BBC Food: How healthy is your coffee?

How healthy is your coffee? See this article from BBC Food to find out, with expert input from yours truly!

UK Barista Championship 2013 – Heats

On 6th March 2013, I came second in my regional heat of the UK Barista Championship, and took away the trophies for Best Espresso and Best Signature Drink! With a total score of 588 points, I am third in the UK top 20 and will be competing in the UKBC finals on 27th and 28th April 2013. Look for me there!

http://scaeuk.com/news/index.php/2013/04/2013-uk-barista-championships-top-20/

Here are some photos from the day!

Competing at UKBC 2013 (heats). Photo (c)Kate Beard. Competing at UKBC 2013 (heats). Photo (c)Kate Beard. Competing at UKBC 2013 (heats). Photo (c)Kate Beard.

UKBC 2013 photos are (c) Kate Beard
Many more photos can be found on the SCAEUK page on Flickr.

UK Barista Championship 2013

UKBC 2013

It’s that time of year again, the UK Barista Championships are almost upon us! After the disappointment of not being fit to compete last year following my bicycle accident, I am more driven than ever to reach this year’s final!

That means it’s time to get practising, so as well as being open at the Riverside Farmers Market as usual every Sunday through January and February, you will be able to find me at Roath Real Food Market at the Mackintosh Centre on Keppoch Street (http://www.riversidemarket.org.uk/roath-market.aspx).

I will be using my competition espresso each week and will give you as much of an insight into my competition routine as I can. If everything goes to plan there should be some pretty outstanding espresso drinks on offer!

I hope you can come along… I look forward to sharing some tasty espresso with you soon.

Finca Suiza

finca-suiza

Regulars at Riverside market will be familiar with Finca Suiza, a coffee that I have been using in my efforts towards winning the UK Barista Championships for the past couple of years.

In May 2012 I had the pleasure of meeting Juan Francisco (Pancho), owner of Finca Suiza and was taken for a guided tour of the farm. Pancho picked me up at 7am to begin our drive from San Salvador up towards the Ipaneca Mountain range and our eventual destination of the Santa Ana volcano. It was Sunday, and as we drive along the roads of the city we saw crowds spilling out of churches all over the city, the sermons being carried to them over PA systems strapped to the outside of the buildings.

We headed towards the main square of Santa Ana where its cathedral is positioned and walked inside to see the biggest congregation gathered that I have ever witnessed. We took a walk around the old Spanish colonial town square taking in the town hall and social club before we began our drive up the Volcano towards Finca Suiza.

Suiza is positioned on the North West face of the volcano at an altitude of 1600m above sea level. It sits in a steep valley running down the mountain, created by the movement of volcanic rock down a small river. For the most part the farm grows the variety Bourbon with a small amount of Pacamara being produced alongside. The farm is managed year round by a lovely couple who enjoy produce from the abundant fruit trees, and keep chickens for their eggs. Whilst I was there they were drying the last of the cherries which had dried outside the optimal picking window to drink themselves.

Pancho and I spent a couple of hours wandering the farm, eating fresh fruit from the trees and drinking a beer. It was obvious we shared the same pleasures in life; great coffee, tasty food, a beer and great company to share it all with.

Coffee from this year’s crop at Finca Suiza is available to take home from The Caffeine Kid stall at Riverside Market!

The Caffeine Kid in the News

The Guardian has a write up of my regional win in the UKBC, and how I’ve been delighting people at the Roath and Riverside markets for years!

The article: Cardiff’s Caffeine Kid aims for national award for top coffee
Also see Wales Online: Coffee maker vies to be world’s best