In our last year of sponsorship of the UK Barista Championship, the Sanremo UK Road Crew was put to a test once again at the new Superheat format. As one would expect, David and Steve ran the show with everyone else trying to keep up! Here are The Road Crew’s thoughts on the Superheat format, and what impressed them the most…

David Wilson, Roadshow Manager aka Technical Manager for Sanrem UK

“Centralising all the regional heats into one big ‘Superheat’ not only made set-up easier for the Sanremo road crew (as pointed out by many competitors) but made it financially viable to utilise the services of a professional and experienced AV company, LSFX, live streaming every performance to the world.

“I was particularity impressed with Millennium Point staff, without exception they couldn’t have been more helpful and delivered everything that was promised. It was a pleasure to be there.”

Steve Partridge, Stage Supervisor aka Trainer at the UK Coffee School SW

“It is always good to see the familiar faces of previous competitors but it is especially good when new contestants enter the Championship. You are part of their learning curve and their special journey.

“Yet again, I was impressed with the passion for coffee shown by all the competitors, highly infectious!”

Ricky Clanford, Backstage Assistant aka Warehouse Assistant at Coffee West

“Being a relative newcomer to the coffee industry, I thought the whole competition was incredibly well organised with a much bigger coverage throughout the industry than I ever would’ve imagined. The baristas were incredibly professional and passionate about their work and coffee in general.

“I was impressed with the judges and the precision that they gave their roles in the championship as I would imagine it is a very hard role to have, also I was impressed with the vast majority of the baristas who were respectful and many had the time to speak to you regardless of what stage they were at with their preparation.”

Augusto Melendrez, The Coffee Kids and off Stage Machines aka National Business Development Executive for Sanremo UK & Ireland

“Once again Union Handroasted provided some nice coffees for the Coffee Kids stand. I wish other competitions (Brewers Cup and Cup Tasters) and events (Tamper Tantrum) happened at a different time, so I could watch them.

“I was impressed with the venue, Millennium Point in Birmingham and the Giant Screen there. You could watch exactly what was happening on the stage. You can even watch it now on SCAE UK YouTube channel!”

Anna Lewoniewska, Social Commentary aka Marketing Executive at Sanremo UK

“I heard many positive comments from the baristas and the judges, that having just one qualifying event provided the equal platform to all competitors. The level of following on social media, especially twitter and Facebook exceeded my expectations.

“The passion for coffee at the UKBC is truly unbelievable. It has always fascinated me how baristas come up with the idea for their signature drink. They must know their coffee extremely well to be able to create it. Watching the baristas using various brewing methods to enhance distinctive flavour notes of their competition blend was incredible and very inspiring.”

Andrew Tucker, Stage Presenter aka MD of Sanremo UK

“There are definitely some distinctly positive and distinctly negative aspects to the Superheat concept. However you look at it, it is a very special part of the industry to be involved with.

“You can’t help but to get a real buzz from some of the performances. The level of attention to detail and getting under the skin of speciality coffee always inspires me and gets me excited. The level of competition gets higher, and along with it, the judging. The UKBC really is the sharp end of the industry.”