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    by Published on 22-04-15 08:25  Number of Views: 879 

    The SCAE UK are delighted to let all those who have expressed an interest, plus all our UK Chapter members, that the registration for the 2015 SCAE UK Cup Tasters Competition will open tomorrow, Thursday 23rd April, at 5pm! Registration will close when we have 30 entries or on Tuesday 5th May at 5pm, whichever is sooner, so please hurry if you wish to enter!

    Who - You!

    What - The 2015 SCAE UK Cup Tasters Competition

    Where - Caffe Culture Exhibition, London Olympia

    When - Thursday 14th May 2015

    Why - For the chance to be crowned UK Cup Tasters Champion 2015!

    How - Click Here or visit the website to register to enter!

    *Don't forget that in order to compete in all SCAE UK competitions you need to be a current* SCAE member or work for a Company who have a SCAE Company membership* to enter any SCAE competitions. Join the SCAE Here * You or your company must be a paid up member at the time of the competition in order to compete.
    Published on 27-03-15 08:28  Number of Views: 2522 

    Dublin, Ireland (27 March, 2015) - For the past 15 years, the World Barista Championship (WBC) stage has played host to innovation from the world’s best baristas. While we’ve made small changes to the competition format over the years (remember the mandated sugar bowls?), it’s time we introduced more changes. Bigger changes. Changes that bring the focus of the competition back to its innovative roots.

    WCE will be announcing exciting changes in and around this year’s WBC in Seattle April 9-12, 2015. These changes will take effect for the 2016 WBC (Dublin, Ireland).

    The first two of these exciting changes consists of a WBC qualified equipment kit for all competitors and redefining the cappuccino course. These two
    shifts indicate positive steps towards the continued evolution of a competition platform that consistently explores and shares advances in specialty coffee. In the sections below, we will deliver specifics about the WBC qualified kit and the new milk drink course.

    WBC Qualified Kit: Victoria Arduino “Black Eagle” and MAHLKÖNIG K30 Vario

    Since the competition began in 2000, the success of a World Barista Champion consisted of two essential elements: coffee quality and barista skills.
    Starting in 2016, WCE, with the support of MAHLKÖNIG, will provide all competitors on stage a WBC-supplied grinder in addition to the WBC-supplied espresso machine in an effort to level the playing field and bring the focus of the competition back to its original ethos. MAHLKÖNIG have committed to bringing 30 grinders to the 2016 WBC in Dublin, along with continuing their support of national competitions in the lead up to the WBC.

    The 2016 & 2017 Qualified Kit will be provided for use on the world stage by WCE’s qualified espresso machine sponsor, Victoria Arduino, and WCE’s qualified grinder sponsor, MAHLKÖNIG. The complete Qualified Kit will be the same for all competitors throughout competition, thus intensifying the focus on those qualities at the core of the competition: specialty coffee quality and the talent, skills, and passion of the baristas who join us on the world stage.

    “Based on the high performance criteria of the qualified testing process, the equipment provided at each WBC competition station sets the highest industry standard,” says WCE 2015 Chair, Mike Yung. “The Victoria Arduino “Black Eagle” and MAHLKÖNIG K30 Vario are perfect partners to the world’s best baristas competing for the top spot.”

    “Success of a World Barista Champion is the result of their ability to perform with virtuosity with coffee, coffee grinder and coffee machine. For this
    endeavor, competitors only deserve the best equipment available,” states Philipp Baumberger, CEO of MAHLKÖNIG.

    Milk Drink Course

    Most consumers understand coffee as a beverage to which milk is added, and the cappuccino course was always designed to acknowledge this and promote excellence in this category of coffee beverages. As new specialty coffee culture emerges, and social media and the internet make the world smaller, we now know that there is more than one way to serve incredible milk and coffee drinks.

    After fifteen years of focusing on a single definition of a milk drink on the WBC stage, we think it’s time to open up the milk beverage course to something that better represents where we are today as an industry: open-minded to anything new and delicious. Starting in 2016, a “milk beverage” will be defined as a hot beverage, made from a single shot of espresso and steamed milk, allowing competitors more flexibility in choosing a coffee-to-milk ratio that showcases their coffee best.

