2015 UKBC Competitor Diana Johnston, Workshop Coffee

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We reached out to each of the 2015 UK Barista Championship competitors prior to their routines, to learn a bit more about them as competitors and coffee pros. We hope you enjoy these interviews!


Name: Diana Johnston

Company: Workshop Coffee

Number of years behind the bar: 10

Number of competitions: 3 different competitions
Ukbc 2013- didn’t make it to semifinals. Not sure of overall rank.
Ukbc 2014- made it semis- 8th overall after heats- 17th overall after semifinals.

Scottish Aeropress 2014- 3rd place

Uk coffee in good spirits 2013- not sure where I placed
Uk coffee in good spirits 2014- 5th place

Competition Coffee: Natural processed Catuai from ‘Alto Paranaiba’ Brazil- roasted by Workshop Coffee.

Competition Milk: Jersey cow’s milk….cuz it’s all about them jersey cows.


Signature Beverage: Adri’s drink:

The drink has been designed for one of my favorite regulars.

The goal: increase acidity, hold sweetness, produce a refreshing beverage that is a bit more bright.

10grams of dried hibiscus flower infusion (also known as Jamaica where I’m from).
The flowers will have been cold brewing for 24 hrs in water. Concentration: 1:5 ratio flowers to water.

10 grams Panela sugar (called piloncillo where I’m from).
A pure unrefined cane sugar- made by evaporating the sugar cane juice in order to produce a block of sugar that is a mixture of brown sugar and molasses
Concentration : a 1:2 ratio sugar to water

2 sprays of vanilla infused water (atomizer)
Pods have been left in water for 3 days to extract the aroma of vanilla/ vanillins

1 shot of Espresso.

Swirl together in jug.

Hibiscus will increase acidity and fruitiness. It has similar acid properties (malic and citric acid) to the original espresso. I am pulling those forward.

Panela unrefined sugar- pairs well with flavours and holds onto the beautiful fudge like sweetness we found in the initial espresso.

Vanilla- reduces any astringency from hibiscus and marries the flavours together, tying loose ends of synergy.

Pour over a ball of ice and swirl- balls of ice melt much slower which allows us to control dilution. Chilling down- creates a refreshing drink while increasing sweetness and allowing clarity of flavour.

Secret Weapons: Ice ballz.



“Plastic Panorama” by Postiljonen
“Kelly Watch The Stars” by Air
“Make Love” by Daft Punk
“Dreams Today” by Efterklang

Routine Theme: The relationships we build with our customers create the foundation for our industry. The effort that we put into knowing and engaging with our customers should be equal to the effort we put into creating quality coffee. It is our customers who will support our efforts to push the industry forward- from bean to cup.

Total Practice Hours: Not sure.

Coach(es): No coach, but many people who have lent me their palettes, time and ears.

Fashion: No specific brand. Just triple denim. Yup….triple denim….

Additional notes: I love cats.

Social Medias: @baristasaurus