UKBC 2008 – Who is entering?

With the judges calibration days coming up and the first regionals for the UK Barista Championship happening next month I thought I just put up a quick post to see if anyone who reads this is entering the competition and if so – which heat? Feel free to leave a comment – say hello.

And if you are thinking about entering then throw caution to the wind and go for it.  Details are on the UKBC website.  I think some of the regions are getting pretty ful but there are spaces in others.  If you are hesitant then I can promise it will be a valuable learning experience no matter how long you’ve been or barista or how advanced you’ve become.  It is fun and it is always nice to catch up with other competing baristas.

So – who is up for it then?

17 Comments UKBC 2008 – Who is entering?

  1. Hug

    I’m in the southwest heat , Nov 14th. Practice has so far stretched to making the staff morning coffees in competition size cups, cappuccinos all round, four at a time, not using semi auto, getting milk portioning down from customer sized cups and failing miserably to pour ferns on my bizarrely concete crema.

    Speciality drink is still a semi formed idea, works in my head but ingredient hunting is feeble. Crap for someone who owns a delicatessen!

    Any top tips on using a Kisag gun?


  2. Andrew Gribben

    Yep, I’m up for it, though I’m probably mad, but felt inspired after watching the great WBC coverage on, before that I really didn’t know what it was all about. I’m entering the Northern Ireland heat in January and am think I’ve got the milk and proportions right but my art is just plain terrible, but I’m not in to win, I’m doing it for the craic and to try and raise the profile on coffee as a culinary thing here in NI. My main headache right now is finding the right blend, thankfully I can roast my own in the shop and deciding whether to use one or two different types.


  3. mentness/stuartlee

    I’m in too, Scotland althogh not officially booked in yet! I’m going to have a bit of a play at the Beyond the Bean Barista Jam in Bristol first.

    Practice has consisted of pouring capps into comp size cups and playing around with a few blends. A few ideas for sig drinks under my hat but i’m sure they will change after the Jam.

    You’ll probably know…….. are the La Spaz Machines set to a specific temperature (say factory setting) or can we play around with them to suit our blend?

  4. Tristan

    Me. Also at the South West heat which happens to be on my birthday as well.

    Sig drink still heavily in development stages but promising.

    Hugo, i’ve got a Kisag gun! (Jim – you know the squirty cream thing, I think Kisag is a brand name) New toy this week, it is sooo much fun but the gas canisters are about 50p each so it can get quite expensive!

    Got a new machine on the way as well ;-) Will pop in on Monday for a coffee.

  5. Subi, Kerry and Louise

    Hi James,
    Kerry, Louise amd myself are entering from Ground. Really looking forward to it and we are practising every Monday night. Having a laugh with our sig. drinks not quite there yet but we’re enjoying working on them. Talk soon
    X The Ground Team

  6. BazBean

    Hi James
    My goodself and Top man Duncan will be cutting our competition teeth in the northern region heats ….. thanks for reminder.
    now that you are windswept and “coffee royalty” and also not employed by La Spaz, does this mean you wont be cleaning heads and the like for us keeping it real Baristas out there. ;-)

  7. Edmund

    Hi Jim,

    I’m in it again this year, up in the Midlands somewhere. The heat is rushing up so fast and my 3 month old daughter has reduced my preparation to ideas only!!! I need to pull my finger out real soon. I’m hoping for a solid performance to get me through to the semi’s and then really go for it in the new year.

    Time is the key, we are taking someone else on at work soon which should free me up a bit to develop my ideas.

    mentness/stuartlee – Last year we were allowed to adjust the temp of the machine even though the rules say that the equipment should be pre-set.

    Kisag gun… I got one of thoes too, I have a feeling they will be quite popular this year!

  8. Hug

    Right then, that’s the kisag idea binned….saves consulting the war office for permission to buy one.

    Any tips on centrifuges?

  9. Paul

    Ed The midlands heats are in the picturesque town of Buxton, Derbyshire. A fantastic venue – the Univ of Derby campus. See you there!

  10. Lauren C

    Hi there!
    Was at the barista jam as well (after fighting our way through London & Bristol traffic). Really great day, picked up lots of pointers on scoring, especially where to sacrifice ‘yes/no’ points in favour of ‘0-6’ points.
    Wish I’d been to one of these before my first UKBC heat last time! As there’s no London heat anymore I’ll have to make the trip up to Bristol again! Looking forward to getting a better score this year since I’ve been strictly following the technical routine all year.
    Really need to work on my choice of coffee for the upcoming comp – at work I don’t have contact with any roasters/suppliers as we’re tied to a certain global brand… so will have to venture out and make some friends. Got any advice? Very novice at all aspects of cupping/blending/everything involving bean selection…

  11. Wills

    I was at the Jam in bristol, I’ll be entering the heat there too! Competition virgin, just hoping plenty of practice will prevent me looking like a total pilark on stage! Great to meet everyone in bristol, I look forward to seeing everyone again soon Wills

  12. Anette

    As Lauren mentioned, the London heat which was supposed to be on Wednesday has been cancelled. The three (!) baristas who did sign up have been moved to other heats. This is not the first year this has happened, London as a regional has always been the weakest one. How bad is it that a city this size can muster enough people to keep it from getting cancelled? Northern Ireland has so many it’s a two day event! I know the baristas are out there, how do we get them to step up to the plate?
    Appreciating that the time and cost involved makes it hard for a lot of baristas (and their bosses), what could the industry/organizers/judges etc. do to make it easier for potential competitors to go for it anyway? More jams? More explanation of the format? More PR/emphasis on the benefits of taking part? The competition should be as much about the baristas as possible, so I would just like to hear what the baristas want to get from it (Other than a trip to the WBC!)
    Think about it before, during and after this years regionals, and tell us so we can make it better!

    Gutted I have to miss out on the South West this year (Hugo and Tristan and everyone- blog and take pictures, please!), but will try and be at all the other heats. Good luck to everyone who’s entering, enjoy and have fun!


  13. Søren Stiller Markussen

    Well….I will defently be watching and listening from the sideline here from Copenhagen…

    I have also started to prepare myself for the Danish Championship beginning of March…

    Hopefully I will se some of you there…and perhaps I hope I will have time to come to London and watch..

    Søren Stiller Markussen

  14. Jon

    On your point Annette…it is difficult for baritas to have the time for competitions. I think the biggest issue this year is the final being split over 3 days and not knowing if you need to be in London for the 3rd day in advance. I have 3 employees entering the Scottish qualifiers and have already told them there will be issues with London…a day trip is 1 thing but 3 days! I think most people will have problems with the new set-up…esp as few of the finalists will be from London.

  15. Jennifer

    I entered the barista champs for the 1st time ever this year. I had no idea of what to expect!( but it was briliant fun). It would have been great to have known about the barista jam you guys have mentioned before hand. Where is this kind of info best found for future reference?

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