UK coffee trade has new barista contest

As the UK Barista Championship approaches its second regional heat (Exeter, on Wednesday and Thursday), we have discovered a surprise addition to the competition calendar – the Caffe Culture show, the trade’s major exhibition, is to launch its own Barista Challenge.

The interesting aspect of the project is that the contest is not intended to be just ‘another barista competition’ along the conventional lines. It has been designed to recognise baristas who understand the commercial element of their work.

According to the show’s event director, Elliot Gard, the event is to be more than ‘simply a test of a barista’s practical talents’. Entrants will have to show that they can devise a signature coffee beverage, but it has to be one which is commercially practical.

“While we want to recognise the fantastic skills of baristas operating in the UK, we also want to deliver a competition that relates back to the commercial world in which they work,” he said. “We are looking for someone who can translate barista skills into devising drinks that will truly deliver for their business – drinks that have great marketability, are consistently quick and easy to deliver within a working café bar setting, and represent good profit margins.”

The winner will receive a trophy, a cash prize of £1,000, a range of equipment and products for their business, and will be invited to be the subject of a promotional PR campaign.

Entry is free, through an initial written submission which details the method and costings of the proposed drink. Judges, who have not yet been identified, will select certain entrants and invite them to create a video showing an explanation and demonstration of the drink. Those videos will be shown on the show’s website, and selected finalists will then be invited to present their drink at the Caffè Culture show in May. At that event they will also be judged on two other drinks, details of which are not yet known.

Entrants must be aged 18 or over, and currently working in a British café bar.

Further details are on the Caffe Culture website – http://www.caffeculture.com/barista-challenge/

All the top coffee news comes from Boughton’s Coffee House magazine !

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