UK Barista Championship – South West Heat

February 11th, 2006

The final regional heat of 2006. Something of a relief.

The setting was great, a nice big room at the National Maritime Museum – though in future I hope people learn that 2 storeys up is no fun for the people who have to set up!

The standard of the baristas here was a higher average than anywhere else, with the top 4 all achieving over 600 points, which is great. This heat was again heavily populated with first timers, with a couple of veterans. No spills or horrific accidents here, and things generally ran like clockwork, bar one technical mishap which didn’t remotely phase the contestant – I think the fact she was 8 months pregnant rather prioritised things!

The winner was Ed Buston, who won this heat last year. It was, however, extremely close. He was just 8 points ahead of Danielle who works for Rick Stein’s Cafe in Padstow (I popped in there for a coffee, and found a very passionate bunch of people, I thank them for the free coffee). She had a stunning sig drink, superbly presented. Lots of spices, nicely infused, chocolate, condensed milk and lime juice. I’ve gone on the record many times saying lime juice is a no no when it comes to coffee, but I stand thoroughly corrected – she really made it work. Stunning. She has only been a barista for a few months to boot. Again, I hope her score takes here through to the final.

Photo time!

(full set of course at flickr)

The venue:

Yet another tv crew (ITV for a change):

Spectators:

Latte art:

Sig drinks with sweet red pepper and chilli:

Danielle’s spice rack:

Her cappuccino’s (a bit large really):

Her stunning sig drink:

Ed sweeping excess:

Contestants (part 1):

Contestants (part 2):

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