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Gwilym Davies 2009 UK Barista Champion

4 Mar

Congratulations to Gwilym Davies who has just been crowned the 2009 UK Barista Champion. I’ve just thrown this post up for people who want to know more about this great barista. (click here for full post with embedded media.)

Gwilym works outdoor coffee carts at two busy London markets. He uses coffee from East London’s Square Mile Roasters.

Gwilym’s winning espresso was a 50/50 blend made up of Finca San Jose Pulped Natural Red Catuaí from Erwin Mierisch and family in Nicaragua, and an El Molino de Santa Rita Washed Orange Bourbon from Jose Antonio Salaverria’s farm in El Salvador.

During the the final Gwilym’s espresso and signature drink attained the highest scores. The idea behind his signature drink was to enhance flavours that were already in the espresso he was working with. He created an infusion of butter, cinamon, orange peel, muscovado syrup, and dark chocolate that he added to the espresso.

Here is Gwilym’s semi-final performance:
http://www.viddler.com/simple/32717bbb/

Here’s Gwilym’s championship-winning final performance:
http://www.viddler.com/player/63f6f5e8/
Here are all the videos from the UKBC Finals.

Here is a video of the results and an interview with Gwilym:
http://www.viddler.com/player/ad07df2/

Here’s a podcast about Gwilym.

http://starbarista.googlepages.com/Episode_1_Gwillem.mp3

(Note: At the time of recording Gwilym was using beans from a different London roastery.)

Click here to download this podcast.

Here are some photos of Gwilym at work on Whitecross Market

Below is a map showing the locations of Gwilym’s coffee carts.
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=104091204455281198860.0004645d4dd3f70e7d302&ll=51.5258,-0.081394&spn=0.007797,0.022649&output=embed&s=AARTsJopiEQXUM95lsYxTwXQELwGDRd2bg
View Larger Map

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Taste of New Zealand Espresso at Square Mile

14 Sep

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I am lucky to live in London’s Bethnal Green neighbourhood on a multitude of counts – that number has increased with the recent opening of Square Mile Coffee roasters less than a five minute walk from my flat.

One evening last week they hosted a tasting of espressos from New Zealand. The event was attended by 45 people and all proceeds were donated to charity. In just over an hour barista James Hoffman (pictured above) pulled more than 160 shots of the four espressos. You can read more about it on Square Mile Coffee’s own blog here.

Square Mile was started up earlier this year by James Hoffmann (World Barista Champion 2007), Anette Moldvaer (World Coffee Cup Tasting Champion 2007) and Stephen Morrissey (World Barista Champion 2008). These people bring a wealth of experience with them and it shows in their coffees – over the last couple of months I’ve been drinking their espresso at a few coffee carts around town and I look forward to it being more widely available as they convince more cafes and restaurants to pull their espresso.

Visit flickr to see more of my photos from the New Zealand espresso evening.

Bedouin Jerry Can Band

11 Sep

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This summer my photography work took me to the Larmer Tree Festival in Dorset, England where the Bedouin Jerry Can Band (BJB) were playing. Being interested in music from other cultures I had long known about this band but knew little about them or their connection to coffee. When I read the following in the festival programme I knew I had to check them out: The BJB are a collective of semi-nomadic musicians, poets, storytellers, and coffee grinders. There is also an olfactory dimension to their act as a coffee grinder brews and serves coffee for the audience . . . Even though their ‘coffee grinder’ really only went throught the motions, bringing out ready made filtered coffee from backstage, their performance was true to the grand tradition of the starbarista: engaging and entertaining an audience while making coffee. (If you are not seeing the photos click here for the full post.)

First he roasted the coffee . . .

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Then he ground the coffee . . .
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He then returned the ground coffee to the pan to either roast it again (surely not) or to brew the coffee . . .

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Then out came the coffee pot which promptly went back stage. . .

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Then seconds later out came a tray of BJB branded styrofoam cups (please guys have some paper ones printed up) full of what seemed like a very light roast filtered coffee . . .

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. . . which was enjoyed by all . . .

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After their performance I spotted them and asked if they wouldn’t mind posing for a group photo . . .

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Here a few close ups of band members . . .
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Gwilym: It’s All About The Coffee.

14 Apr

Welcome to the first episode of the starbarista podcasts. This time around we hear from Gwilym, a veteran barista with loads of experience under his belt. Having first worked in the burgeoning coffee scene in New Zealand ten years ago, he can now be found pulling espressos using Square Mile coffee at two popular London markets. starbarista recently caught up with him on Whitecross Market where his cart is open for business Monday to Friday. He is also at the Columbia Road Flower Market every Sunday. (Note: At the time of recording Gwilym was using beans from a different London roastery.)