I am absolutely worn out and very glad to finally be relaxing at home after a frantic few days.
Congratulations go out to all the 24 competitors who battled it out in the semis, and it was a pleasure to judge the 6 baristas in the finals today. The scores were very close and Hugo from Relish should be delighted with his performance and his win. It was a pleasure to pass over the title to him, and he is a great ambassador for baristas in the UK. I hope he relaxes for a little bit before starting to worry about Copenhagen!
Anette and I may have moaned in the past about the lack of a barista party and this year it came back to bite us as we were put in charge of one. In the end the best idea seemed to be to have it at the new Square Mile space. An ever expanding guest list was a little terrifying, but in the end having so many people crammed in gave it a great atmosphere. The head to head latte art smackdown raised about £150 for coffeekids as the winner (Will from Matthew Algie) donated his winnings in its entirety. Thanks so much to the guys who stayed behind afterwards (Jonathan and the Kilimanjaro crew, and Tristan and co) to help clean up the mountain of beer bottles!
Things are back to normal now (just) and the bar is vaguely organised again.
Another big thank you must go to Intelligentsia (especially Kyle Glanville who organised it) who very, very kindly sponsored the party with their coffee (20lbs of very tasty Silverlake Black Cat). The baristas were loving it and were really excited to taste it. The shots looked and tasted great all night. There are likely to be various pictures floating around soon…
I head off to Dubai tomorrow and then at the start of March Anette and I head over to the States for a couple of weeks with Counter Culture. After that hopefully there will be more Square Mile Coffee Roasters stuff to share.
Again congrats to all the baristas and to the top six, especially Hugo – the new UK Barista Champion.