As part of thestrategy of enhancing its position as a city with unique coffee culture, theFestival will provide a large variety of programs and events to popularizecoffee. Specifically, 100 coffee roasters and baristas will drip and blend coffeein their own ways, delivering 100 different flavors and tastes, and providethem to visitors for free. Tourists are invited to take part in the rally ofvisiting diverse coffee shops in the City where they open their own events ofoffering tasty and affordable coffee. Tourists also can enjoy bicycle tour alongcaf? and coffee shop streets and beautiful coastal roads. Over 200 fancy cafesand coffee shops across the City feature their respective flavors, tastes andatmosphere where coffee lovers can have coffees of their choice. At some coffeeshops, visitors can experience how to roast and extract coffee by themselvesusing provided instruments.
Programs willalso include several contests of baristas with awards. To select the bestbaristas and provide them with a chance of taking part in the World SuperBarista Championship (WSBC), the Festival organizing committee will host abarista awards contest in partnership with Korea Coffee Association. Top 3winners will be eligible for participation in the WSBC. The committee andAssociation will also hold a hand drip awards contest to honor baristas with besthand drip skills. Meanwhile, the committee will host a macaron award contestfor tourists given that macaron is popular as a side menu for coffee. Duringthe Festival, seminars will be held to make in-depth discussion on history andculture of coffee in the City. Around E-zen, the green city experiencing centerof the City, outdoor cafes will be set up to provide healthy beveragesincluding coffee and Korean teas along with local foods as part of efforts topromote health and healing.
As it successfullyheld the first Gangneung Coffee Festival in October 2009, the City has beenholding the coffee festival annually, though it seemed to be somewhat strangeas the City neither produces coffee nor has any particular relation withcoffee. But, as coffee is a kind of tea, the City has centuries-old history oftea culture. Ancient tea utensils used by elite warriors of the Shilla Dynasty(57 BC~935 AD) were found at a historic site in the City, and many prominentscholars and literary persons enjoyed Korean teas in ancient days, originatinga number of tea ceremonies, such as Tea Ceremony Dedicated to Saimdang, TeaCeremony Dedicated to Heonan Seolheon, and Wild Tea Ceremony for Yulgok. Further,Pak I-chu, one of prominent first-generation baristas in Korea, who hadoperated a modern coffee house in downtown Seoul in the late 1980s moved toGangneung in 2003 to open a coffee shop. He moved from the metropolitan city,Seoul, to a small city of Gangneung on the east coast because ‘he was lured by inclusivenessof the sea’. He made significant contribution to expediting maturity of uniquecoffee culture in the City. And coupled with wonderful natural environments,these historical backgrounds served as a rationale for holding the coffeefestival in the region.
As cafes andcoffee shops increased along the beach after coffee vending machines wereinstalled, the coast gained popularity as a ‘coffee beach’. But these coffeevending machines were different from those in other regions. Each of these vending machines had their own‘baristas’ who provided different tastes and flavors. With numerous coffeemasters and deep interest of citizens in coffee, seven coffee academies arecurrently in operation in the City, producing hundreds of coffee baristas andexperts. And the municipal government is striving to promote coffee as acultural product, not a simple beverage. As part of such effort, the coffeelibrary in the City is conducting activities of enhancing interest in coffee,such as event of experiencing coffee dripping and blending, lectures on coffee,and exhibition of coffee-related books and utensils including drippers andgrinders.