“I love coffee, I love tea, I love the Java Jive and it loves me.” So sang Bill Kenny in 1940, and if you share his feelings on the matter, the International Coffee and Tea Festival may be for you. Coffee servers from across the globe compete in the Barista Championship, plus frothy creations at the UAE Latte Art Championship.

Jan-Berend Holzapfel, owner of the Ronnefeldt Tea Company, tells us about tea
– After water, tea is the most frequently consumed drink in the world.
– Tea was traditionally an expensive commodity, enjoyed only by the rich.
– The six principal tea-producing countries are: China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Japan and Indonesia.
– The word ‘tea’ comes from ‘te’ in the south Chinese dialect, Amoy.
– Tea was first cultivated in China 5,000 years ago. In 552AD, Buddhist monks brought tea from China to Japan. The Dutch first brought tea to Europe in 1610.

Abdul Shaikh, Head Barista at Koffeecake Corner Dubai, shares his wisdom
– Legend has it coffee was discovered when an Ethiopian farmer saw his goats eat the mystery bean and go hyperactive. He tried the beans himself and found they had the same effect.
– In the 16th century, coffee was banned by Muslim rulers due to the nervous effects it had on people.
– Christians originally called coffee ‘the devil’s fruit’, but monks later accepted the drink as it helped keep them awake for their players.
– Coffee as a commodity ranks only second to petroleum/oil in terms of dollars traded worldwide.

November 6 to 9
Meydan Grandstand and Convention Centre, Al Meydan Road, Nad Al Sheba, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3355001. Taxi: Meydan Racecourse.
Tues to Thur 11am to 7pm, Fri 3pm to 7pm, free.