BaxterStorey has crowned the winner of its barista championships after a heated final in the capital of UK coffee culture – Shoreditch, London.
Finalists were drilled on their skills and knowledge, demontstrating their creativity with their own signature drink.
Following two months of regional heats in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brussels, Cathy Naert of AXA, Belgium came away victorious with a coffee infused with strawberry coulis and mint, along with a dollop of almond cream on top.
BaxterStorey Barista Academy Manager and head trainer, Jana Slamova, said: “This year’s competitors pulled out all the stops, making the final decision as hard as possible for the expert judges.
“The competition offers an opportunity for our baristas to be recognised for their passion and highlights the incredible talent within our business. We hope our training opportunities continue to inspire, and arms them with the skills and confidence they need to produce quality coffee for our clients across our many locations.”
Cathy said: “I’ve only been a barista for six months, and the other competitors are amazing, I can’t believe I’ve won. My drink was inspired by my favourite summer flavours. It’s been such a life experience, I’d tell any barista to enter as it’s so worth it”.
Scott Taylor, head of coffee at BaxterStorey said of the finalists: “It was a fierce competition. This year saw finalists being told to change their coffee brand ahead of the final heat.
“Watching them choose their new flavours with just one hour’s preparation, is credit to the talent and passion of each barista. Cathy’s presentation and signature drink was outstanding and the flavours really came together”.