Sodexo has crowned Kirsty Rafferty as Barista of the Year in the company's National Barista Competition.
Rafferty has been working for Sodexo at the Scottish Parliament since the building opened 11 years ago.
She took the title after seeing off tough competition from nine other finalists at Sodexo's Salon Culinaire at Ascot racecourse. This was her fourth attempt to take the top spot in the national competition. She was a runner up last year and placed third in 2013.
Sodexo partnered with its coffee supplier UCC for the competition, which tests baristas' technical, creative and sensory skills, as well as their customer service and passion for coffee.
She said: "I am absolutely thrilled to have won. It has been a long road to success. The competition was a fabulous experience and I was honoured to compete alongside such talented baristas from across Sodexo's business."
Kim Reeves, Sodexo's retail category manager for hot beverages, said: "I am delighted for Kirsty. She is an extremely talented barista, has a positive professional approach and superb customer service skills.
"The competition is important to encourage excellence within our drinks business, which is crucial for driving increased margin for both us and our clients. At Sodexo our baristas are often as skilled as our chefs; a competition like this is a great way for us to engage with our employees and to commit to developing their skills and talent."
A total of 30 baristas from Sodexo's contracts across the UK entered the competition and 10 made it through to the final.
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