For the past three days a remarkably large number of geeky coffee types have been staring at their computer screens whilst Lawrence Brown and his camera pals streamed live coverage of the UKBC finals to the internet for all to enjoy. And enjoy it we did!
Daft shenanigans prevailed on the accompanying web chat with some well known coffee names from around the globe dropping in and out as time zones, work commitments, alcohol consumption and just plain nodding off allowed. It was, in short, a good time with a great bunch of people who I am sure could not have had more fun if the same group had all spectated at the finals themselves …… and in all honesty, we could not have been so silly without being thoroughly told off!
The big news to come from the web chat, and Steve Penk said it was no secret so I’m going to mention it here, is that the World Barista Championship is coming to London in 2010. Very exciting times.
There is much commentary and discussion about the UKBC competition itself on TMC (www.toomuchcoffee.co.uk). The standard was very good this year with solid presentations all round.
Thanks to Lawrence, individual performance videos can be viewed on demand at http://www.viddler.com/explore/ukbc/videos/
Huge congratulations to a very worthy and extremely popular champion, Gwilym Davies, who runs two coffee carts in London and is one of the nicest people in coffee. Gwilym, wearing his trademark flat cap and waistcoat (see photo on the right, shamelessly stolen from the official UKBC flikr stream) looked assured at all times, also taking the honours for best espresso and best signature drink.
Gwilym is the latest in a line of champions to be coached by the venerable Square Mile Coffee Roasters of London (www.squaremilecoffee.com), following the successes of two time UKBC and WBC 2007 winner James Hoffmann, former Irish Champion and current WBC holder Stephen Morrissey, and former World Cup Tasting Champion Anette Moldvaer.
TMC member Gwilym will go on to represent the UK later this year in the WBC being held in Atlanta, along with fellow TMC regular Colin Harmon, who was recently crowned Irish national champion.
Maxine Beardsmore of The Bottle Kiln in Derbyshire was UKBC runner-up and also won the coveted best cappuccino award. In third was another popular TMC member, and these days an independant entry in the competition, Tristan Stephenson.
Well done to everyone who took part and thank you to all concerned behind the scenes for three excellent days of coffee fun. Good luck to both Gwilym and Colin in Atlanta – both are real contenders for the title.