    The competition working group, a team of highly committed and experienced individuals, will be available to answer any queries the community has about the forthcoming changes for 2016.

    “The changes we’re announcing represent exciting steps towards a new WBC,” says Stephen Morrissey, chair of the Competition Working Group and 2008 World Barista Champion. “Our community has always been highly invested in the future of the competition, so we want to be entirely transparent about why these changes are being made.”

    The additional evolutionary changes will be announced on the world stage in Seattle, directly preceding the finalist announcements on Saturday, April 11, 2015, as well as throughout the coming year. For more information on this year’s WBC, please visit:

    Published on 28-02-15 12:32     Number of Views: 2232 

    If you haven't already please read these short articles first as a grounding .....

    We now have a brew recipe - How does this help me, and what can I do with it?

    Let’s recap first…
    A brew ratio refers to the weight of coffee grounds in relation to the weight of espresso in the cup.
    By changing the weight of the coffee dose, or the weight of liquid espresso in a shot, we therefore change the brew ratio.

    Changing a brew ratio alone will change the taste, balance and mouthfeel of a drink - but adjusting the grind as well will restore flavour balance at different ratios.

    As an aside, different brew ratios can be used to refer to varying descriptions of neat espresso, but what we are really describing is espresso of differing strengths, viscosity and mouth-feel.

    For instance, a brew ratio of

    • 1:1 to 1:5 (18 grams in - 18.0 to 26.0 grams out) might be termed as a “ristretto” espresso.
    • 1:1.6 to a 1:2.5 ratio might be termed as a “normale” espresso.
    • 1:3 and over might be termed as a “lungo” espresso.

    One could use the same bean and make an espresso using each of these ratios, then taste each shot to help understand the difference in clarity, balance and mouthfeel between them.
    This will give an idea of what kind of strength and mouth-feel someone prefers.

    Ultimately it is about preference and what you like in the cup
    A brew ratio will help you replicate that.

    So if you are new to espresso, or have a new bean that you are struggling with, how can you use the scales and a brew ratio to help you get a balanced cup?
    Here is one approach that may prove helpful.

    I’m going to start with a brew ratio of 1:2 as a starting point (this is my current preference - it makes a drink with the resulting thickness, balance and mouthfeel that I predominantly enjoy).
    So I'm dosing at 18.0g & aiming to get 36.0g in the cup (dose will be dependent on the basket/headspace and equipment you are using).
    When dialling in, I'm going to stick to this brew ratio, the
    only variable I am going to change is the coarseness/fineness of thegrind, to effect a change in taste in the cup
    Let’s be clear –
    I’m keeping my dose, tamp pressure, and extraction temperature all constant, in this process.

    So we are going to pull a range of shots and see which one we prefer the taste of, e.g;

    • 18.0g into 36.0g in 20-25 seconds.
    • 18.0g into 36.0g in 26-30 seconds, with a finer grind.
    • 18.0g into 36.0g in 31-35 seconds, with a finer grind still.

    Taste each one & note down which one you prefer.
    The one you prefer is a good pint for starting to dial in a coffee .
    You may prefer different coffee's at different brew ratios , this is fine , nothing is absolute , and there is no " one size fits all "

    Article written by Mrboots2u

    Next article
    Changing the brew ratio- what will it do.
    Again this is not my original own work but a summation of ideas and knowledge built up whilst enjoying coffee
    Thanks to MWJB for his patience an help , ideas and corrections
    Credit & thanks to Andy Schecter whose work on brew ratio based on mass makes all our coffee lives a better place and this article possible.
    Published on 15-02-15 12:24  Number of Views: 4231 

    Before jumping into this process I would recommend reading this article;

    Again, before you start reading this, lets address what this isn't about so you aren't disappointed.

    This isn't about perfect distribution or dosing techniques.
    This isn't the only way to weigh, and whatever process you use will be dependant on the grinder, the scales, and the machine you use.
    The examples used of a dose and weight of espresso made are simply only examples, based on the coffee, grinder and setting, and the machine I am using
    These are not gospel, just examples.

    At the end of this article the reader should understand what parts of the espresso making process need weighing, and a couple of suggestions on how.

