Last year, Mary Martineau bought 1,000 commemorative mugs for the inaugural Coffee Roast at the North Market.
They were gone in two hours.
This year, Martineau doubled the amount of mugs and established two tasting sessions for the March 23 event.
The conclusion: Columbus denizens like their java -- and she's ready for them.
"Columbus is absolutely a coffee town now and folks have an affinity for their locally owned coffee roasters and shops," said Martineau, the market's director of marketing. "Since we will have gathered almost all of Columbus' roasters in one place for our second annual event, it's something that people get excited about."
The first tasting is from 9 to 11 a.m. and the second is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 prior to the roast and $12 at the door. The event will feature 13 vendors, including such popular local coffee roasters as Stauf's, Crimson Cup and Cafe Brioso, as well as many newcomers, including Thunderkiss, Impero and One Line Coffee. The Hartzler Family Dairy and Snowville Creamery will provide milk and cream.
For those who don't want to wait in long lines empty-handed, LTown Coffee in London and Boston Stoker from Dayton will set up a self-serve coffee-relief station in the Dispatch Kitchen on the second floor.
But the roast is about more than a caffeine buzz and swigging good joe. Local baristas will give tutorials throughout the day on a variety of subjects, including home-roasting, how to operate espresso machines and comparative tasting techniques.
Home roasters can even put their beans up against the best. Contestants can take a pound of their custom-roasted coffee beans to the North Market to be ground and brewed for evaluation by an expert panel of judges. The competition is free and will begin at 1 p.m. Participants will vie for North Market gift certificates and green beans for home-roasting. Registration is required and limited to 15 participants.
Those wanting to participate can contact Martineau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live music will be performed throughout the event by banjo player Ira Chaiffetz, and Ian Hummel and Dan Heidt, both singers and guitarists.
Dave Forman, founder of One Line Coffee in the Short North, will be on hand as a vendor and educator, giving a demonstration on home brewing with Henry Dean of Boston Stoker from noon to 12:45 p.m. Forman has been a roaster for four years and opened his shop, which uses the pour-over brewing method, less than a year ago at 745 N. High St. One Line specializes in single-farm seasonal coffee.
He said he's impressed with the trajectory of the coffee culture in central Ohio.
"I think it's growing," he said. "I think it's really headed in the right direction. I think we all have this idea of what we want coffee to be -- a culinary experience."
For more information, call the North Market at 614-463-9664.