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Coffee and Tea Festival caffeinates crowd

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Photo by Megan Henderson

Photo by Megan Henderson

Photo by Megan Henderson

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There are two types of people in this world: tea drinkers and coffee drinkers.

But, both sides came together for a caffeine-filled day at the Coffee and Tea Festival on Saturday.

The festival, held at the Downtown Rivermarket, featured 13 companies that competed for the title of best cold brew, best hot coffee, best tea and best roaster. In addition to the title, the winners would also get a plaque, good publicity and coveted bragging rights.

This was the first-ever Coffee and Tea Festival in Monroe.

The event coordinator, Sheena Burbridge, said they wanted to “bring some energy and excitement” to the Rivermarket on the first day of it’s spring season.

“What better way to bring energy than with some caffeine?” Burbridge said.

Most of the coffee companies handed their coffee and tea samples out to festival-goers from tents and booths, but some of them distributed their samples right out of a food truck, such as Southern Shivers.

Located in West Monroe, Southern Shivers was one of the companies competing for best cold brew and tea.

They brought iced chai tea latte samples that were perfectly sweet and had just the right amount of spice.

The 13 competitors weren’t just from the Monroe area, either.

Burbridge said that a couple of vendors who were interested in the festival were located in Texas and even Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Quite a few vendors came from the Shreveport area and some were South Louisiana-based chains such as CC’s Coffee House.

They gave away a few different drink samples that included their Zydeco Chai, Cypress Sunrise Blend and Mochasippi.

Senior English major Ashley Williams said she really enjoyed the event.

However, she said as a tea lover she was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more tea to choose from at the event.

“There’s definitely way more coffee,” she said. “But it’s good coffee.”

Williams said the best coffee she’d had all morning was the Cat’s Meow, an espresso drink brewed by Boona Bean Coffee Co. from Bossier City.

She also said that Rhino Coffee’s Mexican Cold Brew was her second favorite.

In the end, Rhino Coffee won best cold brew and best hot coffee, Southern Shivers won best tea and Boona Bean won the top title of best roaster.

Other vendors that participated in the festival were: Caster and Chicory, Louisiana Roasting Company, Plantation Gourmet Coffee Co., Union Mill Coffee, For His Temple Family Foods, Newk’s, Immersed and Community Coffee.

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Coffee and Tea Festival caffeinates crowd