Home of the UK Barista Champions

Every year the coffee industry has a tradition. We come together as a community to share and compete in the U.K. Barista Championship. This year in a hall in Brighton our talented Wholesale Manager Paul Ross won his second championship using Kiss the Hippo coffee.

Paul’s incredible achievement marks the third year in a row one of the Kiss the Hippo team have won the competition, and it means that he gets to represent the U.K. in Melbourne at the World Barista Championships later this year.

Each championship is the result of a long climb through regional heats held across the U.K., and then the semi-finals and finally the final, involving dozens of the country’s best baristas. Coffee professionals use this platform to showcase innovative techniques from producers, roasters and from behind the espresso machine. So much of modern coffee started on the barista championship stage, and then trickled down until it arrived in the daily coffee cups of millions. 

Paul’s routine was a showcase of his journey through coffee which included creating a small batch of instant coffee from the same rare & acclaimed coffee he used to win the competition - our Colombian Shattah Gesha. The innovative instant coffee was part of the story but what gained him all the points was his espresso, milk and signature creations.

Four sensory judges evaluated the three courses for the quality of their flavour, their complexity, and their clarity. The texture, sweetness, acidity and bitterness were all evaluated, and meant he not only had to use an incredible coffee from producer Mauricio Shattah, but also had to brew it flawlessly.

Winning the championship is a team effort, and along the way Paul had support from our Head of Coffee and former U.K. Barista Champion Joshua Tarlo as well as our newest competitor, Rodolfo Borre, who takes care of training at Kiss the Hippo and is now ranked 6th in the UK.

The road to the World Barista Championship is long and we’re going to post updates and insights as we prepare to showcase British coffee on the global stage.

We want to say thank you to everyone at the Speciality Coffee Association who puts on this global competition and the skilled prestigious judges who gave their time to it. U.K. coffee is known around the word for its incredible quality and we’re gracious they choose our very own Paul Ross for the honour of representing it.

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