Biography: Lynsey is the Coffee Development Manager for United Coffee UK. She is also a certified Q Grader and trainee Q Instructor, learning under Tracy Allen. A previous UKBC barista semi finalist, and placing top 3 in the UK Latte Art, she is now focusing on delivering the level of competition and education that is required in the UK to take it to the next level.
With over 9 years industry experience, Lynsey is forward thinking and passionate about all things coffee. She is leading a dynamic team of individuals that come from all angles of the UK coffee industry, together the future is looking bright for coffee in the UK.
Presently, the United Kingdom's achievements in the world of speciality coffee are outstanding. We have had the World Barista Champion for 2009 in Gwilym Davies (this being the second time the prize has come to the United Kingdom, the first time being in 2007, when James Hoffmann did us proud). We came second in the 2009 World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, third in the World Cezve/Ibrik Championship, 6th in the World Latte Art Championship in 2009.
In the 2010 World Championships, Aysin Aydogdu triumphed in the Cezve/Ibrik contest, while Edmund Buston came second in Coffee in Good Spirits.
In March, the United Kingdom won the European Team Coffee Challenge 2011, which took place in St. Petersburg. The Ukraine came second; the home team of Russia came third. (Our winning team is pictured at left: from left to right standing, Edmund Buston from Clifton Coffee, Aysin Aydogdu from Mambocino Coffee, Paul Stephens from Redroaster Coffee and, kneeling, Neil Le Bihan from Dark Fluid).
We nearly have all of our 2011 champions to represent the United Kingdom in the forthcoming World Championships. They are: for the second time in two years, John Gordon, who works for Square Mile Coffee, and will be off to the WBC in Bogotá, Colombia in June. John won the UKBC before a packed audience at the IFE show in London during March 2011, followed by Neil Le Bihan of Dark Fluid, London and Dale Harris of HasBean, Stafford in second and third places respectively.
You can use this link to see some of our semi finalists in action.
We crown our 2011 Latte Art, Coffee in Good Spirits and Cup Tasting Champions
On Tuesday February 1st, 2011, the Expowest Exhibition in Exeter saw the UK Latte Art Championship and the UK Coffee in Good Spirits Championship take place. The SCAE UK Latte Art Championship challenged our top baristas to create wonderfully patterned macchiatos, cappuccinos and designer drinks, just by the way the milk is poured into the rich crema of the coffee.
The winners on the day were, in first place, Paul Whitehead of Jika Jika, Bath, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood of Colonna & Small's in Bath (who was second and also received the Best Free Pour prize) and, in third place, Lynsey Harley, who works for United Coffee.
The SCAE UK Coffee in Good Spirits Championship took place the next day. Competitors had to produce two perfect Irish Coffees as well as a coffee cocktail of their own creation, using alcohol.
The winners of the Championship were: first place went to Martin Ball of Residence Bar & Restaurant in Nantwich; in second place was Richard Teasdale, from Coffee Aroma in Lincoln; and, in third place, Victor Frankowski, of Union Hand Roasted Coffee, London.
On Thursday, February 3rd, the SCAE UK Cup Tasting Championship concluded the coffee events at the Expowest 2011 exhibition. In this contest, the UK's top coffee tasters had to distinguish the subtle flavour of many top quality coffees (this year supplied by Steve Leighton of HasBean Coffee in Stafford), and identify the odd one out in what are called "triangle tests".
The winners on the day were: David Faulkner of Extract Coffee in Bristol, who came first, followed by Paul Stephens of Redroaster Coffee, Brighton (who finished first last year) and, in third place, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood of Colonna & Small's, also the winner of the South West Region heat of the UK Barista Championship, as well as claiming the Best Espresso, Best Cappuccino and Best Signature Drink prizes--clearly a man to watch in the coming years..
The results go to show the skills held by our gourmet artisan roasters, such as Paul at Redroaster and David at Extract.
These champions will represent the UK in Maastricht in June. (The Ibrik competition has not taken place yet.)
Of course none of these competitions could happen without our sponsors, road crew, judges (some of the best in the world, and we had some European judges attend our training sessions), venue hosts (United Hand Roasted Coffee of London, ExpoWest of Exeter, Stokes of Lincoln, Matthew Algie of Glasgow and Atkinson’s of Lancaster), Masteroast of Peterborough for help in the judges training and calibration, helpers and the UKBC Committee--I thank them all.—Kenneth Cooper, National Coordinator, SCAE UK
UK Barista Championships 2012 - Open for entries from November 1st
The UK chapter of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe opens up applications for the 2012 UK Barista Championships from November 1st. Budding baristas will be able to download application forms from the SCAE UK web site (www.scaeuk.com), as well as catch up with all the latest news on the competition.
The competition's main purpose is to drive the quality of coffee served throughout the country.
Despite the rise of the high street espresso bar, and lattes and cappuccinos commonly being served everywhere from office blocks to petrol stations, the quality in our cup is often lacking. Basic barista skills and fresh premium coffee beans are often neglected even in many of our top restaurants, cafes and hotels. The UK Barista Championship hopes to provide a spotlight for our top professional baristas and make everyone more aware of just how good our daily cup can be with a little more care.
But do not think that the competition is just open to the elite; it's open to all levels. Some enter with the top prize in their sights, but many more enter for the fun of it, learning lots along the way and joining an ever-growing barista community.
On the run up to the competition, baristas often search out coffees produced by the best farms around the world, blend and roast them with exacting care, and bring them at their peak freshness to present to the judges.
In their 15-minute performance, baristas have to serve four superb espressos for the judges to evaluate their flavour as well as the skills demonstrated in producing them. They must then go on to make four velvety textured cappuccinos, as well as four signature coffee drinks of their own creation.
Baristas will get to demonstrate their skills at any of the five regional heats. These more focused regional events look set to be bigger and better events than ever before.
You can find more details of all of the World Coffee Events Championships here: www.worldcoffeeevents.org. More details of the new World Brewers Cup Championship can be found here: www.worldbrewerscup.org.
Of course, none of these competitions would be possible without our generous sponsors, which are: