Barista Skills Challenge

Barista Skills Challenge

The TUCO Barista Skills Challenge has developed to be an exciting part of the Competition's event.  It's the perfect platform for you to showcase your skills, knowledge and talent in making the perfect cup of coffee.

You will compete in a live 15-minute competition and produce; four espressos, four cappuccinos and finally four espresso-based, non-alcoholic specialty drinks.

Whilst creating these drinks you will give live commentary to the judges and audience to explain your work and demonstrate your knowledge.

The competition will take place across Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th March.


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We held a very successful orientation day last year for competitors.
I’m delighted to confirm that Bewleys have agreed to run two events this year to enable more of your to attend.  One in the south and the other in the north.
The day will focus on key aspects of the competition as well as allowing you to get hands on with the equipment and ask questions.

Timings & Agenda
11:00 am - Coffees on arrival and introductions
11:30 am - Overview of the competition
12:00 am - Rules and Regulations
12:30 pm – Do’s and Don’ts
13:00 pm - Lunch
13:30 pm - How to select your coffee
14:45 pm - Equipment overview
14:15 pm - Practice
15:00 pm - Q&A
15:30 pm - End of day

The first date 28th February (South)
Held at: Bewleys UK Head Office - Cressex Business Park, High Wycombe, HP12 3SL

The second date 4th March (North)
Held at: The Roastery - Bent Ley Industrial estate, Meltham, Huddersfield, HD9 4EP

Attending the orientation days is not mandatory, it has been developed as a great opportunity for you to meet fellow competitors, judges and gain valuable insight in what to expect on the competition day. The day has been designed to be very open and informal to allow everyone to gain the most from the day and hopefully support them in the competition generally.

If you would like to attend, please register by Friday 15th February by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your preferred location.


Competition Rules
Each competitor is allocated these three preparation and competition periods:

  • 15-minute practice (this is off stage and not filmed or judged)
  • 15-minute setup on stage
  • 15-minute live competition

In the 3rd session you must produce

  • Four espressos
  • Four cappuccinos
  • Four speciality coffee drinks, which are to be espresso-based, non-alcoholic speciality drinks

As this is a live competition there will be spectators and you will be filmed with your work being shown on the main screens.


Key notes:

  • Prior to the start of your competition slot, the compere will introduce you and then hand over to you to address the judges and audience and create your drinks
  • You are allowed to bring along your own music on one CD to be played whilst you are competing. The music may not contain explicit lyrics
  • As you complete your drink, a runner will take this from the stage and present to the judges. 
  • You can bring your own milk or use our stock. Both full-fat and semi-skimmed will be available
  • You should provide your own crockery/glassware for all drinks
  • For those competitors arriving on the Monday there will be refrigerated storage at the University if required. You will be expected to label and arrange for someone to collect as and when required
  • You must provide your own beans to compete with
  • You may bring a set of scales to weigh your coffee during the competition. The scales are only to be used during the 15-minute competition period
  • Competitors may only use the espresso machine supplied by the competition. The espresso machine is set to ‘free-flow’.  No other machine is to be used
  • Competitors may not change, adjust or replace any element, setting or component of the espresso machine.  (the portafilters, insert baskets, temperature, pressure, steam wand tips)
  • We will provide competition grinders.  However, if you wish you can bring along your own
  • You may bring additional equipment. This must be PAT tested and you must let the competition organisers know what you are planning to bring ahead of the event.
  • Be on time.  Competitors should be in the competition room a minimum of 30-minutes prior to their scheduled 15-minute practice time. Any competitor not ready to start on time may be disqualified


The 15-minute practice time will be off stage and is not filmed, this is your opportunity to practice and ask final questions.

  • During your setup period only you, the competitor, can work on the coffee machine and grinder. If you require any other assistance you must talk to a TUCO representative
  • The timekeeper will provide you with five-minute, three-minute, one-minute and a 30-second warning. The timekeeper is required to vocalise these warnings in real-time and may interrupt if you are speaking
  • If you run over the 15-minute competition time, you will lose a point for every second you go over- up to a maximum 60-seconds (60 points).  After one-minute you will be asked to stop
  • No one other than the competitor is allowed in the competition area (a helper may carry equipment to the area for you)
  • Instruction or coaching may not be provided to a competitor during the time of his or her competition.  The penalty will be disqualification
  • If you leave the stage during your 15-minute competition time you will lose 20-points. Please ensure you check and re-check you have everything you need during your 15-minute setup period
  • You will be required to clear down at all stages including the practice area, competition area, machines, drinks etc and ensure the area is left ready for the next competitor, you will be called back to clear down if not

Written & verbal feedback will be given to all entrants.

Please note elements of your entry may be printed in the magazine and other promotional materials.

If you have any queries regarding your entry or booking please call the TUCO Competitions team on 0344 571 8208 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We are now closed for entries.




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