Friday, 3 May 2013

Week beginning April 22nd - UKBC (the lead up)

This is the week that all the preparation, the practising  the sourcing of beans, signature drink ingredients, equipment, music, clothing, aprons, checklists and the final practice sessions come together to be ready for the weekend of the UK Barista Championships to be held at the Truman Brewery as part of the London Coffee festival.

Those that follow us regularly or come into store will know that 21 year old Shaun Young  our lead barista from Cheshire, will be competing in his first barista competition. He made it into the semi finals by competing in the heats, at his home town in Chester and came out of that as 8th overall in the UK and the highest scoring newcomer and the best signature drink in his heats.

Shaun has been working with our chef Jared who has used a combination of foraged ingredients including meadowsweet, buckthorns and rowanberries to help in creating the signature drink that Shaun presented. He must present four of these as well as four espressos and four cappuccinos in a fifteen minute time frame in front of seven judges and about 500 people.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we will have the final run throughs after hours. On Tuesday we have the Radio 1 Extra DJ and regular customer Tim Westwood coming along, as well as former employees Catherine and Krysty, another regular customer Johannes who is a Nordic barista competition judge, one of the organisers of the SCAE Glenn Watson and another favourite customer and food blogger, Kate Shaw as well as our manager Claire and superstar barista Blazej 'Blaze' Stempin assisting.

We will sit through two runs of Shaun's routine and score him on all aspects, using the actual score sheets used in the competition. On Wednesday, using the feedback from the night before, we meet up again and have another two run through's, perfecting the fine details to try and get the maximum points available.

Shaun and Chef Jared then come here for breakfast on Saturday morning, pack all the equipment into a taxi and head over to the festival. Shaun is on at 16:15, we can watch him streaming direct from the festival. If he gets into the top 6, he will go into the finals on Sunday.

He is up against one of the toughest fields of baristas ever assembled in the UK including last years winner Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, two times winner John Gordon and 2005 winner Hugo Hercod.

We wish him all the very best of luck and we are all very, very excited.

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.50
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passionfruit, peach) 3.70 (add 30 p for granola or yoghurt)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Croissant with gruyere cheese and plum tomatoes 4.00
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with homemade preserves 1.70
Coffee, cherry and walnut toast 2.30
Banana bread 2.40

Porridge - Served with rhubarb and raspberry compote, chopped nuts, muscovado sugar, golden syrup or honey 3.00

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissants 1.80
Pain au chocolat 2.40
Almond croissants 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet Muffins: Larry anne plum and almond 2.20
Savoury Scone: Courgette and cream cheese 2.20
Cherry, coconut and chocolate friands 2.20
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 1.80
Afgan cookies 1.80
Lamingtons 2.50

Soup: Mushroom and tarragon 4.50

French retro baguettes 4.90
Roast duck, pink grapefruit marmalade, brie, rocket
Asparagus, crushed peas, mint, goats cheese, spinach

Foccacias 5.00
Ham, creamed St George mushrooms, parsley, spinach
Mature cheddar, pickle, red onion, tomato, rocket

Salads: 5.50/6.50
Prawns, pickled ginger, samphire, brown rice, wasabi cream
Blanched sow thistle, feta, capers, olives, lesser celandine flowers, lemon dressing
Jersey royal potatoes in spinach sauce

Tart: 4.00 or 7.50 with salad
Chicken and apricot

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