Last fall we brought you word of the 2015 Coffee Masters, a brand new event happening at the London Coffee Festival this May in London. Coffee Masters is a “fast paced, multi-disciplinary coffee competition” as per the event FAQ, and was developed by Sprudge advertising partners Allegra Events, the brand that puts on the London Coffee Festival, with input from Rob Dunne and Vic Frankowski of the London-based coffee consultancy DunneFrankowski. (Mr. Frankowski is also a contributor to this website.)
The event carries a £5000 cash prize–just shy of $8000 USD in current conversion rates—one of the largest cash prizes in all of competitive coffee. Entry was a wildly global affair, drawing video submissions from prospective competitors from across the planet, who'll be clashing in heated battle across a variety of coffee disciplines, including cupping, brewing, latte art, and a “real world” stress test designed to rattle even the most seasoned coffee pro. Today, in advance of the event later this year, we're excited to take part in the announcement of the 2015 Coffee Masters roster.
Competing baristas were selected in London by the Coffee Masters team, and include coffee professionals working at the highest levels of service around the world. They include the past two Australian Barista Champions–Craig Simon and Matt Perger–alongside 2012 UK Brewers Cup champion James Bailey, storied Belgian national competitor & judge Valentine Wanders, repeat Polish national finalist Slawek Saran, Swede by way of Berlin Patrik Karlsson, and many, many more, from spunky newcomers to long distance travelers from Australia, Indonesia, and across Europe and the UK. The selections were made with the help of videos submitted by the competitors, each one as varied as the pool of competitors.
The judging pool for Coffee Masters is indeed impressive. Judges at the 2015 Coffee Masters event include Anne Lunell, the co-founder and co-owner of Koppi in Helsingborg, Sweden; Gwilym Davies, 2009 World Barista Champion and the co-founder of London's Prufrock Coffee; Andrew Tolley, co-founder of London's Taylor St. Baristas and Harris + Hoole; Anette Moldvaer, the co-founder and co-owner of Square Mile Coffee in London and author of ‘Coffee Obession'; and Salvatore Malatesta, the Melbourne-based proprietor of St. Ali Family.
Cruise over to the London Coffee Masters competitor page and learn more about who'll be duking it out for £5000 come May. This page includes signature drink entry videos for each competitor, but we'll show you some of our favorites below.
From Workshop Coffee's James Bailey, the “Pour Over Lime”, a trixy little number comprised of Kenyan coffee with palm sugar brewed over ice, paired with Matahari absinthe, Germana cachaca, and Diplomatico Exclusiva Reserva.
Dates, honey, a three-bean blend and some cascara from UCC's Gayan Munaweera, “making a beautiful princess into an elegant queen.”
How about Simone König's complex and innovative drink, fusing sweet, cold coconut oil foam with two distinct AeroPress preparations?
And of course we're going to show you the Matt Perger video. Here's Matty Ice having a bit of fun with some cherry maceration, sparkling water, and an espresso to be named later.
Much more via Coffee Masters at the London Coffee Festival.