    You will need some scales that measure to 0.1 g accuracy and that will fit whatever cup or cups you want to make your espresso in.
    There are plenty of these in eBay for around £5 ish and plenty of threads recommending which ones to use on the forum.
    At the end of the process we will have two accurate measurements
    - the amount of coffee in the portafilter by weight
    - the amount of espresso in the cup by weight

    How you grind your coffee, and into what, will be dependant on the grinder you have, and there are lots of different ones
    What you need to know is the amount of ground coffee that you are going to use in the espresso making process

    Choose what you are going to put your ground coffee into
    Here are some examples
    - the basket itself
    - straight into the portafilter
    - a receptacle of your choice

    Tare the scales (this zeroes them)
    Grind your coffee into that weapon of your choice
    Adjust the amount out to the exact dose you want
    Distribute and tamp level ready for extraction

    Below are a couple of examples
    One I have ground the coffee direct into the basket and weighed

    One where the coffee has gone direct into the porta-filter to be weighed ready to be prepared

    As long as you have an accurate weight of coffee being used then whatever method you choose is fine
    I would aim to keep it simple, and not have to transfer the coffee ground from a number of receptacles before levelling and tamping though

    Next we want to weigh that espresso we make
    You should have in your mind an idea of the amount of espresso you want to make (in my example I'm aiming for 36g of espresso)

    Choose your cup or shot glass
    Put it on the scales , Tare the scales to zero

    Put under your portafilter and start the shot

    Watch the weight on the scales
    Aim to stop the shot when you hit the required target weight out (depending on your scale, there may be some lag and you will have to stop the shot before your target weight)

    Take a note of the time this took if you're using a timer
    I was pretty close to my target

    As an aside if you are measuring by weight don't get hung up on how big or small in volume your espresso is. Your measurement is weight not volume in this process.
    It may look a lot less than a 2 fl ounce shots you have previously prepared

    36 g of espresso here looks like this as a volume

    this is fine, this is normal

    At this point what we are interested in is how it tastes, not how much of it there is at this point

    Taste it ..

    We now have a recipe we can discuss with others
    "I dosed 18g of coffee and made 36g of espresso in 27 seconds"
    With the some added basic commentary on the taste it allows other people to try and replicate it, or to make suggestions based on how it tastes (sour, bitter, weak, strong)

    The white large scales in the photos are Acaia scales .
    These posts are in no way original or my own work but merely a summation of the knowledge gained on the forum in my time

    Article written by MrBoots2u
    Published on 07-02-15 01:12  Number of Views: 3081 

    Before starting to read, this post isn't about what brew ratio one should use, or what is the best dose to start with, but more a general reference as to why you 'might' want to entertain the idea of using scales and weight to help you make an espresso.

    It is an often asked question as to why someone should buy scales, and start measuring your dose of coffee and the espresso it makes by weight.

    But nearly all people when making espresso will measure to one degree or another - just in different ways, and with more or less accuracy.

    For example you could;

    -Measure you dose (the amount of coffee you are using) by filling up some portions of your grinder's doser, using a scoop or spoon, or levelling / scraping off ground coffee from a basket or setting your on-demand grinder to run for X seconds

    -Measure you espresso (the amount of coffee that's made) via lines on a shot glass, or eyeballing the level in your favourite cup or stop it when it goes a different colour, or stop it after the same amount of time each shot

    These are all forms of measuring, with a view to having some way of adjusting the variables in espresso to achieve a desired taste.

    I would think that most forum members are using a combination of some of the above to help achieve a drink they like the taste of.

    So measurement isn't a bad thing, everyone uses it. Weighing and using scales is a different and I would say more accurate method of measuring.

    Why Weigh and Use scales ?
    Again its measuring, just in a different way, to a more accurate level.

    It also allows us to create and use a comparative/similar language and compare recipes and variables used (recipe being the amount of coffee used in weight vs amount of espresso it makes, over a period of time)

    Frequently asked questions...

    What do I weigh?
    Measure the weight of coffee you are using, preferably after it is ground, preferably to the nearest 0.1g
    Measure the weight of the espresso it makes, again to 0.1g if you can. Do not concern yourself with how much volume this is. Focus on the weight only.

