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    by Published on 11-10-15 09:44  Number of Views: 99 

    Now in its third year, the London Latte Art Smackdown sees 64 of the UK's best latte artists go head to head for a share of a growing prize pot.

    Attachment 17053

    This year the winner took home a Nuova Simonelli machine, coffee from Square Mile, accessories from Coffee Hit, Cold Brew coffee from Minor Figures, £400 in cash (part funded by Allegra) and a trophy provided by Victoria Ardiuno. Did I mention bragging rights were thrown in too?

    Four heats were held on Tuesday nights in September at Kaffeine Eastcastle Street, host and compere Peter Dore-Smith's beautiful coffeeshop (the big brother of Kaffeine Great Titchfield Street).

    Pulling shots and serving ridiculously cheap beer to nearly 60 people each night was the hard working Kaffeine team, led by head barista Kuba.

    Attachment 17054

    The final on 6 October was held at Square Mile Coffee Roastery in Shoreditch, where over 150 people turned up to drink beer provided by sponsor The Kernel Brewery and cheer on the 16 finalists.

    Once the final 4 were established the penultimate head-to-head was between Helen from Lantana and Heidi from Prufrock.
    This contest was won by Heidi.

    Attachment 17055

    Battling for the top spot was the reigning UK Latte Art Champion Dhan Tamang (Caracoli - Winchester) and Nico Halliday (Noble Espresso).

    This contest went to the wire and was about to go to Nico when (infamous*) judge Jeremy Challender (of Prufrock and the *etchgate scandal in 2013...) noticed the cups were of slightly different sizes...


    Up to this point the baristas could pour two cups and put their best one forward. That all changed for the final throw of the dice.

    Nico and Dhan went head to head - steam at the same time and throw down your best heart, tulip or rosetta and be judged the winner of the 2015 London Latte Art Smackdown.

    Nico triumphed

    Attachment 17056

    Thank you to all of my fellow judges for making this extremely memorable;
    James Bailey (Workshop)
    Oli Bradshaw (Square Mile)
    Tim Williams (coffeesourcing.com)
    Claire Brice (Kaffeine)
    Ben Townsend (London School of Coffee)
    Phil Wain (London Coffee Maps)
    David Urbinati (Artisan)
    Jeremy Challender (Prufrock)
    James Hoffman (Square Mile)
    Marty Latham (Square Mile)
    Felicity Tahtis (Square Mile)

    Click here to view 100 photos from the event - taken by Head Judge & Coffee Photographer Glenn Watson (coffee-photography.com)
    Published on 18-09-15 07:45  Number of Views: 253 

    Beanmachines take their coffee grinders very seriously and are proud to offer you the very best prices on a huge selection of commercial coffee grinders.

    Iconic grinders such as the Mazzer Super Jolly and the Anfim Caimano are just a few of the coffee grinders available.

    A price match guarantee has been applied to all their high quality grinders - a symbol of their commitment to supplying the lowest priced commercial coffee grinders on the market.

    Check out their range of grinders: http://www.beanmachines.co.uk/21-c-c...offee-grinders.
    Published on 18-09-15 07:13  Number of Views: 117 

    RAVErs - a call to arms!

    Here's a chance to support your favourite Costwold based coffee roaster

    The Cotswolds Awards - hosted by Cotswolds Concierge - are fair and independent awards where nominees are chosen and voted for, by the public.

    Rave have been nominated in 3 categories:

    • The Best cup of Coffee in the Cotswolds
    • Best Coffee Roaster in the Cotswolds
    • Best Cotswold Cafe or Coffee House

    ... so now they just need your vote which you can do online http://www.cotswoldsawards.co.uk/vote/ until midnight, 6 November 2015.

    Get voting RAVErs
    by Published on 12-09-15 08:53     Number of Views: 307 

    Thank you to Al and Dan from Small Batch Coffee Roasters for hosting Coffee Forums UK on Saturday 12th September 2015.

    During the London Coffee Festival (back in Feb 2015) we briefly discussed the idea of a forum day in Brighton and Hove, to visit the Small Batch Coffee Roastery and a number of coffeeshops in the surrounding area.

    After a few emails to set provisional dates the Small Batch Coffee team put together a great itinerary which started us off at the roastery in Hove, and the day finally rolled around.

    First stop - 68 Goldstone Villas - Hove - Small Batch Coffee Roastery and coffeeshop

    Attachment 16612
    Jay roasting on the Diedrich at Small Batch Coffee Roasters in Hove.
    Your coffee is roasted on a 12kg Diedrich Roaster, skilfully operated by Jay and Al.

    We cupped 10 roasts - 4 Small Batch Coffee current crop offerings and 6 pre-season Rwandan sample roasts (2 of which are on the water - headed for the roastery later this year).

