Pumphrey’s Coffee Show They Know Their Beans at National Competition

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Two of Newcastle’s best baristas will battle it out in the semi-finals of national coffee industry competition, the UK Barista Championships this month.

Stuart Lee Archer and Dan Shannon, from North East family business Pumphrey’s Coffee, competed against more than 80 other hopefuls from around the UK to make it into the top 20 of the national competition.

Stuart Lee, whose family owns the iconic coffee business, said:

This is the fourth time I’ve entered UKBC, I’ve made it to the semis before but it’s the first time Pumphrey’s has had more than one person in the semi-finals.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity to not only showcase Pumphrey’s, but also to showcase the North East and show that as a region we’re ahead of the curve.”

Stuart Lee, 31, continued:

“I’m excited to make friends and just learn as much as I can while I’m there. You’ve just got to do the best you possibly can and if you happen to go through to the final then that’s great.”

Pumphrey’s, which has been trading coffee for more than 250 years, has a Coffee Roasting Rooms, Showroom and Café in Blaydon and a Coffee Centre and Brewing Emporium in the Grainger Market.

Dan Shannon, shop manager of Pumphrey’s in the Grainger Market, said:

This is the first time I’ve taken part in UKBC, I thought it would be a good experience and would help to improve my service skills. 

“I didn’t expect to do as well as I did in the heats, I prepared as much as I could as I didn’t want to let myself or Pumphrey’s down.  It went much better than I could’ve hoped and making the top 20 completely blew my mind.”

Dan, 29, continued:

“I’m very excited about the semi finals, I want to do well but in a way the pressure is off, I just want to enjoy the experience. There’s still so much to learn from Stuart Lee, his knowledge is huge and his passion is infectious.”

The 20 semi finalists will compete at The London Coffee Festival at The Old Truman Brewery in London on 28th April.  They will be whittled down to six finalists, one of which will be crowned UK Barista Champion 2012.  The UK champion will then compete in the World Barista Championship in Vienna, Austria on 12th-15th June.

Each barista has 15 minutes to impress a team of judges by serving up espressos, cappuccinos and their own signature espresso coffee.

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