SCAE UK News Updates

Glasgow Coffee Festival Official Host of UKBC Scottish Heat

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Curated by Glasgow’s own Dear Green Coffee Roasters, the first Glasgow Coffee Festival is confirmed to take place on 6th December 2014 at the city’s iconic The Briggait.

Open to the public from 10am – 7pm, the Briggait will also play host to the Scottish Heat of the UK Barista Championship. The highlight of the UK barista calendar, participants from across Scotland will compete for the chance to represent Scotland at the nationwide competition in 2015.

To compliment the event, exhibitors from around Scotland will set up shop within the main hall. Confirmed to take part so far include Artisan Roast, Avenue G, Coffee Hit, Dear Green Coffee Roasters, Dormouse Tea Co, Falcon Speciality, Fun In A Cup, Glad Cafe, Glen Lyon, Knock, La Marzocco, Libby Walker, Marco Beverage Systems, LA Group, Machina, Papercup, Piers Alexander,  Riverhill, Roast Central, Sugarwings, Treemendous and more TBA.

LA Group and Williams Brothers will set up bar and the #GI Coffee initiative (McCune Smith, The Glad Cafe, Riverhill, Siempre Cafe, Avenue G, Papercup, Laboratorio Espresso, Veldt Deli, Artisan Roast) manning the coffee provision.

Masterclasses will take place throughout the day including Espresso Martini making, Anatomy of an Espresso Machine and Latte Art and Brewing to name a few. Public cupping tastings will also be available to increase knowledge and appreciation.

Fringe events will also take place: the Scottish premiere of ‘A Film About Coffee’, a “love letter to, and meditation on, speciality coffee and an exclusive exhibition of Will Freeborn’s stunning illustrations and paintings.

Tickets are now on sale for £9 + booking fee at

Ticket price includes general admission, one hot drink and prize draw entry.

All proceeds will be donated to Coffee Kids and SocialBite


UK Barista Championship La Spaziale S40 Practice Machines

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Our machine sponsor, La Spaziale, have kindly despatched eight S40 espresso machines across the country, these can be used by competing baristas for practice with prior appointment of the the venues.

Prufrock – London –  Jeremy Challender -


Origin Coffee – Helston, Cornwall – Tom Sobey –


Myrtle Espresso – Burntisland, Fife – Mark Braid –


Limini Coffee – Bradford, Yorkshire – Youri Vlag –


Has Beans Coffee – Stafford – Steve Leighton –


Clifton Coffee – Bristol – James Fisher –


Cornico – Wadebridge, Cornwall –


La Spaziale UK – Chesterfield – Dan Farrer –


A reminder that any competitor wishing to use any of the facilities of the businesses above MUST make contact with them prior to turning up. Anyone turning up out of the blue is likely to be refused entry.


University of Warwick hosts Midlands heat of the SCAE Barista Championships

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Skilled baristas are currently preparing for the Midlands heat of the UK’s most prestigious barista competition, the UK Barista Championships, run by SCAE UK (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe – UK chapter).  The heat takes place Sunday 23 November 2014.

This year, the Midlands heat will be hosted by the University of Warwick, which has just been voted “University of the Year 2014” by both the Times and Sunday Times newspapers, at their prestigious Warwick Arts Centre.  Wholly owned by the University, Warwick Arts Centre is one of the largest performing and visual arts complexes in the UK outside London and situated at the very centre of the University campus.

The heat will see twenty baristas gather to demonstrate their brewing prowess.  Each barista will have fifteen minutes to make four espresso, four cappuccino and four espresso based non-alcoholic speciality drinks.  The drinks are judged by two technical and four sensory judges, who between them will assess everything from technical knowledge to taste balance.

Tony Howard, Director of Strategy and Development (Food & Drink) at the University and a SCAE Technical Judge, said “I am delighted that the University of Warwick has been selected to host the Midlands heat.  We are the only university in the UK to have taken part in this year’s London Coffee Festival as well as having award-winning baristas on our team, so I am really proud of what we have achieved so far.  It’s incredibly important that events like the SCAE Barista Championships are well supported to help promote the skills that go into brewing exceptional coffee. We’re delighted to be hosting this year and helping to recognise this talent.”

For competitors and guests wishing to stay overnight on Saturday 22 November, the University is offering bed and breakfast at its Training and Conference Park at the discounted rate of £75.  Simply visit to make your booking.  Please enter “Scarman” as the area and “BARISTA14” as the promotion code.  The Training and Conference Park was an award winner in the Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Awards 2014.

