Last week it was the UK Barista Championship finals down in London. It would've been great to go and watch as it was all part of a 3 day coffee festival but I was too busy with design work and London is way to busy a place for me to particularly want to visit.
However thanks to the wonders of the internet I was able to follow the finalists with some live, online streaming although a bit intermittent with the slow connection here.
I had some local interest in the 20 finalists, we had Gordon Howell & Steve Dyson from the coffee shops The Attic & Spring Espresso which I frequent in York. Also in the final and who ended up coming overall 3rd was Howard Barwick who did some of my barista training when I did a mini course the other year, excellent result for him. Another name I recognised in the last 6 was Dale Harris who works with HasBean who I usually buy my subscription coffee from.
They all did really well as it's a high pressure performance both pulling your shots and talking about your coffee infront of 5 or 6 judges. They get 15 minutes to serve cappuccinos to 4 judges, then they serve espressos and finally, the creative bit is for them to serve their own signature drinks. Some weird concoctions were being served for the signatures, coffee with rhubarb, a version of cola and coffee, Steve Dyson did coffee with oranges as it was synonymous with York and chocolate oranges! Interesting stuff.
I am currently between subscriptions with my HasBean coffee, it's brilliant coffee but having a delivery of fresh beans every week is starting to get expensive so I'm taking a coffee break for a while and have taken this opportunity to broaden my coffee horizons and sample a mini pack from another roaster, this time Union coffee.
It's a selection of S. American coffees and so far so good. Having been without coffee for a week it was good to crank the machine up again as I was having withdrawal symptoms!
Some coffee links:
Best cafes in York, with proper baristas & fine coffee
Coffee roasters for online purchasing:
Origin coffee have very groovy packaging!