    Why is weighing my espresso better or more accurate than judging it by volume ?
    1g of water equates roughly to 1ml of water
    1ml of espresso doesn't equate to 1g of espresso though - weight is more accurate.
    Where do you measure your volume to, at the peak of the crema?, or when it subsidies?
    Also different coffees produce different amounts of crema. This isn't really giving you a common language or measurement to talk to other people about.

    Weighing then allows you to have accurate measurements of two of the variables in espresso making and therefore either keep them constant or be able to make accurate changes and see the effects of them.

    Weighing also allows you to talk in terms of a recipe or brew ratio, that you can use with other people.
    example; I used an 18g dose of coffee to make 36g of espresso in 30 seconds

    This along with a commentary on the taste (balanced, bitter, sweet, sour) allows other people to suggest how to improve the taste by changing some of the variables involved.

    Next - How to Weigh - Brew Ratios Simplified.......

    Article written by MrBoots2u

    Credit & thanks to Andy Schecter whose work on brew ratio based on mass makes all our coffee lives a better place
    Thanks To Glenn and MWJB for suggestions and error checking
    by Published on 01-01-15 03:15  Number of Views: 1614 

    The team at FunCaptcha has designed a Captcha for Coffee Forums UK which is now in operation.

    All new members will need to verify themselves as being human by performing 2 tasks whilst registering.
    New members will be asked to rotate the images so that they are upright. This is in place of the normal Captcha where you need to enter text or numbers (which is often blurry)

    We are very pleased with the new FunCaptcha and the team (based in Brisbane, Australia) turned around the graphic within 24 hours

    Thank you FunCaptcha for making spam control that little more enjoyable
    by Published on 28-12-14 12:51  Number of Views: 1919 

    Thank you for joining Coffee Forums UK.
    This guide should help you choose equipment in line with your budget that is suitable for producing an espresso based drink.

    Prices and suppliers will vary so any references are recommendations only.
    Prices were correct at the time of publication.

    It is important that you set a realistic budget for your new hobby.

    The most important item (that has the biggest influence over taste and consistency) is a coffee grinder

    Under £100
    Hand Grinder and Aeropress (approx. £60)

    Whilst not technically an espresso – the Aeropress extracts coffee under pressure
    A Rhino Hand Grinder and Aeropress combination can set you on the right path

    If you have a budget of under £100 consider alternative brewing methods such as V60 or Clever Dripper

    You should be able to afford a set of Scales. These will be vital as you upgrade
    (Tip: get a set that reads down to 0.1g and can weigh at least 1kg)

    Under £200
    Gaggia Classic coffee machine and Hand Grinder (usually £150-£200)

    A Gaggia Classic is an extremely capable home espresso machine
    They are forgiving and perform better when paired with an electric grinder, but the Rhino Hand Grinder is capable of producing grinds suitable for use in a Gaggia Classic. This will be adequate until you save up for an electric grinder

    Make sure you also buy a proper Tamper. The plastic tamper provided with your machine is not fit for purpose and should not be used. See below for Tamper advice

    Under £300
    Gaggia Classic coffee machine and Electric Grinder

    In this price range you can buy a brand new entry-level electric grinder such as the Iberital MC2, or even a second-hand commercial grinder
    At this price-point almost all of your budget will be used for the machine and grinder

    Don’t forget to purchase a Tamper and Scales as these will be vital in helping you get the best out of your new machine

    Under £500
    This budget opens up more possibilities
    You could consider a Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia or even a second-hand Fracino machine such as a Heavenly or Cherub.
    In this price-range you will need an electric grinder (see above for advice)
    Scan the Coffee Forums UK For Sale section for bargains

    Did you know?
    Once you have reached 5 posts you can participate in the Coffee Forums UK For Sale subforum

    Where is the best place to buy a cheap Gaggia Classic?
    Amazon Warehouse often has box-returns where the machine has been opened and may have been used (usually only once or twice) before being returned to Amazon where they are refurbed and/or repackaged and usually come with a limited warranty.
    Most box returns are due to people not reading the instructions (or joining forums such as Coffee Forums UK) and getting frustrated that they cannot replicate their local café straight out of the box

