Coffee kings take the cup

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THOUSANDS of us wake up to it every morning. But no one knows coffee, like those who gathered at Lancaster and Morecambe College recently to take part in the northern heats of the UK Barista Championship.

The term barista comes from the Italian for bartender, but unlike many bartenders in Morecambe and Lancaster they won’t be conjuring up cocktails or pulling a pint, these baristas have their sights firmly set on one thing – to make the perfect cup of coffee.

“I think the perfect cup of coffee has to be hot, that’s the main thing for me,” said Lysia Richmond, 19, a barista at The Music Room Cafe in Lancaster’s Sun Square. It’s also got to be quality coffee and the presentation must also be good.”

Twenty one baristas from across the UK battled it out in the northern heats of the competition which thanks to Ian Steel from J Atkinson & Co, was brought to Lancaster for the first time ever.

“We offered to host it on behalf of the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE),” explained Ian.

“It’s the first time that heats have been held in the North West, but we wanted to show how high we can raise the bar when it comes to speciality coffee.”

See The Visitor (09-03-11) for full story.