The Year in Review – Well done, you’ve made it!

Here’s what been happening at United Baristas this year. Plus a sneak-peak at what’s happening in 2022.

Well done for making it through the year. There’s been highs, lows, successes, failures, steps towards overcoming covid as well as setbacks. 

As of today, all three studies show omicron to be less severe than delta. That’s great news and quite possibly marks (maybe, just maybe) the beginning of the end of the covid pandemic.

New mutations that are both more transmissible and less severe are going to be what makes a ‘new normal’ possible. That said, in all likelihood it’s going to be a turbulent couple of months, especially for healthcare and hospitality. There may be the need to ‘flatten the curve’ to reduce pressures on health services (again). What measures are necessary is currently unknown; we should have a clearer idea next week.  

Looking past these immediate challenges, United Baristas sees good reason to be optimistic for the future: 2022 is likely to be less shaped by covid than 2021. The combination of adapted behaviours, new variants, effective vaccines and new medicines will allow those that live in parts of the world lucky enough to have access to them greater freedom from infection and illness. This will provide new opportunties for socialising, hospitality and work.

Each December we review the year. It’s actually been a good year for us. Our success is a reflection that coffee people and coffee businesses are back selling coffee to coffee drinkers in increasing numbers as people and business learn to live with covid. Nowhere is this story told more clearly than on United Baristas Jobs. This year saw over 10x the number of coffee jobs compared to the year before.

What follows is a summary of what’s been happening at United Baristas. Thanks for your support this year. We’re here to help coffee people and coffee businesses do amazing things and it is great to see so many of you growing, surviving and even thriving despite the challenges.

All the best for the year ahead,

founder United Baristas  

Year in Review

January kicked off with the launch of United Baristas Market.
It’s our most-used service and getting the transition from Marketplace was critical for all the people that use it. It’s been a massive success. More items have been bought and sold this year than ever before. As a result we are further investing in United Baristas Market over the year ahead.

We launched Restart Coffee in February.
It’s worth remembering that the mood across coffee community  was rather gloomy at the time. But with spring weather just around the corner and the vaccine rollout in full operation, we were hopeful for the industry’s prospects in 2021. We were proved to be right, and I bet 2022 is going to be even better!

In March I spoke a Barista League’s online conference High Density on coffee’s carbon footprint.
It’s been great to see so many coffee companies explore ways to reduce their carbon footprint over this year. COP26 firmly put climate change on the public agenda and interest as well as the need for action is only going to increase. And there’s much coffee people can do.

To help coffee companies better recruit we wrote How to Hire Great Baristas in April.
It’s been one of our most read articles of the year. Plus we also warned of an upcoming barista shortage based on our Jobs data and an industry-wide awareness of Brexit & covid. With many people still looking for work, at first it was met with disbelief. But a month later, hospitality shortages were being widely reported. This is one of the ways we enact our value of transparency, we seek to share pertinent insights with our community that will help them to directly tackle challenges and build more viable businesses.

May saw a turning point in the UK with eating and drinking permitted again indoors 🍽.
Coffee shops got really busy, so we decided to not compete for your attention, but to let you crack on and re-build your careers and business – while still being here whenever you needed us. And record numbers of people and businesses started using United Baristas services.

In June we launched the beta of United Baristas Equipment ☕️🔧
It quickly became our fastest growing service, but later in the year we realised we’d taken some mis-steps that would be problematic in the future. Our story – and this is replicated across coffee – is one of success, but it’s also full of mistakes, mis-steps and muck-ups. As a community we need to get better at talking about the things that don’t work out as planned so that a) others can better appreciate that success isn’t about never making mistakes, and b) we can learn from ideas that have been tried elsewhere.
We did something we thought was a good idea to the best of our ability, but it was the wrong thing for a number of reasons. We’ve now learnt more, so we’ve been back at the drawing board to scheme it all up again. After lots of thinking about this over 2021, we have some announcements lined up for 2022. Watch this space 👀

July was the hottest on record ☀️
It’s a good reminder that climate change needs to be urgently tackled if humanity is going to find a way for us all to live peaceful and productive lives on earth 🌎

In August we published one of the most-read articles of the year.
Noting inflation was coming & prices rises would be necessary, we advocated increasing coffee cup prices and reducing the oat milk surcharge for better viability and environmental impacts. You can read the full article and also an interesting analysis on why suburban coffee shops set this agenda (and why central London shops have been laggards) on our Twitter

Had such a good time at the London Coffee Festival in September.
Handed out over 200 Love Coffee condoms to raise awareness of our need to protect coffee’s future. Here’s four things you can do.

The New Openings roundup caught the community’s eye in October as it showcases 10 new shops as well as identifying four trends currently shaping the industry.

In November we started a new series of articles from across the coffee community looking at ideas that will shape 2022.
Sustainability is clearly a key point of interest and trend
I also started weekly Drop-in Sessions for the United Baristas community. It’s been great talking to you, hearing your ideas and explaining a bit more about United Baristas. 

This December we’ve been building the all-new Coffee Events Calendar
We’ve teamed up with Midnight Oil from Climpson & Sons to help the coffee community get together in person over 2022.
Add your coffee event and find coffee events to attend.
Here’s three United Baristas events over January 2022.  

As we head into the new year, United Baristas introduces new ways to help baristas and coffee businesses do amazing things in 2022⚡️