I'm training Lily, El Salvador's barista champion, for the upcoming WBC and we would like to know if someone knows of a method or equipment for preheating the cups before prep time, so she doesn't lose time during prep time warming them with hot water from the machine and then wiping them dry. Instead, she could use that time to ensure that the grinder is accurately adjusted and use the remaining time to set up the rest of her accesories without rush.

I must also say that she is already doing her prep time routine under the 15 minutes allowed with the conventional wet method , but I'm trying to find an alternative way.

I'm wondering if a flat surface heating device (grill-like) could be installed, either backstage or in the work table on the left, to warm the up the cups in a dry method.

I would appreciate ideas and thoughts asap so we have time to consider, test, and incorporate to her prep time routine before the WBC.

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hey well what i do i put the cups in a kind of luchbox with hot water and closed. about an 1 hour before the 15 min of prep then just dry them and there still hot try that see you on denmark
Thanks everybody for the ideas. I also want to share with everybody another idea: a lamp rack like those used by foodservice operations in buffets to keep food hot, then move the cups a few minutes before prep to an insulated container to retain heat.
During your 15 minute setup time, place cups on top of machine first thing and cover with towel.
Thats it.
I never preheated my cups.
I use a large salad bar/catering pan and pour hot water from an electric kettle in it about 15 minutes before I roll out. I then dump the hot water out right before I roll out.

I've also seen someone great just use a large electric skillet (no moisture!!) for a few minutes before rolling out.....
alright...
should cups be bowl up or down?
I didn't use a towel and they turned out fine I think. That said, I did for the Irish. It depends on how hot the machine is on top.

Go Lily!
I was a little surprized by this discussion because most espresso machines have programmable or manual cup warmers that allow the barista to prcecisely control the cup temperature. Some with vapor and some by conduction of heating elements.
I know for the Canadians the cup warmer is disabled on the comp machines. It used to be common place to use a warm bath and them a quick dry before you put them up on the warmer. Times have changed and I don't remember the last time I saw the bath method used.
Hi Sam,

You are correct. The new WBC "Competizione" version will have the cupwarmer active as well as cool touch steam wands.

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