ISTANBUL, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- A rich blend of coffee roasts and a lingering aroma in the air drew locals and tourists to a coffee festival that kicked off in central Istanbul on Thursday.
Exporters from India, Columbia and Indonesia and other countries are joining the four-day event, as these main suppliers of coffee beans seek to impress Turkish importers with their exclusive selections.
In total, some 100 companies are present for the fourth coffee festival hosted by the metropolis in a park in Besiktas district.
"It also seeks to bring coffee lovers and superior products together," said Ilker Akar, managing partner of the DSM Group which is organizing the event.
Under the theme of "the journey of coffee," the coffee festival this year is presenting an entire cycle of coffee production, starting with the plantation of coffee beans and ending in a barista serving good coffee, Akar said.
"Good coffee can only be obtained with the use of good glass and good water," said a barista who was brewing coffee at the booth for Turkey's Petra Roasting Company. "Only after you combine all these can you have good coffee in the end."
Diego, a leading global alcoholic beverage brand, offers free workshops on how to make exotic cocktails with various spirits and espresso liqueur.
"It is really amazing that I learned here how to make a cocktail called espresso martini," said a young woman.
Some 50 workshops and seminars as well as live music performances and barista shows have been planned for the festival, while 45 Turkish baristas are set to compete with each other in a championship organized by the Specialty Coffee Association.
"The winner will get the chance to participate in the World Barista Championship that will be held in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, in November," Akar said.