For press information, interviews and images please contact Suzanne Brown:

02476 151192 |

The University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading universities, with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry.

The University is globally connected, forward looking and entrepreneurial. It prides itself on creating new ways of thinking and achieving, making the University stand out from its competitors and creating an inspiring place to study and undertake research. Consistently at the top of UK league tables, the University topped the list of universities targeted by the top 10 employers in 2013 and ranked 7th in the UK for its research.

In 2015 the University will celebrate its 50th anniversary and has established a formidable reputation on the national and international stage as a powerhouse of teaching excellence and business focussed research.


The SCAE Barista Championships see Origin Coffee host the Southern heats in Bristol

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

The South’s most skilled baristas are currently preparing for the Southern heat of the UK’s most prestigious barista competition, the UK Barista Championships run by SCAE UK (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe – UK chapter).

This year the Southern Heat sees Origin coffee, Cornish based roasters, host the regional championships, and their chosen location is the famous Bristol site, SS Great Britain.

The site of Brunel’s famous ship, located in the heart of Bristol’s harbourside will see twenty baristas gather to demonstrate their brewing prowess. The heat will comprise of fifteen minute slots in which each barista will have the opportunity to make four espresso, four cappuccino and four espresso based non-alcoholic speciality drinks. The drinks are judged by two technical and four sensory judges, who between them will assess everything from technical knowledge to taste balance. A test of both art and science.

Tom Sobey, founder of Origin said “the location is iconic to the South and will be a unique venue for the South’s talented baristas to gather and demonstrate their ability. It’s incredibly important that events like this are well supported to help promote the skills that go into brewing exceptional coffee. The UK’s playing catch up with the coffee cultures in America, Australia and New Zealand, in which being a barista is a well-respected and understood profession. We’re delighted to be hosting this year and helping to recognise this talent.”

For press information, interviews and images please contact Grace Reith on:

01326 574337 |

Origin Coffee is one of the UK’s leading speciality coffee roasters, based in Cornwall.

They believe that seasonal coffee traded directly is the best way to ensure an exceptional product and achieve this by visiting the farms and mills they work with directly (or do so through their trusted partners) and rewarding them for producing the best quality crops through sustainable and ethical practices. Origin coffees are rotated based on seasonality with monthly single origin’s and special small lot coffees.

The coffee beans are roasted at Origin in Cornwall, using a Loring Smart Roast, the world’s first environmentally friendly coffee roaster.

This pursuit of quality continues with the baristas they work with; amongst the best in the country, including UK Barista Champions.

Origin coffee can be experienced in leading independent cafes, boutique hotels and at online at

Announcement from our National Coordinator

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Dear Membership,

It is with sadness I have to inform you that I have received an email this morning; the planned finals event with Essential cafe will not be happening. Essential cafe at a very late stage has withdrawn their support. This has come out of the blue and completely unexpected, in fact we had a site visit booked for today for the proposed venue.
We will make an announcement in the very near future about plans for our finals.

UK Barista Championship Regional Heats Registration

Friday, October 10th, 2014


We’re pleased to announce that the UK Barista Championship Regional Heats are now open for registrations.

Warwick – 23rd November 2014

Bristol – 28th November 2014

Glasgow -06th December 2014

Please select the nearest region to your place of work. There will be 20 places available for each of the regional heats, so please also select a 2nd choice for if your 1st choice fills up.

More details on all the hosts and their venues will be released over the next few days.

Entry is free for all SCAE members.

Entrants must be 18 years of age and above.

Please keep an eye on our Twitter feed @SCAEUK for updates

Please send all questions to


Pentair foodservice announced as water sponsor for UKBC Live

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Pentair Foodservice has secured the prestigious position of water sponsor for the 2015 SCAE UK Barista Championships hosted and organised by Essential Café Magazine.

Pentair filtration and treatment products will play a key role in providing competitors with the raw ingredients needed to create their drinks in this annual and hotly contested competition to find the top barista in the land.

Tony Monks, marketing manager EMEA, Pentair Foodservice, says: “We are delighted to be the water sponsors for the SCAE UK Barista Championships 2015, hosted by our good friends at Essential Café Magazine. We share the same passion for quality as the barista’s striving to reach the very top of their game and so are delighted that our products will be used to help the contestants create the very best beverages they can in their quest to be crowned the UK’s very best.”

