UKBC 2007 London Heat

So – I won’t beat about the bush – I was very relieved to win this heat.  Thanks to everyone who sent messages of good luck – they came in handy! I am afraid that this won’t be a particularly comprehensive report because I am not terribly good at watching other baristas when I am competing but I will try and note down a few things I saw.

I was really pleased to break the 700 point barrier with these new scoresheets, which was a kind of goal.  However I still have a lot of work to do in the next month which is a good thing.  As usual going through the score sheets after really focused my attention onto certain areas.

Anyway – onto the interesting stuff (everyone else!)

Many thanks to my guest photographer (Lou) who stepped up to the plate to take charge of my camera whilst I faffed about backstage:

Ben was great, and his sig drink was really cool.  He based his routine’s theme around the Sufis – more specifically the whirling dervishes he had seen in Turkey.  This went from roasting to spinning the milk to the spinning of his candy floss that he made (flavoured with saffron)

He served it with an espresso and honey and the candy floss was stirred into the drink.  I didn’t get a chance to taste it (because I was prepping on stage as he served it!).  His latte art also looked pretty good on his capps.  Ben came second overall and may well make it to the finals on points – we shall have to wait and see, but it would be a shame if he didn’t because he is definitely amongst the top ten baristas in the UK.

Again I think you could tell those who had competed before from those who had not.  Maureen placed third last year in the London and she repeated the feat again today.  I didn’t hear much of her sig drink but the pics Lou took seemed cool:

Fabrizio from Drury’s coffee seemed to have a pretty cool sig drink:

I am sorry I am so scant on details – I just didn’t see much!  There were other baristas who deserve a mention like Andrew from Taylor Street baristas but I just don’t have much to say!

As for my sig drink – I will stay quiet for now.  I want to improve it for the final and I suspect one of the judges for the final who hasn’t seen may read this blog!  Plus the speculation/Chinese whispers will probably be infinitely more interesting than the truth!

Full flickr set here

So glad it is all over for now! I am shattered!

As a side note I did get a cool prize (ATT are the first hosts to provide any sort of prize).  I don’t own a stove top so this one is a welcome addition to my coffee collection:

5 Comments

  1. Congrats on another in your impressive portfolio of wins.

    I can’t begin to express how much I enjoy your post here, and especially those related to your barista competitions. I don’t have the time — much less the skill! — to compete, so I’m more than happy to experience it vicariously through your efforts. (Yeah… we won!)

    From your accounts, and from the excellent photos, it appears that the standard of excellence is quite high in the UKBC. Any thoughts on how those standards compare to elsewhere in the WBC?

    Best wishes,

    -deCadmus

  2. Do you have more info on that item with the coffee cups?

  3. Hey hey, congratulations! Guess you have got your work cut out for you now!

  4. Congrats James on your win.

    The sig drinks look fantastic. I certainly hope the creativity and artistry in the USBC will be similar this year because then things will really start getting interesting.

    I didn’t know what to respond to your earlier poll on what I’d like to see you cover closely, but after these pics, it’s definitely the sig drinks I want to know more about. Taste, composition, inspiration.

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