AN award-winning coffee shop owner is in the running to take his signature drink to Australia to compete against the best in the world.
Joe Meagher, who runs Flat Caps Coffee in Newcastle, won the North East heat of the UK Barista Championship (UKBC), scooped the best cappuccino title for a second year and won best signature drink.
The event, held earlier this month at the Centre for Life in Newcastle, was staged over two days and needed contestants to produce four cups of cappuccino, four espressos and four cups of their own signature drink in just 15 minutes.
Mr Meagher, a former holder of the North East Culinary Trade Association barista title, created a signature drink using the specialist cold drip coffee-maker he bought last year.
The drink – which doesn’t have a name – contains cold drip brewed coffee, served with a splash of tonic water and a shot of espresso, which was the compulsory ingredient in all entries.
Mr Meagher said: “I served the cold drip coffee in the shop which I love. The whole point of the presentation was the journey I’ve been through since I started almost three years ago.
“I thought it went down really well; it’s not got a name just cold drip coffee and tonic.”
The drink, which is popular in his shop, does not contain the shot of espresso when he serves it there.
“It brings out the flavours. It is clean and easy to drink and it’s almost like a cocktail,” he said.
Mr Meagher is now aiming to make the next stage of the competition in London in April.
He said: “I am sitting third in the country at the moment on points behind two former champions and there are another two heats to go.
“The top 20 go through to London, so I am quite confident. The world finals are in Melbourne.”
The finalists’ trips to Australia are paid for by the competition organisers, and the top coffee-makers from around the world will create their signature drinks as they compete for the international title.
Mr Meagher is a former banker who opted for redundancy so he could open his own coffee shop.
Flat Caps is named after the flat cap he wears.
Since opening for business in 2010, he has introduced the cold drip coffee- maker and a specialist Syphon coffee-maker to Newcastle’s cafe society.