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John Gordon – UK Barista Champion 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010 - 12:10 AM - 4 years, 5 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
John Gordon – UK Barista Champion 2010
Photo courtesy of salxhart Huge congratulations to John Gordon on winning the UK Barista Championship this year. (We know the competition was over a week ago, and we’re a bit behind!) Having joined the team at Square Mile around six weeks ago we’ve seen first hand the huge amount of effort and work that John put in, with great support from his fiancee Jess. John had already started working on his UKBC blend with Steve at HasBean before he joined us, and knowing how hard Steve works and how good he is we had no intention of getting in the way of that relationship. We’d also like to congratulate James Phillips of Dose on placing 5th – impressive considering he wasn’t going to compete until a couple of weeks before and this was his first time at the UKBC. We were also extremely grateful to Jon Sharp of Kilimanjaro, Carl Fleischer of Opposite and Gary Whiteley who did an incredible job with our coffee in the semi finals.

Aida’s Grand Reserve
Monday, February 08, 2010 - 02:26 AM - 4 years, 6 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Aida’s Grand Reserve
Every year Aida Batlle creates an extremely unusual and outstanding selection of the best peaberries from her three farms Kilimanjaro, Mauritania and Los Alpes. With a mix of Bourbon and Kenia grown across the farms, a peaberry selection processed by the washed method bodes for a exclusive profile of crisp fruits, sweet caramel and intense aromas. We only have three vac packs left of this coffee, and boy do we plan to enjoy it before it goes! Aida’s Grand Reserve is a legendary coffee, and we’re extremely honoured to be able to introduce this to the UK for the first time, especially due to the way we’ve come about roasting it. When Gwilym Davies won the WBC in 2009, Aida very generously wanted to give him this bag of Grand Reserve as a prize. Gwilym equally generously passed it on to us, as he doesn’t roast much from his cart on Whitecross Street! There is no way we could sell this coffee for any sort of profit, so we are passing on the love and good fortune that we’ve been shown and we’re giving all proceeds from the sale of this remarkable and delicious coffee towards the medical bills of our fellow friend Ricardo Espitia, the executive director of the Consejo in El Salvador, who suffered a stroke in January last year. I first met Ricardo almost six years ago, and it was his tireless efforts to promote his country’s lovely coffees that set El Salvador up to become my favourite origin. We were thrilled to have him come visit us at the roastery the summer before he fell ill, as we had just taken delivery of our seasonal El Salvadors for him to taste! Here with the lovely Lorena Pacas from El Borbollon. When I went to El Salvador for the Cup of Excellence last year it was good to see that Ricardo was doing better, but there is still a ways to go until we’ll have the pleasure of seeing him back at work, bringing coffees from El Salvador into the spotlight. We should be clear about this – when we say we’ll donate all proceeds we mean that for every £20 you spend on a bag, we’ll send £20. We’ll cover the cost of roasting, bagging, credit card fees and all the rest. We hope you will take this rare opportunity to not only try one of the most delightful coffees in the world, but to help us let the good will and grace continue to flow through the simple pleasure of a great cup of coffee. Anette

UBF 7 – Have you got the brains to match your beans???
Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 03:49 PM - 4 years, 7 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Being the Ultimate Barista Fighter requires immense intellectual power as well as big tamping muscles. We’re testing our contestants’ brain cells by putting them through a grueling pubquiz, where the questions will of course center around the who, what, where, why and how of coffee! This pubquiz will take place on Tuesday the 19th, 7pm, at The Miller : oh yes Ladies and Gentlemen, we are taking the UBF South Side!!! Now, we can only fit 50 people in there on the night, competitors and spectators alike, so if you want to compete or just come along for the beer, YOU HAVE TO EMAIL ME AND LET ME KNOW! There will be about 50 questions in various coffee related categories. The UBF’ers will compete in pairs, and each member of the couple will get points for their placing on the final ranking. So team up with the smartest UBF’er you know, or find a really smart UBF newbie to ensure your chances for a round 7 win! We’ll have as many teams as we can so email me to confirm you’re coming along, whether you want to compete, and who your teammate is. Bring a 5′er on the night, winner takes all! SEE YA THERE!!!

Christmas Webshop Orders
Sunday, December 20, 2009 - 11:05 PM - 4 years, 8 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
We just wanted to clarify the days that the webshop is and isn’t shipping on over the Christmas and New Year period. After an order is placed it is held until the next roast day and shipped then. Usually we roast and ship every Monday and Thursday, but here are the openings for the rest of the year: Monday 21st December – Shipping as normal Thursday 24th December – Closed Monday 28th December – Shipping as normal Thursday 31st December – Closed Monday 4th December and onwards – Shipping as normal. If you have any question regarding your orders then do please get in touch .

UBF 6 – Let’s take it outside Santa
Thursday, December 10, 2009 - 09:57 PM - 4 years, 8 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
UBF 6 – Let’s take it outside Santa
Columbia Road is a magical place on a Wednesday evening in December, the lovely shops are open but it isn’t as crowded and bustling as when the flower market is on. Need another reason to visit? Join us for the first UBF we’ve ever held outside! World Barista Champion 2009 – Gwilym Davies – is hosting us at his legendary coffee cart on Ezra street as London’s finest baristas prove that fine art can be achieved in take-away cups too! Spectating is free! Coffee (to keep you warm) will be free! Fun will had, and you can do a bit of Christmas shopping too! If you want to compete there are a few spots left and you can book a place by purchasing your ticket here . See you there! It is going to be amazing! Gwilym’s Cart Ezra Street (Off Columbia Road – Map ) 7.30pm Wednesday December 17th

