Beverage awards to recognise coffee quality

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Espresso

Beverage Standards Awards: Judging criteria include whether cups are pre-warmed
Beverage Standards Awards: Judging criteria include whether cups are pre-warmed
The Beverage Standards Association (BSA) is launching a new set of awards that aim to recognise high standards in the preparation and service of hot drinks.

Any establishment that uses an espresso machine is able to enter the awards, including cafes, restaurants, hotels, pubs and even mobile coffee carts.

The Beverage Standards Awards cover England and Wales, and aim to identify excellence of drinks quality in the café market, encourage best service standards, and support good staff development and training.

Beverage Standards Awards

The new awards replace BSA’s previous BevE awards, which ran for five years until 2009. Last year, the association re-evaluated its approach to the awards in order to make them accessible to more establishments.

Previously, 50 per cent of points were awarded for the quality of the drinks, with 50 per cent going to the establishments. This year, the drinks themselves will carry more weight, accounting for 70 per cent of total marks.

Cafés, restaurants, pubs and hotels will be able to enter three award categories, one of which will need to be Best Espresso. The other two can be chosen from: Best Cappuccino, Latte and Flat White; Best Filter and Cafetière; Best Tea; and Best Chocolate.

Barista standards

Judging will take place on a ‘mystery shopper’ basis. All judges will attend a ‘calibration training day’ with barista Jon Skinner to ensure they all use the same judging criteria for each drink.

The judging criteria will be available shortly on the BSA website​. Entry forms will also be found on the website as of next week, which must be submitted with payment of £30 for BSA members or £45 for non-members.

The deadline for entry is 29 April 2011. Judging will take place between mid-May and August, with the awards ceremony scheduled for September 2011.

“Essentially, we’re looking to improve the standards of drinks and the way they are served and prepared,” explained Martyn Herriott, who has just been appointed interim chairman of BSA following the unexpected resignation of the previous charman David veal.

“We’ll be looking at all aspects of the drink preparation and service, including temperature, crema, what the drinks are served in and whether or not cups are pre-warmed,” he told BigHospitality.

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