We love creative, beautiful, clean and tasty things. Especially when it comes to coffee. A tasty drink is so much better when it is served with style and flair. It is an extra treat when the character of the person preparing you the drink comes through as well. And that is the case of this year’s London Coffee Masters competitors.
We have gone through the 20 selected competitor’s videos and picked 9 that spoke the most to us. All the competitors had to create a signature drink in order to enrol in the Coffee Masters competition. And there are no boundaries to creativity!
The event takes place, like every year since 2015, at the London Coffee Festival—there is not much time left!
The videos presenting a signature drink have all something in common, yet they are all very own to their creators. Have a look and let us know who are you going to root for!
Jimmy Dimitrov | Clifton Coffee, England
Jimmy had us laugh out loud! We loved his ‘serious’ video and would totally dig his drink. For us it is the perfect combination of humour, good music and tastiness, at least it seems like it. Juicy Banger says it all!
Coffee: Finca Hartmann, a natural maragogype from Panama varietals
Taste notes: Black current jelly babies, pineapple, lime
Recipe: V60 brew mixed with 25ml black current liquor Chambord, shaked
Served: Over a jelly sprite ice cube, with a black raspberry pencil garnish
Vincenzo Bellone | Warren Allen Cafes, Ireland
The Italian classic, stove top coffee, has been presented here in a modern, fresh twist called Corretto in dolce. Maybe we will learn how to properly pronounce pistachios in Italian as well!
Coffee: Finca El Triunfo, washed coffee from Honduras
Taste notes: Maple syrup, liquorice, almond
Recipe: Brew a stove top coffee over a thin layer of pecan nuts. Layer aged Jameson, fresh cream and maple syrup in a cup.
Served: Coffee poured into the mixture, creating “Irish-coffee head”, garnish with ground nuts.
Wissem Ben Rahim | Ben Rahim Coffee, Germany
Ben is another of the ‘classics’ among our picks. He serves one of the best Ibrik coffees in Berlin and for LCF he created the Ibrik Cocktail. We are intrigued!
Coffee: Mystery coffee
Recipe: Brewed in Ibrik with 20g of coffee and 60g of water. AeroPressed over ice, black cherry and orange jams, shaken
Served: In a coupe glass, garnished with rose petals and pistachios
Francisca Apró | Espresso Embassy, Hungary
Francisca looks like an angel, but she mixes a bittersweet, harmonious drinks with ease and style. A clean, beautiful presentation. We are excited to see her in the competition!
Coffee: Rwandan Ejo Heza, filter brew
Recipe: 150 g chilled filter coffee, 2 cl Haymans London dry gin, 5 drops Angelica bitters, 4 ml chilled free-dried black current extract, 8 ml chilled blood orange juice, 4 g molasses.
Served: In a Martini glass, garnished with orange peel and frozen black currents
Jaya Chingen | Climpson & Sons, England
Jaya serves her creation with smile—probably the best ingredient to her mix. We would love to taste the naturally processed Rwandan she uses for it on its own, not to mention in her cocktail called Honeyed Rugali.
Coffee: Rugali, naturally processed red bourbon, Rwanda, Nyamasheke region
Taste notes: Persimon, brandysnap, bergamot
Recipe: 40g of espresso (21% extraction), 40 ml Olmeca Altos, Honey tequila, 15 ml agave nectar, Rugali Irish cream, shaken
Served: In a large glass, garnished with homemade honeycomb
Nikolas Georgiou | Slow Brew Club, England
Nik comes across as an honest and passionate barista. Everything in his presentation is there for a reason and we love that. Starting with the ingredients, the story and the name. It is a blend of cultures and we would love to try it.
Coffee: Kenyan AA Kabiruini
Taste notes: Citrusy, juicy
Recipe: V60 brewed and chilled. Combine Mastiha liquor, hibiscus syrup, grapefruit juice and St. John Commandaria red wine. Pour the coffee over the mix, add ice, stir.
Served: Over an ice ball, garnished with juniper and grapefruit peel
Ewelina Kana | Prufrock Coffee, England
Ewelina set herself up for a great challenge of serving her signature drink to the judges + 100 visitors of the LCF. That alone is a reason to check her drink out. On top of that, it involves a stone rolled black tea and promises to taste like strawberry ice cream. Yes, please.
Coffee: Mystery coffee, hand brewed
Recipe: Emulsified 1.4 g of granite rolled roasted black tea with 20 g of filter coffee, served with 55°C steamed milk
Served: In a cappuccino glass for the judges, in paper cups for 100 spectators
Zdenek Hybl | Onesip Coffee, Czech Republic
Ok, we are a little bit bias here, but we are honestly interested in how Zdenek manages to combine the famous and delicious Czech apricot brandy! It is very strong and specific in flavour. You should not miss out on this one.
Coffee: Kenyan Kangunu AB from Round Hill Roastery
Taste notes: Raspberry, cranberry and fruitcake
Recipe: 5 g cranberries, 5 g cascara steeped in 80 g hot water, V60 (18g/300g water), 15 ml Czech apricot liquor, mixed.
Served: In a thermos, overlooking Prague
Dianna Johnston Ledezma | Taylor St Baristas, England
Last, but not least, Dianna has done what many would consider impossible and signed up for all competitions this year. Shout out to this incredible human for being so hard-working and driven. She is sort of a winner in our eyes already.
Coffee: Mystery coffee on espresso
Recipe: Dried Hibiscus flower from Mexico, steeped with 8 g cane sugar, 2 cloves. 25 ml vodka added, mixed. 2 shots of espresso and more vodka added. mixed.
Served: In a ceramic cup
Have a look and let us know if you felt the same about the Coffee Masters competitors. Perhaps your favourite videos are different from ours, please share your opinion with us!