Independent caterer Bartlett Mitchell has named Laura Floyd as the winner of its first barista championship.
Floyd, who works at a regional Bartlett Mitchell client site, saw off competition from six other finalists to take the title of Barista Champion 2017.
At the final at Bewley's, Bartlett Mitchell baristas from across the UK were assessed on their coffee knowledge, grinding skills, coffee machine use and milk preparation techniques.
The judges included Bewley's trainers Dayana Coppini, Vince Spadaro, Nicolay Rangelov and Lara Hunter-Rodwell, who were impressed by Floyd's level of preparation and attention to detail.
Floyd said: "It's still a shock to have won. It was a great challenge. This journey has pushed me to do more, learn more, not just about coffee making, but where it comes from and why it tastes different. Maybe in time I'll look forward to doing a national barista competition."
Developed by Bartlett Mitchell's coffee brand manager Miguel Camara, the competition was structured in three stages: an espresso course, a cappuccino course, and a freestyle course that allowed competitors to present a signature drink to the judges.
Category winners included:
• Best customer service: Petra Camara
• Best espresso: Laura Floyd
• Best cappuccino: Maria Guillen
• Best signature drink: Billie Bushmeier
Wendy Bartlett, executive chairman of Bartlett Mitchell, said: "Coffee is a fundamental part of our growth strategy and programmes like this play an important role in helping to recognise and develop the people who are delivering it."
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