UKBC 2008

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.

Square Mile Bar

The bar in the roastery

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.

13 Comments

  1. James
    I can relate to you being worn out. As one of the 24 semi finalists I too need to relax for few days. very well done to Hugo for winning a very competitive 2008 final. There were plenty of new Baristi on show at these finals producing drinks to a very high standard. As for the Barista party I had a great time so I am sure did everyone else. The Latte art throwdown was a giggle with everyone whooping and cheering each drink that was poured. Congratulations to all who set up the party. We had a ball!!

  2. Hey you two “The Squares.”
    Really nice to see you both and to observe you in your natural habitat.
    On behalf of the Krem crew thank you so much for your hospitality, it was a pleasure and great craic.

    James in all the time i’ve known you that’s the most relaxed i’ve seen you, how great is it not to compete…

    Enjoy your retirement.
    And for the inspiration you’ve both provided to me and my team i’m eternally grateful.

    Thanks again.

  3. Subi and Kerry send their thanks for all the help and encouragement you gave them not to mention the beer, wine and 100 or so pizza’s. Best bit was the latte throw down. A great night and for us a great competition. See you all next year.

  4. Anette & Jim
    Many thanks for the gratious hospitality and permission to play in the equipment Big Toy “cuboard”was also appreciated.

    Drink, Pizza and free flowing blackcat(stunning) coffee…. world party planner 2008 next to add to the titles.

  5. James, cheers for the beers!

    A great competition this year, It was great to finally get my peepers on the new site. I think I could quite hapily live there.

    Clover, roaster, sample roaster, gs3, synesso, mahlkonig, compak (bwc) and a mezzanine floor to sleep on. were it not for the fact I was too caffeinated and a little bit tipsy I don’t think I’d have ever left.

    Send my thanks and regards to Steven and Anette

  6. Jim & Anette,
    Thanks very much for the great party on Wednesday night – at last an opportunity for us baristas to get to know each other properly rather than jostling for space in the green room! Bit disappointed I left before the latte art throwdown – sounds like I missed out on a bit of a spectacle! Happy travels to you both and I eagerly await Square Mile developments!

  7. Jim and Anette
    Great night Weds night – many thanks for your hospitality.

  8. A BIG THANKS to all the Square Mile crew – a rockin party, we’re not worthy! Julie and Jackie XX

  9. Hi Guys,
    Great party, thanks for the invite! It was great to meet everyone, especially those who’s words I so often read!
    Thanks again
    Wills

  10. Jim,
    I’m about to compete state side and was going to use a K30 for my grinder. Are there any stipulations as to the grinder timer or predosing being disabled in order to use it for competition?

  11. Hi there! It was great to see you and thanks for the invite as well, it was so nice to see you again but in your own home! everything is looking so great, as told before: Squaremile will rock the UK! + the coffee world for sure!

    hugs,

    L

  12. Great to see you are doing well. Sorry I wasnt able to make it over to Vancouver when you were here last. Any reviews of the new Compak on your bar?

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