For more information on the UK Barista Championships Live, contact the organisers,
Essential Café Magazine on +44 (0)1634 673163.

Essential Café to host SCAE UK Barista Championships for 2015

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Essential Café to host SCAE UK Barista Championships for 2015

In a major coup for Essential Café Magazine, 2015 will see the launch of a new event for the coffee shop and café industry called UK Barista Championships Live! which will host the SCAE UK Barista championships (UKBC) for 2015 and also offer a comprehensive showcase for the industry.

The move has come to offer a new impetus to the SCAE UK Barista Championships (UKBC) by calling on the industry relationship, reach and influence of Essential Café, as well as the considerable experience of providing trade and consumer facing events offered by All Things Media (ATM) parent company of Essential Café Magazine.

Steve Leighton, national coordinator for the SCAE UK chapter says: “The SCAE UK Barista Championships (UKBC) are hugely important to the chapter and for the café and coffee industry in the UK. We are delighted to be partnering in this collaboration with Essential Café in order to increase the awareness, impact and credibility of this already hugely successful initiative, but also lay some foundations for the years to come in this three year partnership.”

David Kitchener, publishing director of Essential Café magazine, adds: “We are delighted to be able
to act as hosts for this fantastic event. We will be able to use Essential Café Magazine to promote the event to the trade like never before and use our expertise in live events to give the heats and finals the platform they deserve.”

Exciting sponsorship opportunities will be available to manufacturers, distributors and service providers active in the hospitality sector. Operating on a sealed bid basis, the categories will include Coffee Machines, Grinders and Water. All other sponsorship opportunities will be dealt with outside of the sealed bid process.

More information on location and dates for the heats and the finals will be released very soon. Meanwhile email or for details on the deal or more information on sponsorship opportunities.

About the SCAE UK?

The overriding goal of SCAE UK is to spread the knowledge of great coffee. Whether this is through entering any of the competitions the organisation oversees or by attending any of the training events it hosts throughout the year. SCAE UK is also about fun and friendship. The competitions are not only a great way to learn but also about meeting other people in the UKs ever expanding coffee industry and forging great new friendships and contacts. SCAE UK is an association with a growing number of members, who are looking for coffee excellence. Members come from all areas of the coffee industry, from machine manufacturers to roasters, café owners and ancillary suppliers.

About Essential Café

Essential Café is the only monthly dedicated trade magazine for the UK café, coffee shop and hospitality industry. Working right at the coalface of the industry, the magazine brings the very latest news, views, comment, features and facts about this fast-paced and on-trend sector. Putting editorial quality, design and highly targeted circulation at its core, Essential Café offers the definitive guide to the industry it serves., +44 (0)1634 673163

– END –

All Things Media Ltd, Suite 4, 6-8 Revenge Road, Lordswood, Chatham, Kent ME5 8UD Tel: +44 (0)1634 673163 Fax: +44 (0)1634 673173 Registered in England No: 8823084

2014 UK Barista Championship Semi Final Results

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

We’ve reached the end of day 3 of The London Coffee Festival and now seen all 20 incredible performances from our UK Barista Championship semi finalists. The standard this year is phenomenal with some particularly good scores.

Darryl Docherty – Artisan Roast – 496.5

Caspar Steel – J Atkinson & Co – 477

Dan Fellows – Origin Coffee – 476.5

Ewan Osprey-Allan – Brew Lab – 474.5

Ewan Osprey-Allan – Brew Lab – 474.5

Imogen Ludman – Six Eight Kafe – 471.5

Laura Holmes – Small Batch Coffee Company – 471.5

Steve Pearson – Devon coffee – 462

Mark Williams – Relish – 461

Jason Gonzalez – Colonna and Smalls – 454

Emiliya Yordanova – Avenue G Cafe – 448

Diana Johnston – Avenue G Cafe – 439.5

Alex Passmore – Origin Coffee – 432

Chris Walton – Union Hand Roasted – 431.5

Heidi Beeton – Prufrock Coffee – DQ

Our fantastic sponsors, Sanremo, awarded the following best of the day awards to:

Best espresso – John Gordon

Best Cappuccino – Maxwell Colonna Dashwood

Best Signature Drink – John Gordon

Best Technical – Dan Fellows

We look forward to seeing our finalists;  John Gordon, Maxwell Colonna Dashwood, Estelle Bright, Don Altizo, Dale Harris and Joe Meagher competing in the 2014 UK Barista Championship grand finals tomorrow to fight for the title of 2014 UK Barista Champion!!


