With the UKBC Glasgow heat just weeks away we are very excited to be silver sponsors for the event and to see our BTB Barista Bursary winner Darryl Docherty from Dear Green Roasters compete.
The UK Barista Championship is the UK’s leading coffee competition, showcasing the best baristas in the business. Entrants have 15 minutes to create three sets of four drinks, espresso’s, milk beverages and a signature beverage. Each routine is set to music and also features a presentation showing the latest innovations and learnings.
We caught up with Darryl to find out a bit more about how his interest in coffee started and why he loves taking part in the championships.
Tell us a bit about yourself
In 2014 I competed in the UKBC, I won my heat and was awarded The title of Scottish Barista Champion. These last few years since, I have been working in speciality coffee in Asia, New Zealand and Australia. My time in New Zealand was spent as a barista trainer & Head Barista of People’s coffee. I also was a judge in the 2015 NZBC where I gained a lot of insight into competitions and how they work.
In Melbourne I was head Barista at Code Black Coffee North. There I had the opportunity to put my Barista Competition knowledge to use and coach Sam Low, who is now the current 2016 NZBC. I was privileged to experience first-hand a barista preparing for the world stage, and learned about constructing a performance from a World head judge.
What inspired you to start taking coffee seriously?
I can pin point my journey and career into coffee to one experience . This Happened in Edinburgh just over 4 years ago. I had been frequenting a coffee shop called artisan roast and one occasion I ordered a V60 of a Coffee from Tanzania, Blackburn estate. It completely blew my mind, completely redefining what coffee could be for me. From that point I decided I wanted to explore coffee, quit my job, and started working part time in a speciality coffee shop.
What is the most surprising lesson you have learned along the way?
The more I learn, the less I know. Sounds cliche but it’s true.
What tools do you find indispensable?
One of The tools I find indispensable is inquisitiveness. With social media connecting people all around the world our access to information has never been easier, sadly this also applies to misinformation. With a product as obscure as coffee there is so much out dated and irrelevant information out there. Accepting what we read without testing it can be detrimental. I would encourage people to question everything.
What has winning the BTB Barista Bursary meant to you?
The financial cost of competing can be absurd, and is one of the most common reasons why baristas don’t compete. Having this bursary, coupled with the ongoing support of the BTB team, has given me peace of mind, and has allowed me to focus entirely on my performance.
What’s your favourite aspect of competing?
There are 2 main reasons I like competing. Firstly is the social aspect. rarely do we have so many baristas from different companies in the one place. It’s a great time to meet people in the industry. Secondly competing forces you to analyze your technique. This made me aware of bad habits I had and allowed me to correct them on shift behind bar.
What advice would you give someone who wanted to take the next step and being competing?
The advice I would give someone is to read the rules and understand the score sheet.
Where can everyone watch you compete in UKBC this year?
I will be competing at the Glasgow heat in May, My performance is around midday sometime.
How can people keep up to date with what you are up to?
You can follow my progress on instagram @deepfriedcoffee
We wish Darryl the best of luck and look forward to seeing you all in Glasgow in May!