Baristas should be “as respected as top sommeliers” as demand booms

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Baristas should be “as respected as top sommeliers” as demand booms

Related tags: Coffeehouse

Baristas should be as respected as “top sommeliers at the finest restaurants”, the chief executive of the Allegra Group has said, as figures show 40,000 new baristas will be required by 2025 to keep up with demand.

Coffee shops are set to increase to over 30,000 UK stores in the next six years – a rise of over 7,100 ‒ according to new research from the Allegra Group’s UK Coffee Report.

There are currently 150,000 baristas working in the UK, but a significant uptick to almost 200,000 will be required by 2025 to sustain the ongoing growth in quality coffee shops, according to new figures released to coincide with the London Coffee Festival 2017.

“Coffee is taking over the nation and with that comes a surge in demand for skilled baristas to keep the lattes flowing,” says Jeffrey Young, chief executive and founder of the Allegra Group. “Being a barista is a brilliant job that requires a great deal of knowledge and skill. We believe it should be as respected as the top sommeliers at the finest restaurants.”

The most recent report comes as top-quality, more ‘artisanal’ coffee enjoys a resurgence across the UK​, with a clutch of new concepts opening – such as Workshop, Brew, Grind and Co, and The New Black ‒ to counter established giants such as Costa, Caffe Nero and Starbucks.

A Horizons report late last year even asked if the market could be reaching "peak coffee"​.

The annual London Coffee Festival was first founded in 2011, and is this year set to take place at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane from 6-9 April.

Organised by the Allegra Group, it coincides with UK Coffee Week, an initiative set up to celebrate the UK coffee scene and promote the Project Waterfall charity, which seeks to provide clean drinking water and sanitation to the world’s coffee growing communities.

The festival is also the setting for the Coffee Masters competition, which will pit 20 international baristas – from across the UK, Costa Rica, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Scotland and Sweden ‒ against each other to demonstrate mastery of the skill.

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