UBF 6 – Take it outside, Santa.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 - 03:32 PM - 4 years, 8 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Ultimate Barista Fighters must be able to defy the elements in order to prove their worthiness, so we’re sending them outside, to pour off in the cold, dark December nights… On Wednesday the 16th, we’ll meet in the backalleys of East London (well, at Gwilym’s cart on Columbia Road, anyway) to throw down in…. you know it- 8oz takeaway cups! Who can pour the best with frozen fingers? Will wearing gloves prove advantageous or a handicap? Will the milk freeze before it hits the espresso? You never knew being a UBF fighter would turn this physically challenging, so put your Mukluks and Santa hats on, and we’ll see you at Gwilym’s cart at 7pm! Tickets to compete here . Supporters and hecklers: no fee to come along, Happy Christmas to you all! (Thermoses with hot beverages probably useful) (Also, the Columbia Road shops are open as per their Christmas Wednesdays, so it’s a good time to get those last presents in!)

A cup per day by Billur Turan
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 04:47 PM - 4 years, 8 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
A little while back we had a visit from Miss Turan who got some greens for her project on how to make a cup of coffee using little or only renewable energy, from roasting through to the finished brew. We think she did pretty great!

UK Barista Championship Workshop – 6th January
Friday, December 04, 2009 - 11:37 PM - 4 years, 8 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
UK Barista Championship Workshop – 6th January
Event: UKBC Workshop Venue: Square Mile Coffee Roasters 273 Poyser Street London E2 9RF (Map ) When: 5pm – 10pm Wednesday 6th January As you may know we are hosting the South East regional of the UK Barista Championship this year. There is a pdf download of information about the heat here . We highly recommend competing (but then we would!), and as part of our involvement in the South East regional we are hosting a workshop about competition. The aim of the workshop is to take some of the mystery away from competition, help competitors understand what is expected of them and how to get the most out of it. We’ll cover the DOs and DON’Ts of competing and do our best to answer everyone’s questions. It should be a lot of fun, as well as being informative. Two World Barista Champions will be on hand to give talks and answer questions – this is a great opportunity to tune up those performances. Numbers will be limited, and those who have signed up to compete in the regional event – which you need to do by December 31st – are guaranteed a space. For those interested in attending/competing then we will also put tickets in the webshop at the start of January. We anticipate about 15-20 spaces. We’re working hard to make sure that the London/South East regional is a great experience for all involved, especially the baristas who compete. Competition is a great learning experience and if you’ve made it through a single round of the UBF then anything else should be easy! Any questions then do please leave a comment or get in touch .

UBF 5: SPOON OF DOOM! The scariest challenge so far!
Monday, November 16, 2009 - 04:55 PM - 4 years, 9 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Monday the 23rd of November, our Ultimate Barista Fighters- seasoned or fresh to the game- will gather to face a test that very few of them have faced before. This time it’s not about your cups, pitchers, rosettas or ability to pour drinks the fastest, this time it’s all about your tastebuds and your ability to discern between the subtle nuances in coffee. An Ultimate Barista Fighter must possess a variety of skills, and the knowhow and confidence to quickly decide if a coffee is brewed correctly- and how to fix it if it’s not- is essential. It all comes down to the taste, and through triangle tests it will be decided who can tell if a coffee is slightly off the mark and doesn’t match the others. Triangulation is a very straightforward way of challenging the sensitivity of your coffee tasting skills that requires no judges, no subjective evaluations and no way of charming your way to a win. You are either right or wrong, and thus the shame and glory will both be greater than ever before! Our fighters will be faced with several triangles of three bowls of filter brewed coffee. Two of the bowls in a triangle will be the same, one will be the odd one out. Just as with espresso, our challengers must use their senses to decide which of the three has less body, more acidity, less sweetness or more bitterness to find out which one is not quite right and must be rejected. They will employ their Spoon of Doom to slurp and taste the coffee from the bowls, separate the odd cup out from the others, later to be lifted to reveal if it was indeed the correct one- if it is it will have a red mark underneath. The crowd will cheer and their chests will swell with pride! If it is a blank cup, they have been sorely mistaken, the crowd will boo, and they must hang their head in shame… And not only is this a right or wrong test of innate coffee tasting ability, it’s also a race against the clock- as if two challengers should arrive at the same number of correct bowls, it will be the more confident, faster one who wins the round! More clarification of the rules will be given on the night. Fighters- please arrive at 7 pm for a briefing and to choose your Spoon of Doom (or bring your own), spectators, cheerleaders and hecklers: please arrive at 7:30 pm with £5 or drinks/snacks, and get ready for the most frightening challenge so far, where it’s just you against the coffee…! PS: A setup where audience can challenge themselves to the same test will be set up after the battle is over, to see how easy it is…. TICKETS FOR COMPETITORS! Venue is the Square Mile Coffee Roastery, 273 Poyser Street, E2 9RF. Be there.

Feeling creative? Design the next UKBC certificates!
Monday, November 09, 2009 - 11:08 PM - 4 years, 9 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Everyone who enters the UKBC gets a certificate to thank them for competing and supporting the barista championships, whether they place 80th or 1st! This year we thought it would be fun to let the community get involved a little further, so we’re now inviting you to design the certificates that everyone will get! You can email Helen for a brief on what the certificate needs to say/have on it, and then go nuts- how do you see the image of the UKBC today, or what do you think it should communicate going forward? The winner will get treats like a BTB barista kit, some Square Mile coffee, and possibly some other goodies…. Now go and get your crayons out!

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