2016 UK Brewers Cup Semi-Finals

Welcome to our coverage of the UK Brewers Cup! We’ll be live blogging the entire competition, keeping you up to date on each competitors’ coffee, brew methods, recipes, and flavor profiles. It’s as close as you can get to tasting these beautiful coffees without kicking one of the judges out of their chair.

Today is the Brewers Cup semi-finals round, with each competitor performing both an open service with their chosen coffee as well as a compulsory service with a mystery coffee given to them shortly before the competition. These 12 baristas earned their spots here today by placing in a heat held previously this year in Brighton, England, and the winner will go on to compete in the World Brewers Cup in Dublin, Ireland in June. The stakes couldn’t be higher!

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

Alison Bell – BLK Coffee


Coffee: The Juliet from Kirinyaga, Kenya, roasted by Five Elephant
Brew Method: Kalita Wave
Water: TDS of 95ppm

14.5g coffee to 230ml water
30ml bloom with an aggressive stir
Two pours for the remaining 200ml
2:20 total brew time

Aroma: dried strawberry, black tea
Flavor: papaya, kumquat, dried strawberry, black tea
Body: juicy, zestry citrus

Josh Tarlo – Origin Coffee Roasters


Coffee: Mamakata Geisha from Boquete, Panama
post-roast blend of 75% 17 screen-size beans and 25% peaberry
Brew Method: Kalita Wave

21g coffee to 300g water
30 second bloom
fill to 155g, agitate five times
fill to 300g, agitate again

Aroma: panella, stewed blackberry
Flavor: blackberry, rosehip, papaya, mango, citric and apricot acidity
Body: juicy, round

Jeremy Challender – Prufrock Coffee


Coffee: Javanica varietal from Boliva, roasted by Has Bean Coffee
Brew Method: pressurized immersion brew in a thermos
Water: 93°C (199.4°F)

Recipe (COMPETITOR WARNING: this brew method could explode!):
25g coffee ground very coarse to 250-ish g water
10 second vigorous shake in thermos
steep for 4:00
5 second agitation in thermos
filter through Clever dripper

Aroma: black tea, prunes, bergamot
Flavor: tea (black to earl grey to lady grey as it cool), mild citric and malic acidity, citrus and honeysuckle aftertaste
Body: filtered red apple juice

Anthony Piper – Climpson & Sons


Coffee: Sudan Rume varietal from La Esparanza Las Margaritas in Colombia
Brew Method: temperature stable immersion brewer
Water: BWT competition water mixed with “buffer” water

13g coffee to 200g water
15 second agitation
just over 3:00 brew time in immersion brewer
filter through v60 with a “tap” after pouring slurry from immersion brewer

Aroma: almond, orange blossom, nectarine
Flavor: orange blossom, hibiscus, with a floral and tropical hop aftertaste
Body: medium, creamy

Liam Field – MacIntyre Coffee


Coffee: washed caturra varietal from Finca La Fortuna in Huila, Colombia, roasted by Modern Standard Coffee
Brew Method: immersion brew in kettle
Water: base RO water integrated five grains hardness and three grains carbonate hardness water

12.7g coffee to 200ml water
Grind very coarsely and remove chaff, regrind coarsely, then sift grounds, using particles between a size 40 and 50 mesh screen
Steep in kettle for 2:30
Filter through v60

Aroma: caramel
Flavor: burned sugar and condensed milk sweetness, raspberry acidity, blueberries, Parma Violet sweets, hibiscus
Body: light

John Gibson – Brew Lab


Coffee: washed Colombia varietal (Robusta hybrid) from Finca Tamana in Huila, Colombia roasted by The Barn
Brew Method: Kalita Wave
Water: 40ppm magnesium and 30ppm bicarbonate water added to softer Edinburgh water

15.8g coffee to 200g water
Pulse pour water
Finish time of 4:20

Aroma: dates, raisins, bread reminiscent of hot crossed buns
Flavor: burned sugar, baked apple, medium citric and low malic acidity, long black tea-like finish, and orange juice-like mouthfeel
Body: crisp white wine

Edward Anderson Brown – Independent


Coffee: Gesha from La Esperanza in Colombia roasted by La Cabra Coffee Roasters
Brew Method: Hario v60
Water: 97°C (206.6°F)

17g coffee to 260ml water
54g bloom
Stir near end of brew, followed by a tap
2:10 total brew time

Aroma: fresh strawberry jam, lemongrass
Flavor: apricot, honey, bergamot acidity, with a blood orange aftertaste
Body: clarified honey

Edward Greenall – Origin Coffee


Coffee: gesha varietal from Gesha village in Ethiopia’s Kaffa province
Brew Method: full immersion brewer akin to cupping

24g coffee to 300ml water
3:00 in immersion brewer
2:30 through AltoAir brewer

Aroma: panella
Flavor: ripe red plum acidity, red cherry and red plum acidity, and a medium, black tea finish

Jack Henderson – Origin Coffee


Coffee: Nefas, fully washed Heirloom varietal from Sidamo, Ethiopia, sorted and then blended at 52.6% peaberry (10g), 26.4% shortberry (5g), and 21% longberry (4g)
Brew Method: Bonavita Coffee Dripper

19g coffee to 240ml water
Stir after adding water, then again roughly 45 seconds later
Cut off brew just before the completion of the draw down
6:30-7:00 total brew time

Aroma: jasmine, bergamot
Flavor: white peach, caramel, with a dark chocolate finish
Body: medium, juicy

Hyunguen Kim – Flat White / Milkbar


Coffee: Kenya AA from Mugaya Factory, comprised of SL28 and SL34 varietals roasted by Drop Coffee
Brew Method: Hario v60 “double filter” method
Water: 94°C (201.2°F)

13g coffee to 170g water
Pour 150g water in first pour
Re-pour brewed coffee through coffee bed, adding the remaining 20g of water
2:00 total brew time

Simon Clark – Climpson & Sons


Coffee: Sudan Rume from Granja La Esmeralda Las Margaritas
Brew Method: Hario v60
Water: 98°C (208.4°F) from the Climpson & Sons roastery

12g coffee to 215g water
Bloom and agitate
Gentle tap after water has been added
2:45 total brew time

Aroma: lavender, jasmine, mosaic hops, orange blossom
Flavor: lime, passion fruit,
Body: sweet, clean, balanced, tea-like

Daniel Say – Union Hand-Roasted Coffee


Coffee: natural processed Geisha from Los Lajones estate in Boquete, Panama
Brew Method: Clever Dripper
Water: BWT competition water at 96°C (204.8°F)

14g coffee to 200g water
Pour in all water at one time
Break crust at 2:00 for draw down

Aroma: strawberry, tea rose
Flavor: strawberry jam, papaya, black cherry, milk chocolate and lavender aftertaste

Thanks for tuning in! We’ve got loads of great live coverage at the London Coffee Festival coming out over the next few days, so stay tuned!