Growth in UK coffee market leads to shortage in barista recruitment, new research shows


With the coffee industry continuing to grow at an incredible rate in the UK, the nation is fast running out of baristas to keep the flat whites flowing. New research released by London Coffee Festival has found that there are now 150,000 baristas working in the UK, but we will need a further 40,000 in the next six years to maintain the rate at which Brits are lapping up their lattes.

With coffee shops set to exceed 30,000 nationwide by 2025, a new generation of baristas will need to be recruited if the nation’s love of coffee is to be sustained. To staff the additional 7,155 stores estimated to open, the nation will need 40,000 coffee pros capable of pouring a fine flat white. This will mean the UK employs 10 times more baristas than barristers.

To help inspire the next generation of coffee experts, London Coffee Festival has unveiled the top 20 baristas in the world who will compete in Coffee Masters 2017, taking place at London Coffee Festival from 6-9 April 2017. The competition will pit them against one another for the coveted title of Coffee Master London 2017.

The finalists arrive from nine countries as far afield as Costa Rica, with more than half from the UK, showcasing the UK’s prominence in top-level mastery of the craft.

Jeffrey Young, CEO & founder of Allegra Group, says: “Coffee is taking over the nation and with that comes a surge in demand for skilled baristas to keep the lattes flowing. 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.

“Coffee Masters at this year’s London Coffee Festival will be a fast-paced and exciting demonstration of the skill involved to get to the top, and will no doubt inspire the next generation who we hope will one day return to the festival as competitors. Who knows, maybe a future Coffee Master will be a spectator this year!”

Finalist’s name Country
Brittany Gunther UK
Diana Johnston Ledezma UK
Edgaras Juska UK
Ewelina Kania UK
James West UK
James Wise UK
Jaya Chingen UK
Jimmy Dimitrov UK
Nick Maybe UK
Nikolas Georgiou UK
Phil Groves UK
Sam Reed UK
Remy Molina Costa Rica
Zdenek Hybl Czech Republic
Wissen Ben Rahim Germany
Franciska Apro Hungary
Vincenzo Bellone Ireland
Rob Clarijs Netherlands
Ryan Garrick Scotland
Rie Hanao Sweden


The stats were taken from the UK Coffee Report, created by Allegra World Coffee Portal in partnership with London Coffee Festival, the largest gathering for coffee lovers in Western Europe, taking place at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane from 6 – 9 April 2017.