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Feeling creative? Design the next UKBC certificates!
Monday, November 09, 2009 - 11:08 PM - 5 years 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!

Applications are open for UKBC Regional Heats and SCAE Competitions!
Saturday, November 07, 2009 - 01:23 PM - 5 years ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Competition season is coming ever closer, and it’s time to start practicing for the regionals and nationals! The World Barista Championships are being held in London in June 2010, so this year we really have to show that we can protect our trackrecord of the last three World Barista Champions working out of London, UK! Click to download the application forms for the UK Barista Championship and the other 4 SCAE Competitions: Latte Art, Cup Tasting, Coffee in Good Spirits and the Ibrik competition! UKBC 2010 Application Form If you want to compete in the UK Barista Championship, any regional heat. SCAE Competitions Application Form If you want to enter the Latte Art, Cup Tasting, Coffee in Good Spirits or Ibrik competition. Square Mile is pleased to be hosting the South East Heat of the UKBC 2010, at the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation in London. More details on that will be posted on this blog and our Facebook groups, Square Mile Coffee Roasters on FB , and the UKBC 2010 South East Heat FB page . We’ll be hosting a couple of workshops closer to the time for people wanting to enter the UKBC, explaining rules, how to plan a routine, how to train, and how to hopefully enjoy the experience! Sign up, this year is the one to win!

James won an award!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - 05:28 PM - 5 years ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
James won an award!
We should probably have posted about it just after it happened, but nonetheless we’re very pleased. (James would like to add that Anette deserves the award as much as anyone!)

UBF Round 4 Tickets now on SALE!!!
Saturday, October 24, 2009 - 04:11 PM - 5 years, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
UBF Round 4 Tickets now on SALE!!!
Get your TICKETS to compete! This is a ticket to guarantee a space to compete at the fourth Ultimate Barista Fighter showdown. Purchasing a ticket will only reserve your spot, so we’ll ask you to bring a fiver on the night to put your money where you mouth is… Time: 7.30pm (7pm for Competitors!) Date: October 30th Venue: Square Mile Coffee Roasters, 273 Poyser Street, E2 9RF Attendance to spectate is £5 on the door (no tickets needed), or free if you bring treats/beer! The Challenge is a mini one in size, but massive in control and accuracy…Competitors must make 3 macchiatos, one with a tulip, one with a rosetta and one with a heart. Sound easy? Think your big strong barista fighter hands can do cutsie little flowers? Will our female fighters dainty digits give them an advantage over the men? Is this the challenge that will separate the men from the mice?A full explanation will be given on the night to all competitors. Jugs, milk, coffee and cups will be provided.

More press for good coffee in London
Thursday, October 01, 2009 - 06:05 PM - 5 years, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
London Lite the other day had a nice piece on some of the great quality focused cafes in London! We’re stoked to get a couple of mentions, and a bit bemused at the comment about us as ‘cult roasters’! Hehe!

Will Hide reports on good coffee in London
Tuesday, September 29, 2009 - 04:51 PM - 5 years, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Starring some of your favourite London baristas! Nice to see the appreciation for well prepared coffee spreading!

Royal Mail strikes again
Monday, September 28, 2009 - 04:01 PM - 5 years, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Unfortunately, the problems that the strikes within Royal Mail have been causing for us and our customers seem to continue. This is terrible news for any business where online sales is any part of the trade, and especially for companies like us where freshness of the merchandise is at the heart of what we do. We are in talks with an alternative delivery company that might be able to offer us a safer, trackable and more efficient service than Royal Mail has, and won’t cause additional costs for our customers. Hopefully we can have this service up and running within a couple of weeks, but until then we have to ask for your patience should your coffees be delayed over the next few weeks. Anette and James

UBF Round 3 – Tickets, Event and More!
Friday, September 25, 2009 - 05:05 PM - 5 years, 1 month ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
UBF Round 3 – Tickets, Event and More!
For those of you competing you’ll want to click here to grab a ticket before they all go! The Event: Time: 7.30pm (7pm for Competitors) Date: September 30th Venue: Pavilion Cafe, Corner of Globe Road and Old Ford Road, Victoria Park. Map Attendance to spectate is £4 on the door, or free if you bring treats/beer! Come down and cheer on your favourites! The Challenge is a speed challenge. Competitors must make 4 drinks: Cappuccino, Latte, Flat White & Macchiato. They can only steam 1 pitcher of milk for all drinks. Cappuccino and Flat White must contain 2 shots. This is a time trial. Time penalties for: Incorrect Milk Temperature (Below 50C or Above 70C) Poor milk foam (ideally 2-3cm for a capp, less than 2cm for latte and flat white) Incorrect shot times (outside of 20-30 seconds) Spillages Wasted ground coffee Drinks with latte art with receive time bonuses. A full explanation will be given on the night to all competitors. Jugs, milk, coffee and cups will be provided.

