What an amazing time we had welcoming back the BM Barista Championship 2022 (BMBC22). It’s fabulous to be back supporting the baristas with training as they progress and develop, showcasing their skills throughout BMBC22 . We had a great mix of London and Regional teams including some from our central support team and, as a first, an Operations Manager.
We started preparing for the championships in April starting with training and guidance for the entrees, to help them prepare for the tasks ahead. May swiftly approached and the preparations for our first round were well under way. Keeping in mind it has been 3 years since our last event took place, we wanted to ensure everything ran to plan and everyone enjoyed the experience.
BMBC22 is based on the UK Barista Championship. It comprises serving 2 single espressos and 2 single milk based drinks within 7 minutes. This sounds easy, but adding the speech elements into the routine and all the professionalism along with the technicalities, it becomes a lot harder than the usual barista job. Added to the pressure is a total of 5 judges who are looking at every detail of the performance, including looking to see if the taste being described to them tallies with what they were tasting. The rounds were held at our Partner Lofbergs showroom in Uxbridge and Extract Coffee Roasters, London, a total of 8 semi-finalists went through to the next phase.
The semi-finals are similar to the heats, but with the addition of 2 signature drinks, with a total time of 12 minutes to serve 6 drinks. The signature drink has to be coffee centric and be able to show cynergy between the espresso’s flavour profile and the enhancements.
The semi-finals came round really quickly and we knew that our competitors were trying their best to go through to the finals and be crowned champions! We saw some amazing performances with fantastic and innovative drinks, like a pairing of cake, fruit reduction and espresso, or espresso poured over ice cream with dark chocolate shavings. It was very hard, but we managed to select the top 5 scorers and in addition we added a wild card to go through.
The finalists had the hard job of taking the feedback and working round the clock in preparation for the finals. The competitors now had to replicate all the drinks, but this time serving 4 of each! A total of 12 drinks had to be served in 15 minutes in front of 7 judges!
As I’ve supported the competitors throughout this competition, I have really been taken aback by how hard they have worked to get it right and do the best they possibly could do. This really did fill me with joy, as this is what the competition is about. I’ve also seen an amazing camaraderie between the competitors. Some of them had never met before and seeing them supporting each other was really amazing and a testament of the #bmFamily💜💚 motto.
The big day was approaching and not only were we preparing for the final round, but also for our Perkee Coffee Carnival, our biggest party celebration of all things related to hot beverages. At 8am we all started arriving at Brentford Stadium, where our event was being hosted, you could tell the guys were excited and nervous at the same time. Shortly before 9am, 2 teams of judges, composed by BM directors, support team members, operations management and supplier partners were briefed whilst the first competitor was adjusting the grinder and getting ready for their performance.
The time came round and we were in for a fantastic display of talent, showing their skills and creating amazing professionals drinks and a fantastic performance. The finals were completed just before 2pm when we moved our attention to the Perkee Carnival. This was the time to relax, mingle and enjoy!
At 4pm we announced the results and crowned Natasha Boshoff (Ops Managers) the winner. Dom Perry and Sandor Kovacs were the worthy runner ups. Natasha received a Sage Barista Machine for her home and coffee trip to Denmark, to start her preparations to enter the National Barista Competition, run by Speciality Coffee Association, the UKBC.
We are now planning the 2023 edition and cannot wait to see the talent that will come through and to see what this years entrees have been up to.