Pumphrey’s Coffee is gearing up for the fast approaching UKBC super heats, held this year at Birmingham’s Millennium Point.

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After the success of Pumphrey’s Coffee hosting the northern heat of last year’s UKBC (UK Barista Championships), this year the SCAE (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe) have taken the championship in a new direction. From the 9th to the 15th February, the UK’s top baristas will join together at Birmingham’s Millennium Point to put their skills to the test in one giant super heat. The top 20 will then make it through to the semi-finals and finals at the London Coffee Festival in April, to compete for the accolade of UKBC Champion and the opportunity to take their skill set to the world stage.

This year Pumphrey’s Coffee are pleased to announce that we have entered 4 competitors; Stuart Lee Archer, Daisy Rea and Eve Purdy. We have also entered James Green from Coco Jambo Espresso Bar in Whitley Bay, who gained sponsorship from us after he won the NECTA barista competition in May last year.

You might have heard of the UKBC, but here’s what actually happens!

Each barista is asked to brew 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signature beverages, alongside simultaneously giving an enthralling presentation. This must incorporate correctly identifying flavours, the feeling their coffee has in the mouth and also the way it changes as new elements are added. For example milk for the cappuccinos and any new flavours for the signature beverage. Each barista is allowed a 15-minute time slot to impress judges. The judging team is made up of 7 individuals; 2 technical judges, 4 sensory judges and a presiding head judge. Each performance is being analysed from every possible angle, from taste and presentation to technical ability.

As the standard increases every year, the judges are looking for originality and flair and finally the ability to convey their passion for their trade, all this must be completed whilst trying to keep a hold of any nerves!

We wish competitors from Pumphrey’s Coffee and the other baristas from the North East heading down the very best of luck in the superheats!

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