The latest hotel chain to devise an in-house barista championship as part of its work to improve its coffee has been Abode, the group founded by celebrity chef Michael Caines, who was in on the judging.
All drinks had to be made with Cafedirect, the house espresso, and brewed on a gold La Spaziale S5.
"Several of the guys amazed us, and we have potential stars here," said judge Peter Goodey of Peros, the major distributor of Cafedirect coffee. "We're very keen that a couple of the Abode baristas should be entered for the UK barista championships, and we have decided that it is very important to encourage and support this kind of event."
The winner was Scott Ingram from the Abode hotel in Glasgow. He produced ‘Thai'd Up', in which espresso, ginger wine, rum, stem ginger syrup, vanilla syrup and desiccated coconut were shaken and served in a Martini glass. He wins a trip to origin to visit smallholder coffee farmers.
The other competitors in the final were Josh Purcell and Michael Sokolovs, representing Abode in Manchester; Hannah Turkington and Marta Kedzior from Canterbury, Nikki Moat from Glasgow, and Steve Plumbridge and Ricardo Cappella from Exeter.
This was not the first barista event that chef Michael Caines has judged. Louie Salvoni, who formerly ran the Brasilia national contest, has recalled: "Michael Caines was one of the most interested, passionate and meticulous judges that we ever had."
By Ian Boughton