2016 UK Barista Championship Semi-Finals

Twelve will compete. One will advance to the world stage. We are here live at the London Coffee Festival, where the United Kingdom Barista Competition Semi-Finals round will determine who among these semi-finalists will get another go in the emotional finals round tomorrow.

Follow along with us as we update this post throughout the day with photographs, routine notes, and whimsy.

Our coverage is made possible by direct support from Urnex Brands and Kitchenaid.

Don Altizo – BaxterStorey


Our first competitor is Don Altizo of Baxter Storey.

“medium acidity much like red raisins, med-light bitterness, and sweetness like a dry white mulberry” for ‘s espresso.

Moving next to the milk course, notes flavors of white chocolate and melted fudge.


Golden raisins and black mulberries get blended with ice for ‘s sig bev at .

Don Alitzo calls time at 14:57. We’re off to a good start.

Dan Fellows – Origin Coffee


Coffee for is the beautiful naturally processed Nekisse from , 12 days off roast.

2:1 ratio in espressos w/ flavors of fresh strawberries and passionfruit.

Passion fruit and . We see what you did there, @danfellow1.

Milk drinks for are a 1:4 ratio w/ the milk being precisely 45°C. Notes of strawberry, milk chocolate truffle, and caramel.

Freeze dried strawberries, blood orange juice, passion fruit, cacao nibs, caramel molasses, cream for sig bev.


All those components served over chilled espresso with smoke added from a passion fruit tea.

Dan Fellows calls time at 14:44.

Tom Hopkinson – Cloud Picker Coffee


Mr. Hopkinson starts his presentation off with discussion of the the flavor wheel and its history in various disciplines other than coffee.

Mr. Hopkinson uses a Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee today, the Adado.

fully washed, grown at >2000MASL, Hopkinson’s Adado espressos have a grape sweetness, & flavors of nectarine & toasted hazelnut.

It’s getting really glitchy up in here with the Schneider TM song in Hopkinson’s soundtrack. We’re feelin’ it.

“Hazelnut, cocoa, and a buttermilk tang” in the milk course for Mr. Hopkinson here at .


Water kefir made from peach juice, to mimic the flavors of naturally processed coffees as the base for Hopkinson’s sig bev.


Strawberry & blueberry juice pushing that natural profile in Hopkinson’s sig bev. Last is the lemon thyme simple syrup made at the top.

Tom Hopkinson of Cloud Picker calls time at 14:59.



“I realized that coffee is not about me, it’s about my customers” – of

Roasted by , the black honey processed espresso is grown at 1000MASL for .

Cherry, almond in chocolate, and hint of vanilla notes in ‘s espressos.


For milk drinks, is blending the two coffees she offered the judges: 90% Colombia and 10% Brazil.

4:1 ratio in the milk course, w/ flavors of candied cherry, honeycomb covered in milk chocolate & a hint of vanilla for .


Sig bev for @JSlamova: Colombian espresso, honey syrup, rooibos, raw cocoa butter, and almond extraction. @BaxterStorey_SB #UKBC2016

Jana Slamova of Baxter Storey calls time at 14:35.

Lina Piprek – Knot Coffee And Pretzel


Quantum physics and lots of names of compounds not conducive to 140 character tweets to start off ‘s performance.

Naturally processed Panama w/ notes of pineapple, sweet orange, and apricot in ‘s espresso course.

5:1 ratio in the milk course for , notes of pineapple and coconut (think pina colada), butter, & apricot.


Who doesn’t want a pina colada-ccino? No one, that’s who. Can we get two pina colada-ccinos at the Sprudgelive desk please?


Sig bev theme for is “unseen flavors,” giving the judges two mystery bowls to inspect the aroma. When combined you get Coca-cola

Sig bev includes apricot preserves and white chocolate, w/ flavors of caramel creme brulee, orange, and a tropical finish.


Lina Piprek of Knot Coffee and Pretzel calls time at 14:12.

Sprudge Perks: tasting ‘s pina colada-ccino. It’s as delicious as it sounds.

Will Pitts – Origin Coffee


First up is the espresso course for – a washed Ethiopia Yirgacheffe grown at 1800MASL

the tactile for the espresso is “like a light pinot noir, specifically a West Australian pinot noir.” –

3:1 ratio, w/ notes of honeycomb, vanilla, and clotted cream in that milk bev for here at


Sig bev for : espresso combined with loose leaf Taiwanese white tipped Oolong tea and black grape syrup.


