I love coffee and am pretty picky about the stuff. So I feel slightly vindicated now I know that specialists in the industry take the process of brewing it as seriously as I take drinking of it. 

A record-breaking number of baristas took part in the annual BaxterStorey Barista Championship this year, which is driven via the company’s award-winning Barista Academy and celebrates “baristas’ knowledge, preparation and delivery of coffee via a series of challenges devised to test their skills and ability”.

This year, more than 50 baristas took part in five regional heats, with each producing a regional champion and I went along to one of the London days to gather some photos of the day for BaxterStorey.

It was fascinating to watch the process, the attention to detail and the tension in the room as the competition started getting fierce.

What’s so great about shooting events like this, is getting in an insight into a small section of an industry I would otherwise know absolutely nothing about. The fact that there is an annual competition for baristas and that the process of brewing the right coffee is taken so seriously is just fabulous! I know I take my work so seriously – to the extent that probably only other photographers understand and it’s nice to see this happening across other industries.

The competition was won by Derek Buckley, after showcasing his latte art skills, creating a signature drink and performing a 10-minute routine, which saw him make six hot beverages against the clock. Apparently this is his second year of winning in a row – pretty impressive and I certainly wouldn’t say no if he offered me a coffee. It’s 11am, I have biscuits……Derek?

If you want to find out more about BaxterStorey’s and their Barista Academy, please visit their website:  www.baxterstorey.co.uk