2015 UKBC Competitor James Wallace, Laboratorio Espresso


SprudgeLive’s coverage of the 2015 United Kingdom Barista Championship is made possible by direct support from La Spaziale UK. All of SprudgeLive’s 2015 barista competition coverage is underwritten in partnership with Square and Urnex Brands

We’re proud to serve as official media partners of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe–UK Chapter, who produce these extraordinary events.

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: James Wallace

Company: Laboratorio Espresso

Number of years behind the bar: 1

Number of competitions: 1

The Scottish Aeropress competition 2014, I placed 4th.

Competition Coffee: Nicaragua Finca Limoncillo “funky” natural red pacamara, from HasBean.

Competition Milk: Grahams Dairy Whole.


Signature Beverage: The Brew Blend

Single Espresso with french press brewed filter and cold brew made from the same coffee. This will capture the full potential of the coffee. Also a tiny bit of strawberry sherbet will be added to bring up the sweetness and get some of that tingly magic that was in the cupping bowl.

Secret Weapons: Fraid not

Playlist: Nicholas Jaar’s “Mi mujer”, then “Variations”, then “Space is only noise if you can see”


Routine Theme: Mainly I’m focusing on the farm and all that makes them so special, they’ve come up with some more thorough ways to process natural coffees so that the end result is more controlled and predictable. They also experiment with a bunch of varieties and really treat their workers well.

Total Practice Hours: Nowhere near enough, about 20-30 hours.

Coach(es): I’ve had a bit of coaching from Diana Johnston, she’s a fellow competitor and was the one who first got me interested in speciality coffee and trained me.

Fashion: Casual shirt with a skinny tie, jeans and brogue boots probably. I’ll be wearing the Laboratorio Espresso tie-pin that my girlfriend made for all the staff in the shop.

Additional notes: This year I just want to get to know the competition and have some fun. Next year I’ll be taking it a lot more seriously and aiming to place high.

Social Medias: @jamescwallace1