It was something of a contrast to go from the Northern Irish heat where interest in the competition is pretty strong and enough entrants to fill two days to the Midlands where (after a few cancellation) there were under half the number compared to Belfast.
Because I was working our booth at the tradeshow I didn’t really get across as much as I’d have liked to, hence the comparative lack of photographs. I knew three of the competitors from previous years – Ed Buston, who has made the finals the last two years, Richard Norman whom I worked with at Gaggia and Carys Williams who entered last year in the Welsh heat.
As the only previous finalist the expectation was on Ed, and he put in a solid performance. I didn’t catch much about his coffee but his sig drink was a nice piece of performance. He had some little tea brewers in which he infused water and chai spices and then pulled shots into larger cups. When he set the brewers on top of the cups they automatically drained and mixed with the coffee below.
I didn’t catch much of the other signature drinks though I know Richard used some honey from the bees he keeps, which is a lovely touch I think.
In the end the running order was:
1st – Ed Buston
2nd – Richard Norman
3rd – Carys Williams
Ed definately makes the finals and the others will have to wait and see…. Onwards to the Northern Heat next week (and hopefully a little sleep for me in the meantime!)
Full flickr set[tags]ukbc, uk barista, barista competition, midlands, hospitality 2007, espresso, latte, cappuccino, signature drink[/tags]