The search for the UK’s top barista begins

27 January, 2023

Preparations are underway at La Cimbali HQ for the Specialty Coffee Association UK (SCA UK) Barista Championship 2023, which kicks off in February with preliminary heats in five locations across the UK.

As official gold sponsor, Cimbali will provide M200 GT1 for competing baristas to use live on stage and in the practice area at each phase of the Championship, from the initial heats through to the grand final, which Cimbali will host at events@270, Elstree on 31 Mar -1 April 2023.

Cimbali’s UK BC roadshow team will travel the breadth of the UK throughout February to ensure the safe delivery and installation of Cimbali M200 GT1, calibrating two machines to competition-ready standard for each regional heat.

A third machine will be installed for coffee sponsor, Grumpy Mule, to allow freshly brewed coffee to be served throughout the Championships.

The Cimbali team, led by Maxime Herbaut, National Sales and Training Manager, comprises Regional Sales Coordinators Steeve Gadby, Lucie Rezacova and Laszlo Hollo; Nathan Adeniregun, After Sales Trainer; Richard Thomas, Technical Manager; Scott Lannon, Regional Sales Manager and a local Cimbali Field Engineer.

Lucie Rezacova gets ready for the next competitor SCA UK BC 2022

In addition to machine set up and clean downs/prep between use, the team provide ongoing technical support throughout the Championships, ensuring each machine is set up to SCA Competition standards:

  • Each individual group boiler will be set to the temperature chosen by the competitor prior to his/her practice. The default temperature being 93 degrees C which can be adjusted by 0.5 increments.
  • Each competitor can choose the position of their drip tray, high – medium – low respectively 75, 115, 140mm from the portafilter spout to the tray. The default position being medium.
  • The machines will be set to 9 bar pressure with free flow set button only.
  • No shot timer will be set on the machine and no pre-infusion or pre-wet will be in use.
  • Each competitor can choose on which side of the machine they want to have their competition grinder positioned before their practice.

Max Herbaut, National Sales and Training Manager for La Cimbali said, “There is an incredible amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at Cimbali to ensure we are ‘competition ready’, not least the logistics involved in ensuring our M200 GT1 are set up and ready to go for every heat.”

“We’ve therefore picked a top team to support the SCA, with a fantastic range of technical experience and know how between them and this will help ensure the smooth running of events from the heats through to the finals.”  

“The SCA and competitors can rest assured they are in very safe hands with Cimbali’s top talented UKBC support team, who right now, are very keen to get the show on the road.”

It’s all about teamwork!
Steeve Gadby and Lucie Rezacova

SCA UK Barista Championships

Regional heats

Thurs 2 Feb – Manchester (Heart & Graft), 30 Holyoak Street, Manchester M40 1HB

Fri 10 Feb – Chichester, The Council House, North St, Chichester PO19 1LQ (with a SCA UK Community Latte Art Throwdown on Thurs 9 Feb)

Thurs 16 Feb – Boss & Brew Academy, Wales Millennium Centre, Bute Place, Cardiff, CF10 5AL, with an event the night before, details tbc.

Fri 24 Feb – Glasgow, venue TBC

Weds 1 March – events@270 Centennial Park, Elstree, Herts WD6 3ST (Cimbali HQ)

Free spectator tickets are available for all the regional heats at

Semi finals and finals:

31 Mar – 1 Apr 2023, events@270, Elstree, WD6 3ST (Cimbali HQ)

About the Cimbali M200 traditional espresso machine

La Cimbali M200 is the latest addition to the company’s range of multi-award-winning traditional espresso machines and combines a new aesthetic approach with patented Cimbali technology to deliver exceptional coffee quality.  

The baristas’ needs are at the heart of the M200. Every one of the key components is ergonomically designed to support the barista whilst enriching the customer experience.

Customisation is key, with options on paint finishes, touchscreen or button operation and a choice of Cimbali patented technologies including SmartBoiler, PGS, Barista Drive System which help the barista control every aspect of the brew cycle for optimum performance.

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