William Pitts of Origin Coffee calls time at 14:58.

Follow along at @SprudgeLive for up-to-the-minute tweetin’. 

james wallace – back to black coffee


Mr. Wallace starts his performance with his sig bev, which he is having the judges construct themselves.

Each judge is given syringes of dark chocolate ganash, plum and black grape macerations, and fresh pineapple juice to make the sig bev.

Mr. Wallace finished the sig bev with an aromatic foam for the judges.

We’ve got our first milk shout out, w/ a milk being used in Wallace’s 3:1 ratio milk course. ????????????


Do not adjust your livestreams, that is a gold EK-43 on stage during James Wallace’s performance.

Roasted by @coffeeglasglow, the Rwandan coffee for Wallace has notes of plum, dark chocolate, merlot-like red wine, and pineapple acidity.


And James Wallace of Back to Black Coffee calls time at 14:07.



Espresso today for Mr. Carney is the natural processed Perla – a blend of Caturra and Cattui – from the Las Lajas in Costa Rica.

Notes of “red plum, 60% Madagascan dark chocolate, and raisins,” in Carney’s espressos at .


“Didn’t I” by Darondo on Carney’s soundtrack is speaking to my soul right now.

It’s a 4:1 ratio milk bev for Mr. Carney, w/ notes of all butter shortbread, strawberry, and jammy dodgers.


The 4:1 ratio in the milk course has been a competitor favorite today, with over half thus far opting for that size drink.

Kieron Carney of Baxter Storey calls time at 14:49.



The coffee used today for ‘s performance is a washed Bourbon from Finca Escocia in El Salvador.

“This is balanced espresso. Medium acidity, high sweetness, silky w/ a touch of effervescence.” – .

Progressive flavor notes here for ‘s spro: mandarin then caramel on 1st sip, chocolate w/ roasted hazelnut finish on the 2nd


Agar agar, ground caramelized white sugar, & fresh crushed raspberry juice spray for ‘s sig bev.

Sig bev flavor notes: dried plum, redcurrant jam, dark chocolate.


Biggest crowd of the day here to watch Dale Harris’ performance.

Malt, browing sugars, and hazelnut in ‘s milk bevs. 6oz, single shot, 2% milk.

Dale Harris of Has Bean calls time at 14:51.



Espresso at today for is the Los Pinos from Tolima, Colombia.

notes of “cherry, marzipan, green apple, bergamot, & black tea” in the Caturra and Castillo varietal blend espresso for

Changing the blend of Caturra and Castillo, flavors in ‘s milk course are mango and honeycomb, reminiscent of a mango lassi.

Syrup of bergamot and cherry flesh, sour cherry tea, and red apple juice making up the components of ‘s sig bev.


Mango lassi latte, pina colada-ccino. The competitors are killing it today with the milk course.

Skin of organic blood orange completes the sig bev for

Joe Meagher of Flat Cap Espresso calls time at 15:10.



Notes of roasted cacao, a red grapefruit acidity, and orange sweetness in ‘s Rwandan espresso.

Bespoke milk! ???????????? 7 parts full cream Jersey cow milk to 3 parts skim. ????????????


4.5oz milk course w/ notes of galaxy milk chocolate, orange peel, & a long cashew butter finish. USING BESPOKE MILK.

The soundtrack for has been straight fire the whole time. ????????????


Sig bev for includes grapefruit simple syrup and a roasted cacao nib cold brew foam.

Clare Wallace of Brew Lab calls time at 15:03.



Up now is Jesse Dodkins of Origin Coffee. @BaristaJesse @OriginCoffee #UKBC2016

2 different roasts of the Nefas make up @BaristaJesse‘s espresso, w/ notes of 80% dark chocolate, black cherry, blackberry, dried redcurrant


4:1 ratio milk course giving the Nefas notes of toffee, butter choux pastry, & milk chocolate for @BaristaJesse of @origincoffee #UKBC2016

Sig bev for @BaristaJesse represents his expression of the Nefas. #UKBC2016


Sig bev ingredients include a plum, red bush tea, & lavender infusion, soy cream foam, and Madagascar vanilla smoke. @BaristaJesse #UKBC2016

And our final competitor Jesse Dodkins of Origin Coffee calls time at 14:46. @BaristaJesse @origincoffee #UKBC216

This concludes our Semi-Finals live blog. Stay tuned to @SprudgeLive for finalist announcements.