UBF Round 3: Blazing Pitchers!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - 06:06 PM - 5 years, 2 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
It is all change for the next round of the UBF. New challenge, new venue and space for new competitors! The challenge: Speed round 2 group Linea. 1 Anfim Super Caimano. 1 Pitcher. 4 drinks. 1 ticking clock… In a race against the clock baristas will have to prepare a cappuccino, a flat white, a latte and a macchiato.* There will be time penalties for: bad shots, foam failures, incorrect milk temp, spills and mess and for taking too damn long. Bonus points available for latte art. The venue: Victoria Park Pavilion Corner of Old Ford Road & Grove Road London E9 7DE 30th September - 7.30pm start time. (Competitors arrive for 7pm) *More details – including more rules and spectator info – up in the next day or so. Competitor’s tickets up 6pm this Friday! Poised at laptops please, people!

Autumn Espresso
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 05:52 PM - 5 years, 2 months ago   - 1. TMC Members' Coffee Blogs  - James and Anette's Square Mile Weblog
Autumn Espresso
It’s been in the shop for a couple of weeks already, but I hope it’s not too late to announce the arrival of our Autumn seasonal espresso! I don’t know about the rest of you, but apart from last weeks admirable effort on The Great British Summer’s side to prove it still had some sun rays left in it, we can safely say Autumn is here. My cardigans have gone from cotton to wool. If you’ve been following the updates on our Facebook page you probably already know what the Autumn is made from , but I’ll go through it in more detail here. It’s made up of three Central American coffees, Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador. The largest component (40%) was also the last one sourced, and is from Hacienda Rio Jorco in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. It’s a washed coffee of the Caturra variety, which is a shorter and bushier mutation of Bourbon. Rio Jorco is quite a large Estate, with it’s own mill and several smaller plots/farms, one of which made it into the Cup of Excellence auction in 2008. The Hacienda is run by the third generation owners, brothers Luis and Jim Alfaro and their families. The welfare of their employees and the ecological balance of the Estate is a strong focus for the Alfaros, 75% of the land is dedicated as a natural reserve and many of the employees have built their homes on the farm. In addition, they run the Alfaro-Zeledon Coffee Museum where in view of the fields you can learn about all aspects of the coffee growing process. The second element of the blend (30%) is a Pulped natural Bourbon from the Santa Isabel tableau at El Molino de Sta Rita, in Ataco, El Salvador. Some of you may remember we had the El Molino de Sta Rita on offer as a filter coffee last year, and perhaps it was the familiarity of the sweetness that drew me to this Sta Isabel selection when I cupped it earlier this year at the mill in El Salvador. Managing the farm is Jose Antonio Salaverria who was gracious enough to put up with my snapping away in his cupping lab. The last element of the blend (30%) is a combination of the La Vega and Cipresal lots at Finca Vista Hermosa in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. These two selections were singled out and combined as although they are quite far apart geographically, they both cupped very differently to the other lots on the farm, but very similar to each other. The owner of the farm Edwin Martinez, explained in more detail: “La Vega and Cipresal are both about 80% red bourbon, 10% caturra, 10% catuai. It is all pulped with a very small JOTAGALLO brand depulper, washed and patio sun dried. We don’t go by time, but we stop fermenting when the fruit is off the coffee and we are careful to agitate the coffee so no portion ferments faster or slower. Also for uniformity after drying, we let it rest or reposo in parchment of at least 30 days AT the farm. La Vega is about 47 cuerdas and Cipresal is about 26. 1 cuerda is 20 X 20 Meters. They are both between 4800′ and 5500′ elevation and the only reason they’re together is because they both cupped out identical over a dozen times. We literally couldn’t tell the difference between these two but we could distinguish them from the others and the others from each other.” Cipresal is a plot close to the main farm building and patios, while La Vega is further north. Edwin explained: “This (La Vega) is by far the hardest micro lot to pick and we have as many big trees as possible with little foliage on them. This is because we need their roots to hold the earth together and keep it from sliding down into the creek yet the banks are steep enough and perpendicular to the suns path of rise and fall that the banks themselves block all but mid day sun. So we need all the sun we can get. This coffee gets more shade than most certified shade grown trees… too much really!” We’re really happy with the espresso this season, it’s come out really nice and chocolaty, just what you need for comfort when the weather turns chilly! We hope you enjoy!

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