A Look Back at #UKBC2014 Super Heat by Our National Coordinator – Steve Leighton

Monday, February 17th, 2014

I thought it might be nice with a few days between us to look back at the super heats of Birmingham, and share with you lessons learnt. When I took this temporary role, I said I would try and bring some transparency. So here it is warts and all:

I think overall it was a great event, and I am very proud of the team that put it together. Special thanks to Sanremo who delivered the roadshow, Denise Hall for pulling together the competition strings, Chloe for sharing all the information, and being there every time I needed her, Jonathan for just fixing things without even telling me, Tim and Ben from the education committee, and of course our wonderful judges. But this is not just to be pats on the back of congratulations so lets look at what didn’t go so well…

Competitor Prep Area

This was not so good, we started with a very small space, and this slowly (no in fact quickly) turned into Chaos, people taking over huge space, people leaving rubbish and equipment everywhere, and generally, not looking after it. David from Sanremo did a great job trying to police the area, but as soon as his back was turned (to do some work), it became a real mess. I think we need to police it better, but the baristas also need to mange these spaces better. Lesson learnt.

Brewers Cup / Cup Tasters

I’ve paired these together as I think it was applicable for both. We could and should have done better with the space and the organisation. The prep areas were not good enough, and although there were many good intentions, the feet on the ground were not good enough, this will be addressed for both London Coffee Festival, and for next years. Lesson learnt.

Live Scoring

This should be in both for me, it went well, and people liked it, but if we are going to do it then we need to have a system and a routine and someone dedicated to scoring. Those who jumped in and just got on with it, thank you, you were amazing, but next time I’d like to have people on it ready to go.

Tamper Tantrum

I think I’d not run this next time, while the competition was on, I think both suffered from sharing an audience (particularly the competition). But I do think the competition gained in the afternoon from an increase in audience.


Between myself, Jeremy Torz and Andrew Tucker we did a solid job. I think for the future, some more guidelines of thanking the sponsors, information on the judges and on the competition would be good. As the lead for this the blame lies firmly at my door. We will fix.


I’d like to see more educational events at these events, I think we missed a trick this year, but I’d like to incorporate for the future for sure. These are opportunities missed.

Things that went well – you didn’t just think I was going to say the bad things right ? Lots of things were right about the heat, things like…


Well done Chloe for running the show, but a SUPER well done to Simon Floyd, who gave up 4 days of his life to tweet the heck out the competition. Simon did this after being asked by the committee, and did an amazing job. I have received praise as far away as El Salvador and Australia about the quality of tweeting, and its all down to Simons hard work, thank you buddy. Also huge thanks to Kate Beard who gave up huge ammounts of her time to photograph every single competitor, dedication above and beyond the call.

Social Elements

I loved the fact we had more than just a competition. In 7 weeks we managed to get 5 speakers and a tamper tantrum (videos to follow too) and we put on a film with Q & A’s following John Gordon on his 2010 UKBC and WBC journey. The beers that followed after this in Brew Dog, and the fun around the competition was one of the highlights for me. Seeing baristas, organisers (and judges drinking soft drinks) a leap forwards.


What can I say, we were blessed with professional judges, who were waiting for competitors, not the other way around as its been so many times in the past. I’ve not heard one moan or groan about the judging, and this has to be a first. They were amazing machines that did all they could to help make the competition run smoothly. Special praise must go to the head judges, who stepped in at the last minute to save the day, and looked like they had done it forever. Well done Jamie and Jochem, my new super heroes.

Live Scoring 

I know this was in the part that said we could have done better, but I thought this added to the competition and is something I think we should pursue and hone, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


I was told by more than one person this is the most supported heat they had seen in many a year (comparisons with the legendary London heat of 2010 were made). For me the London heat of 2010 should be what we are aiming for, and what I had in my mind, so I am very pleased others saw it too. Audience was good, people milling around and networking was good, and competitors hanging around to see others was amazing. Thank you to every one who came.

There are no pats on the back just yet though, we have Semi finals and finals to do, and I want them to be the best ever. We have done half a job.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the super heat. We will obviously have some decisions to make after the London Coffee Festival for next year. Should we do one heat again, should we maybe do three mini super heats (the names are getting sillier) or would you prefer to go back to the 7 heats of the past ? I know my personal preference is somewhere in the middle but I’m ready to have my opinions changed if you feel strongly about it, after all its your SCAE UK Chapter not mine.