Only a couple of days now before I cease to be the UK barista champion, and it has been an amazing couple of years. Over the next five days there is a load of coffee stuff happening and it is all being topped off by the UKBC finals.

Hotelympia is a massive tradeshow, happening every two years and this year the SCAE UK has gotten quite involved and has 5 days of a World of Coffee happening within it. Perhaps I am biased (I am giving a few talks, as are Anette and Stephen) but it is impressive that the SCAE UK have created something as big as this.
I think most of the sessions are quite booked up, but I think there are a few spaces left if people are interested – I think they’ve closed the online booking but seeing as the show is free to get into you could probably sign up on the day.

Aside from all this we have three days of barista competition – 2 days of semi finals where the top 24 nationwide compete and then a 6 person finals on the final day (Thursday). I should be thoroughly coffeed out pretty soon… Looking forward to it a lot!

Let me know (in the comments) if you are coming down. I am working the first couple of days of the show for La Spaziale, pulling some shots – come by and have a coffee.

3 Comments Hotelympia/UKBC

  1. Grendel

    Are you seeing progressive change towards speciality coffee in the UK. There seems to be a bigger push on in some places than others, and not being able to get over there (in the short term at least) I have no real idea of how the UK is going. I reckon having you as WBC has got to have given it a leg on though.

  2. true

    Jim– about your comments over on coffeed about sbux… It’s funny, but I just had that same exact conversation with someone at Intelly yesterday. As the launch of my own cafe approaches, I’ve been spending a disproportionate amount of time reading about current sbux store operations. I think you were spot on with your thoughts about a second tier of cafe-oriented store. They’ve invested heavily stores with optimized drive-through operations (and reduced in-cafe seating). The Clover won’t fly there, and the new emphasis on “restoring” drink quality is already chaffing the store managers and partners who are, apparently, compensated in proportion to turnover. I can easily see them turning to a second, unique class of store like Batdorf & Bronson’s “Dancing Goat Cafe,” which feels exactly like what a “Black Apron” starbucks would be.

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