    During the morning the roaster was always on and the members got to see the process first hand - listening for first crack, viewing the Cropster software tracking the time and temperature and plotting the roast progress against the recipes - and got to taste the results of yesterdays roasts on the cupping table.

    Following lunch (which was superb! - thanks Al and Dan) we all bought some coffee and then headed into Brighton.

    First stop was Coffee @ 33 - hosted by Coffee Forums UK
    They were roasting themselves and the aroma filled their shop and the street outside - enticing more people in.
    This was the first 'espresso' stop.
    Delightful coffee and yummy pastries too.

    After a few minutes we headed to Taylor Street Baristas for more piccolo's flat whites and espresso, then headed on to Bond Street Coffee to try their espresso, brewed coffee and iced lattes, before ending up at Small Batch Coffee on Jubilee Street where we drank pints of iced flat whites and ate cake.

    The Small Batch Coffee coffeeshop fitout on Jubilee Street was brilliant - with a very long bar, a great selection of drinks and plenty of opportunity to people watch too. The coffee was showcased really well, and all coffeeshops we visited today were places I would happily recommend (and visit again).

    The hospitality of Al and Dan was outstanding and I encourage all members to support them by visiting their coffeeshops when in the area, and visiting their web store to purchase their lovely beans.

    The standout from their offering on the cupping table for me was the Ethiopia Wenago - a natural processed coffee which screamed blueberries.

    I'm also genuinely excited about their new-crop Rwandan's - keep an eye out for those as they are sure to be very popular.

    To view photos from today's visit please visit my Flickr
    by Published on 08-08-15 02:17  Number of Views: 250 


    Employ homeless people as baristas, and provide the necessary
    training and support to help them find their preferred job.

    Stock the finest local and ethical produce, championing those who
    seek social change without sacrificing on quality.

    Modernise the face of social enterprise, acting as a hub promoting
    positive change in a trendy East London setting.

    A groundbreaking initiative, pioneered by Julius Ibrahim, final year student
    and President of Enactus at University College London (UCL), is set to make a
    lasting difference to London's homeless community. Through the creation of
    Second Shot Coffee, Julius is launching a new social enterprise that will hire
    three homeless people every six months, offering training, full time employment
    and a living wage, whilst competing on quality with the best coffee houses in London.

    The café’s profits will be reinvested into helping the employees gain the
    necessary skills they need to return to their previous or preferred
    employment. By doing this, Second Shot will create a sustainable and lasting
    means for helping those most in need.

    To make this vision a reality, Second Shot Coffee is in the final stages of an
    IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, with less than two weeks to go.

    The deadline for getting your hands on an exclusive perk and pledging your
    support is midnight on the 13th August.

    Included in the campaign perks are:
    A private tour of the Ozone roastery and cafe in Old Street for 15
    people, including a tasting session of all the coffees on offer....

    A year’s supply of the best and most ethical coffee from Old Spike
    Roastery - a social enterprise roastery employing the homeless in Peckham
    - delivered every two weeks, directly to your door.

    A private two hour, 15 person barista course and tasting session: learn
    to brew the perfect coffee with Second Shot Coffee's master baristas
    By helping Second Shot Coffee achieve their funding, not only will you get
    access to these exclusive perks, but you will be making a real difference to
    London’s homeless communities.

    Pay It Forward - Customers can choose to pre-pay for an item by writing a
    personalised message on a post-it note and placing it on the wall. These can
    then be redeemed by someone in need for a free meal or a hot drink.

    Living Wage - Second Shot Coffee’s baristas will immediately receive the
    London Living Wage of £9.15 per hour which, alongside training and support,
    will provide a solid base for the transition back to their preferred
    employment. Second Shot Coffee have partnered with Crisis, a charity
    helping the homeless, who will advertise positions at the café through their
    service network.

    A Great Coffee Experience - Second Shot Coffee will serve the highest quality
    speciality coffee, alongside artisan baked goods and grilled cheese
    sandwiches, all from local suppliers who share Second Shot Coffee’s passion
    for positive social change.

    The Hub - There are so many groups in London making a positive impact, yet
    so often they struggle to find an available and welcoming space. Second Shot
    Coffee will become a hub for all those people who want to make the world a
    better place.

    Sustainability - Second Shot Coffee will strive to have a positive impact on
    the environment. It will aim to be a zero-waste organisation, engage in a
    sustainable supply chain, and encourage others in their network to achieve
    the same.

    In London, for every rough sleeper, there are a further 100 hidden homeless
    people in hostels, and over 1,000 in overcrowded accommodation. Due to the
    great recession, the housing crisis, and the increased cost of living,
    homelessness has increased by over 300% in the capital alone.
    These are people who are victims of circumstance, who have become
    trapped by a lack of options and opportunities. Second Shot Coffee believes
    that they can offer a way out - an opportunity for the homeless to get back on
    their feet and regain control of their lives.


