum Farm
- Mediterra Cafe
- Redstart Roasters
Pittsburgh Coffee Week Events
Every day of Pittsburgh Coffee Week includes a free (unless otherwise listed) event that’s open to the public. Interested in checking one out? Head over to Facebook and RSVP for the event. The schedule is as follows:
Saturday, October 19 // Steel City Sips & Sweets
Nova Place, 100 S. Commons
9am to 11am
The second annual Steel City Sip & Sweets features specialty coffee shops and bakeries in Pittsburgh. Visitors get a taste of local coffee and treats from each bakery, voting for “Best Sip” and “Best Sweet”. Note: This event has a $25 ticket that includes coffee and pastries. The proceeds from the event go to Lending Hearts, a local nonprofit that provides support for children with cancer and their families.
Sunday, October 20 // Birds and Beans
Redstart Roasters, 1125 Penn Ave
1pm to 4pm
Need an afternoon pick-me-up? Head to Redstart Roasters in Point Breeze to sample coffee and treats from local bakeries while learning about ethical souring, and bird-friendly coffee that protects threatened ecological areas.
Monday, October 21 // Coffee and Spirits: A Tasting Experience
Maggie’s Rum Farm, 3212a Smallman St
7pm to 9pm
Try coffee and spirits from local producers and learn more about the similarities between the two. Get a taste of coffee, whiskey, and rum from Commonplace Coffee, Wigle Whiskey, and Maggie’s Rum Farm. This event is 21+ and tickets are $20, which includes the tastings.
Tuesday, October 22 // Coffee and Cocktails
De Fer Coffee & Tea, 2002 Smallman St
6pm to 8pm
Enjoy live music, free coffee tasting, and a roasting demo at De Fer’s roastery and cafe. The event includes $6 cocktail specials inspired by Pittsburgh Coffee Week.
Wednesday, October 23 // Cafe Ubriaco Release Party and Tasting
La Prima Downtown, 1100 Smallman St
6pm to 8pm
Join La Prima at its newest Downtown location in the AC Hotel for its release of Cafe Ubriaco, Batch 15, its latest blend, aged in rye whiskey barrels. Try the newest brew, sample Liberty Pole Spirits’ newest offerings, and enjoy live music.
Thursday, October 24 // Coffee Taster’s Competition
Convive Lawrenceville , 4032 Butler St
5pm to 8pm
Learn more about the art of identifying coffee at this tasting competition. With competitions for newcomers and pros, anyone can get in on the fun of a good cup of coffee. Prizes will be awarded to winners in both competitions, and attendees are free to compete, but there are limited spots available.
Friday, October 25 //Feel the Flow Barista Challenge
Arriviste Coffee Bar, 5730 Ellsworth Ave
7pm to 10pm
Watch barista pros from across the city compete in teams of two to fulfill large orders of drinks as quickly and perfectly as possible. Each team will be judged, and winners will go home with bragging rights, and cash. Join in the fun as a participant or observer and check out records for sale on-site by The Government Center and vegan food from Relish.
Saturday, October 26 // Pittsburgh Latte Art Throwdown
Commonplace Coffee Headquarters, 1004 Washington Blvd
6pm to 10pm
Drink Specials during Pittsburgh Coffee Week
In addition to daily events, participating Pittsburgh Coffee Week shops will offer daily drink specials. Find the specials here.
Pittsburgh Coffee Week is made possible by sponsors including Barista Magazine, Hario, and La Marzocco.
Pittsburgh Coffee Week Final Event: Latte Art Throwdown
Pittsburgh Coffee Week culminates with its final event, the Latte Art Throwdown, a competition amongst the city’s best baristas to see who can pour the best latte art. Participants are placed in a bracket, where they’ll compete head-to-head. The top three competitors will receive prizes, and the winner will face off in a Final Four against the winners of the previous three Latte Art Throwdown events held in 2019.
The event is free to the public, but if you want to compete, you’ll have a $10 entry fee.
After the competition, stick around for beer from Tröegs, and Will Groves of Maggie’s Farm Rum will be creating cocktails using the competition lattes.