UBF 9- Buckle up!

27 05 2010

With almost a year’s worth of UBF’s under the belt it is time tie up some loose ends.  So grab a partner, grab a belt and tie yourselves up!

For this challenge we want you put your teamwork to the test.  2 baristas strapped together leaving only 2 arms will have to make an espresso, a cappuccino, and an aeropress.  It will be a head to head battle against another team with the fastest team going through to the finals.  Time penalties will be deducted for spills and poor quality drinks (at the judge’s discretion).

Taylor St Baristas
Unit 3, 125 Old Broad st
(nearest tube Bank, take exit 2 to Threadneedle st)

2 June, 2010


BYO drinks (tesco extra is located 50 metres away on Old Broad st)
All monies raised go to Coffee Kids!

Tickets to compete sold here! Please note that each member of the two man team has to buy one ticket each!

Audience: £5 on the door!

UBF 8- The Blindfold Challenge

22 04 2010

Ah yes, the UBF is back, tougher and fiercer than ever! After a League break where we saw several of our UBF contenders take their battle onto the white tablecloths of the UKBC stage, the real, gritty throwdown is back where it belongs: the murky depths of roasteries and shops of London. Next up: Hosted by Kaffeine of Great Titchfield Street, a challenge so brutal you’ll be scared to come watch-  which is only fair since our UBF’ers won’t see a thing either!

Head to head, two baristas will be blindfolded and guided to the steamwands by their chosen seeing eye helpers, they’ll get to steam once, be provided with one cup and shot each, and they have to pour their best latte art guided only by the voice of their aide. Winner progresses to the next round. Rules entirely subject to change!

Buy your ticket to compete, pack your milk pitchers, pick your helper, don your wellies and be at Kaffeine Wednesday the 28th, 7pm.

Audience: Space is limited, so please email Kaffeine or twitter at them @Kaffeinelondon to say you’re coming!  £5 on the door or free with beer/food as usual!

UBF 7- have you got the brains to match your beans…

17 01 2010

Being the Ultimate Barista Fighter requires immense intellectual power as well as big tamping muscles. We’re testing our contestants’ brain cells by putting them through a grueling pubquiz, where the questions will of course center around the who, what, where, why and how of coffee!

This pubquiz will take place on Tuesday the 19th, 7pm, at The Miller : oh yes Ladies and Gentlemen, we are taking the UBF South Side!!!

Now, we can only fit 50 people in there on the night, competitors and spectators alike, so if you want to compete or just come along for the beer, YOU HAVE TO EMAIL ME AND LET ME KNOW!

There will be about 50 questions in various coffee related categories. The UBF’ers will compete in pairs, and each member of the couple will get points for their placing on the final ranking. So team up with the smartest UBF’er you know, or find a really smart UBF newbie to ensure your chances for a round 7 win! We’ll have as many teams as we can so email me to confirm you’re coming along, whether you want to compete, and who your teammate is. Bring a 5’er on the night, winner takes all!


UBF 6 – Take it outside, Santa.

9 12 2009

Ultimate Barista Fighters must be able to defy the elements in order to prove their worthiness, so we’re sending them outside, to pour off in the cold, dark December nights…  On Wednesday the 16th, we’ll meet in the backalleys of East London (well, at Gwilym’s cart on Columbia Road, anyway) to throw down in…. you know it- 8oz takeaway cups! Who can pour the best with frozen fingers? Will wearing gloves prove advantageous or a handicap? Will the milk freeze before it hits the espresso?  You never knew being a UBF fighter would turn this physically challenging, so put your Mukluks and Santa hats on, and we’ll see you at Gwilym’s cart at 7pm!

Tickets to compete here.

Supporters and hecklers: no fee to come along, Happy Christmas to you all! (Thermoses with hot beverages probably useful)

(Also, the Columbia Road shops are open as per their Christmas Wednesdays, so it’s a good time to get those last presents in!)

UBF 5- SPOON OF DOOM- the scariest challenge so far..!

16 11 2009

Monday the 23rd of November, our Ultimate Barista Fighters- seasoned or fresh to the game- will gather to face a test that very few of them have faced before. This time it’s not about your cups, pitchers, rosettas or ability to pour drinks the fastest, this time it’s all about your tastebuds and your ability to discern between the subtle nuances in coffee.

An Ultimate Barista Fighter must possess a variety of skills, and the knowhow and confidence to quickly decide if a coffee is brewed correctly- and how to fix it if it’s not- is essential. It all comes down to the taste, and through triangle tests it will be decided who can tell if a coffee is slightly off the mark and doesn’t match the others.

Triangulation is a very straightforward way of challenging the sensitivity of your coffee tasting skills that requires no judges, no subjective evaluations and no way of charming your way to a win. You are either right or wrong, and thus the shame and glory will both be greater than ever before!

Our fighters will be faced with several triangles of three bowls of filter brewed coffee. Two of the bowls in a triangle will be the same, one will be the odd one out. Just as with espresso, our challengers must use their senses to decide which of the three has less body, more acidity, less sweetness or more bitterness to find out which one is not quite right and must be rejected. They will employ their Spoon of Doom to slurp and taste the coffee from the bowls, separate the odd cup out from the others, later to be lifted to reveal if it was indeed the correct one- if it is it will have a red mark underneath. The crowd will cheer and their chests will swell with pride! If it is a blank cup, they have been sorely mistaken, the crowd will boo, and they must hang their head in shame…  And not only is this a right or wrong test of innate coffee tasting ability, it’s also a race against the clock- as if two challengers should arrive at the same number of correct bowls, it will be the more confident, faster one who wins the round!

More clarification of the rules will be given on the night. Fighters- please arrive at 7 pm for a briefing and to choose your Spoon of Doom (or bring your own), spectators, cheerleaders and hecklers: please arrive at 7:30 pm with £5 or drinks/snacks, and get ready for the most frightening challenge so far, where it’s just you against the coffee…!

PS:  A setup where audience can challenge themselves to the same test will be set up after the battle is over, to see how easy it is….

TICKETS FOR COMPETITORS! Venue is the Square Mile Coffee Roastery, 273 Poyser Street, E2 9RF.  Be there.

UBF IV Results

3 11 2009

Much fun was had by all at UBF IV!  This time the night was won by a newcomer – Brett “Red Man” Redman, who had kindly hosted the previous event at the Victoria Park Pavilion.

It was a night of outstanding pouring into tiny little cups.  Everyone had to pour rosettas in round one, hearts in round two and tulips in round three.  For the finals the two competitors had to pour one of each from a single pitcher.


1st – Brett “Red Man” Redman – 10 pts

2nd – James “Big Jim” Phillips – 6 pts

3rd – Scott “Captain Tugboat” Griffiths – 4pts

4th – Phil “Panic Attack” Walker – 2pts

There were also a couple of short videos from the night.

From James:

UBF IV from James Hoffmann on Vimeo.

From David Walsh:

Ultimate Barista Fighter from The Other Black Stuff on Vimeo.

Hopefully we’ll get some photos from the night posted soon!

UBF Round 4 Tickets now on SALE!!!

24 10 2009

Get your TICKETS to compete!

This is a ticket to guarantee a space to compete at the fourth Ultimate Barista Fighter showdown. Purchasing a ticket will only reserve your spot, so we’ll ask you to bring a fiver on the night to put your money where you mouth is…

  • Time: 7.30pm (7pm for Competitors!)
    Date: October 30th
    Venue: Square Mile Coffee Roasters, 273 Poyser Street, E2 9RF

    Attendance to spectate is £5 on the door (no tickets needed), or free if you bring treats/beer!

    The Challenge is a mini one in size, but massive in control and accuracy…

    Competitors must make 3 macchiatos, one with a tulip, one with a rosetta and one with a heart. Sound easy? Think your big strong barista fighter hands can do cutsie little flowers? Will our female fighters dainty digits give them an advantage over the men? Is this the challenge that will separate the men from the mice?


    A full explanation will be given on the night to all competitors. Jugs, milk, coffee and cups will be provided.

  • UBF Round 4 coming soon!

    23 10 2009

    Friday the 30th, Square Mile Roastery, a challenge that might seem small but surely will separate the mighty from the mice….

    More info and ticket link tomorrow!

    UBF ROUND 3 – Tickets, Event and More

    25 09 2009

    For those of you competing you’ll want to click here to grab a ticket before they all go!

    The Event:

    Time: 7.30pm (7pm for Competitors)
    Date: September 30th

    Venue: Pavilion Cafe, Corner of Globe Road and Old Ford Road, Victoria Park.


    Attendance to spectate is £4 on the door, or free if you bring treats/beer!  Come down and cheer on your favourites!

    The Challenge is a speed challenge.

    Competitors must make 4 drinks: Cappuccino, Latte, Flat White & Macchiato.

    They can only steam 1 pitcher of milk for all drinks.

    Cappuccino and Flat White must contain 2 shots.

    This is a time trial. Time penalties for:

  • Incorrect Milk Temperature (Below 50C or Above 70C)
  • Poor milk foam (ideally 2-3cm for a capp, less than 2cm for latte and flat white)
  • Incorrect shot times (outside of 20-30 seconds)
  • Spillages
  • Wasted ground coffee
  • Drinks with latte art with receive time bonuses. A full explanation will be given on the night to all competitors. Jugs, milk, coffee and cups will be provided.

    UBF Round 3: Blazing Pitchers!

    23 09 2009

    It is all change for the next round of the UBF.  New challenge, new venue and space for new competitors.

    The challenge:

    Speed round

    2 group Linea. 1 Anfim Super Caimano.  1 Pitcher.  4 drinks. 1 ticking clock…

    In a race against the clock baristas will have to prepare a cappuccino, a flat white, a latte and a macchiato.*

    There will be time penalties for:  bad shots, foam failures, incorrect milk temp, spills and mess and for taking too damn long.

    Bonus points available for latte art.

    The venue:

    Victoria Park Pavilion

    Corner of Old Ford Road & Grove Road


    E9 7DE

    30th September – 7.30pm start time.  (Competitors arrive for 7pm)

    More details – including more rules and spectator info – up in the next day or so.

    Competitor’s tickets up 6pm this Friday.