A sweet time: 8 pictures Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest - Albuquerque Journal

A sweet time: 8 pictures Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest

On a beautiful spring day with just the right amount of sunshine and a comfortable breeze, visitors gathered at the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex at Expo New Mexico to enjoy the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest.

The sweet smell of chocolate mingled with the pungent scent of coffee and the occasional wafting of roasting meat from the surrounding food trucks. The festival featured a mix of local and out-of-state vendors selling not only coffee and chocolate, but also spice rubs, cookwares, jerky, arts and crafts vendors and other sweet treats. There were also breweries and wine tasting, painting classes, morning yoga, live music shows and baking challenges.

This is the 13th year that Dean Strober and his team at Blue River Productions has brought the festival to Albuquerque.

 

Christina Ortiz draws a sample of Nitro Cold Brew at the New Mexico Piñon Coffee stall during the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
Mike G., owner of Mike’s Jerky explains the flavor options to a visitor at the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
An artificial cacao tree stands on display at the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
Dina Thomas poses with chocolate chip samples at the Guittard Chocolate Tasting Station during the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
Emily Hunt poses with her cotton candy stick, which cost $50 from the Ordinarily Beautiful Cotton Candy truck at the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
Sharon Hart hands out a sample from the concher containing 70% cacao at the Eldora Chocolate boot during the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
A concher swirls chocolate, refining the texture and flavor of the 70% cacao at the Eldora Chocolate booth during the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest at Expo New Mexico on April 1, 2023 (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
Visitors line up outside the Manuel Lujan Jr. Exhibit Complex at Expo New Mexico for the 2023 Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest on April 1, 2023. (Elizabeth Tucker/Albuquerque Journal)
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