UKBC tips from judges and competitors

First Published - February 3, 2012
The first UKBC 2012 heat took place in London last weekend. Congratulations to Sang Ho Park, who was triumphed with Best Espresso, Best Cappuccino and Best Signature Drink. His Tapped and Packed colleague, Matthew Robley-Siemonsma, was second, with third place going to Rummy Keshet, a barista trainer for Darlington’s.

Matthew, Sang Ho, and Rummy

If you’re competing in the upcoming heats – there’s still just about time to enter, particularly if you’re in Northern Ireland – we’ve put together some tips and advice from our expert team of judges and competitors.


  • Not pulling shots/purging the grinder during 15 min stage prep before the competition
  • Pouring very short espressos which may disqualify you (required volume is 25ml +/- 5ml)
  • Not writing out your script for your 15 minute presentation
  • Over-complicated table dressing – over-styled settings will not win extra points and could distract from the performance


  • ‘Role play’ to practice effectively: bring two or three people together to act as the judges would, and use all your cups and table settings
  • Pack your table setting in boxes ready to pull out and set up quickly
  • Adjust your roast profile to required brew temperature
  • Make sure that the judges have water poured in their glasses before you start
  • During 15 min presentation work with your own grinder if at all possible
  • Look into the judges’ eyes, smile, and talk about what you love in coffee
  • When introducing the signature drink to the judges, make sure you explain how to drink it

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