    What other items will I need?
    • Tamper (from £15-£150 – just make sure you choose a base that fits your basket (see below)
    • Scales (from £10 upwards - get a set that reads down to 0.1g and can weigh at least 1kg)
    • Milk Jugs (12oz and 20oz)
    • TempTags (Use 1 per milk jug for repeatable temperature (65c) every time)
    • Knockbox
    • Cloths
    • Cups
    • Different baskets

    The stock basket included with your Gaggia Glassic is pressurised, and should be replaced with either an IMS basket or a VST basket as soon as possible
    Your standard baskets are approx. 58mm wide and therefore a 58mm tamper will be required
    IMS and VST baskets take a 58.4mm tamper (on average)

    Grinders under £100
    It is possible to buy a new electric grinder for under £100
    Generally these are best suited for filter coffee as they often do not grind fine enough
    Exceptions are Graef CM80 and Ascaso I-mini grinders which are often reduced to this price-point
    As you upgrade your equipment you will need to upgrade your grinder also
    by Published on 24-12-14 10:43  Number of Views: 1322 

    Merry Christmas from Coffee Forums UK

    We wish you a safe and jolly festive season and a Happy New Year!

    Thank you for being a part of Coffee Forums UK in 2014
    by Published on 12-12-14 12:06  Number of Views: 1698 

    29-30 September 2015; Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate

    A new, two-day national trade exhibition for the cafe industry is to be held in Harrogate in September 2015. Coffee House & Tea Room Expo is aimed squarely at the elite of cafe owners in search of the most elegant afternoon tea, most delicious lunch and snack menus and most sophisticated coffees, teas and other beverages. The Expo will open its doors on Tuesday 29 September 2015 at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, and will attract managers and staff from coffee houses, tea rooms, cafes, garden centre coffee shops, restaurants and independent hotels throughout the country.

    The event will feature the latest products, ingredients, equipment and business advice for the catering industry and a range of interactive seminars on a range of relevant topics such as tea blends and brewing, and coffee roasting. There will also be hands-on training in latte art and the Expo will host the finals of the UK Chocista Awards, which will showcase the nation’s best offerings of hot chocolate drinks.

    Katherine Robinson, show organiser of Coffee House & Tea Room Expo said: “Our own research indicates that there are in excess of 18,000 independent coffee houses and tea rooms in the UK. This number is further boosted by the branded chains, multiples and cafes within stores, garden centres or restaurants and hotels. The market for coffee houses, tea rooms and related hospitality businesses is booming and the launch of Coffee House & Tea Room Expo is an excellent forum for anyone operating in this sector to come along and see what new ideas could be implemented in their own establishment.”

    Martin Colton, sales manager for Coffee House & Tea Room Expo said: “This debut show is an exciting opportunity for suppliers and visitors alike. With the launch of the Northern Futures Project earlier this year, and all of the talk in government of creating a vibrant northern hub, the Harrogate location was deliberately chosen as the ideal central point between this new northern powerhouse and the huge expanse of Yorkshire; the original home of the quintessential tea room.

    “Our own in-house researched database of independent cafes shows that there are over 1,200 in Yorkshire alone, and a further 2,500 in the immediately surrounding counties. The Expo will be an ideal platform for suppliers to showcase their products to a new audience of visitors who may not have travelled to London for other industry shows.”

    Admission is free by pre-registration. For more information on visiting or exhibiting, see

    To discuss sponsorship or exhibiting opportunities, contact Martin Colton on 01279 714510, or email [email protected]
    by Published on 28-11-14 10:44

    Hello folks!

    With just a week to go until the first Glasgow Coffee Festival I thought I'd do a proper post to give you some more info. Heres the event poster:

    Attachment 10494

    10 roasters, 2 bars, 10 free masterclasses, 1 national competition, 1 film premiere, 26 exhibitors, art, music, food, barber, face painting, xmas gifts!

    Tickets available here

    Shaping up to be an amazing day and I'm super excited to be involved! We'd love to see as many home baristas there as possible so to encourage you even more (like you need the encouragement!) you can get 50% off your tickets by entering [email protected].

    I'm running a latte art masterclass at the festival. All masterclasses are free so if you're interested in joining the latte art one then maybe start a list of names on this thread. Any other questions just give me a shout!


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