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    by Published on 17-07-15 09:35  Number of Views: 401 

    Yorkshire coffee firm Casa Espresso has become the first coffee roaster in Bradford after further investment from owner Nino Di Rienzo.

    http://www.bqlive.co.uk/ImageGen.ash...&class=default (L-R) Nino Di Rienzo (Casa Espresso owner), Jonnie Drake (roaster and barista trainer) and Matthew Adams (barista trainer and account manager.)

    The investment from Di Rienzo has led to the firm purchasing new machinery to help them fill a gap they have identified in the market.

    Founded in 2000, the Shipley-based firm supplies coffee nationwide and Sanremo coffee machines to leading restaurants and cafes across the North of England.

    Nino, whose family has been involved in the local restaurant and coffee scene for more than 40 years, said: ““More and more micro roasteries are popping up – a bit like micro-breweries – but there isn’t one in Bradford so we felt it was a great opportunity to offer an even more bespoke service to our customers.”
    He added: “Traceability is important to us – we can track our coffee back to the individual farmer and village – and we source ethical green coffee that supports sustainable development of coffee agriculture.”
    Casa Espresso is also working on a number of brand collaborations and recently teamed up with cycling clothing company, Pilgrim Cycling Co, to supply a limited edition range of coffee.

    The custom Expedition Blend is designed to prepare cyclists for the ride ahead, and has been well received by attendees at industry events such as the London Coffee Festival & Spin London.
    by Published on 27-06-15 08:13  Number of Views: 458 


    Manchester's 2 day 'Northern Coffee Party' is coming back for a second year!

    With a change of venue - moving to Victoria Warehouse (near Salford / Old Trafford) - CupNorth is set to build upon it's successful 2014 debut.

    For details as they are released follow CupNorth via their website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
    by Published on 20-06-15 04:07

    In the relatively short time I have been a member here I have seen a number of posts that concern me with regards electrical safety.

    Let me start by saying I am an electrician but I don't work on houses generally but more typically on workshops and something more akin to hotels etc.

    One of the things that has come to light here is that there seems to be a large number of people living in houses where the wiring and fuse board installation is quite old. These older designs worked fine in that they protect the circuits from overloads but that is where the protection stops.

    Somewhere along the course of history the wiring regulations changed and later installations started using MCB's instead of fuses in homes. There was also the introduction of RCD's which added another level of protection in that these were designed to protect the occupants from electric shock in the event of a faulty appliance. Mostly these were fitted in the "fuse box" also known as a consumer unit and offered protection on all the sockets in a house at once.

    These days one can get systems using RCBO's fitted to each circuit individually to achieve the same level of safety on all circuits.

    In my experience appliances such as Irons, Kettles, Toasters, all of which have heating elements fitted are the usual culprits when I attend a failure. Coffee machines are most likely to fall in this group.

    Here are a couple of links to help clarify:




    So, what am I saying here? For your own safety and that of your loved ones you should at least consider some sort of RCD protection, preferably for the whole house but if not then RCD sockets which you can plug in those items I listed above. Having the Consumer Unit replaced is not cheap but in doing so you will get an inspection done which will confirm the condition of the house wiring is good.

    Other members that are electricians might have better links and explanations but the bottom line is....

    I want all of us and our families to still be here tomorrow.

    EDIT: for the more technically minded among you: http://www.westernautomation.com/DemystifyingRCDs.pdf
    by Published on 10-06-15 09:04  Number of Views: 398 

    The Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) has called for nominations for the following positions that make up the SCAE UK Chapter Committee (SCAE UK).

    The SCAE UK Committee is tasked with arranging the UK Barista Championships and associated competitions each year, as well as a growing portfolio of training and educational seminars.

    Nominations are being accepted from SCAE Members for the following posts;

    National Coordinator

    • Chair the SCAE Chapter Committee
    • Liaise with SCAE Executive and follow NC guidelines
    • Oversee Finance ensuring stability and transparency, working with SCAE Events Manager
    • Organise all SCAE/WCE Competition/Events. This includes Sponsorship, Judges, Volunteers & Competitors.
    • Enrol & communicate with Sponsors.
    • Ensure all competitors and Judges are members

    Communication Manager

    • Activate and regularly manager Chapter Website
    • Activate and regularly manage Chapter social media
    • Contribute to Café Europa
    • Communicate with members and local coffee community regularly.

    Membership Manager

    • Promote/recruit members
    • Communicate and engage with new, existing and lost members
    • Liaise with SCAE HQ on status of membership ensuring renewals and retention

    Education Manager

    • Must have a thorough understanding and experience of SCAE education
    • Organise and promote CDS
    • Recruit new AST’s
    • Organise Chapter Education activities/events
    • Set up CDS Education modules for new and existing corporate members.

    If you would like to be nominated then contact Glenn via PM, or if someone you know might be suitable and is either already an SCAE Member or is willing to become an SCAE Member then get in touch with SCAE via their website http://scae.com/contact-us

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