The Beverage Standards Association (BSA) has launched its 2012 Beverage Standards Awards, viewed by many as the Michelin stars of the coffee industry.
The awards, which are based on visits from anonymous trained assessors, are open to cafés; tea shops; mobiles; beverage carts; and cafés in hotels, bars, restaurants and service areas. Sponsors include Kimbo UK, 3M Water Filtration, Barry Callebaut and Taylors of Harrogate.
In addition to rating establishments for their beverages and services using a cup logo (from one to five) that can be displayed in-store, the awards also include five national prizes - for the best small espresso; cappucino, latte or flat white coffee; filter or cafetiere coffee; tea; and hot chocolate.
For the first time, cafés will also be judged on their environmental sustainability.
"I recommend every coffee shop out there to enter as the awards are an excellent tool to push the standards of a business higher while offering an opportunity to receive feedback on many aspects of your business," said Rebecca Stone, owner of the Bottle Kiln café in Derby, which achieved the association's highest, five-cup status in last year's award as well as scooping the Best Cappucino, Latte and Flat White award.
"The great publicity surrounding the awards helps bring the Bottle Kiln to the forefront of potential customers. The competition is a positive tool to focus staff, achieve maximum levels of customer service and maintain consistency and quality of products."
To enter, download an entry form from www.beveragesstandardsassocation.co.uk before the closing date of 23 May.
There is an entry fee of £38 per entry for BSA members, rising to £50 per entry for non-members.
By Angela Frewin
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