Stratford based barista Anita Fava, based at Clyde & Co in London, has been crowned winner of our 2019 Barista Championship.
From blood orange Americanos and honey ale espressos to chilli and chocolate macchiatos, our Barista Championships are a chance for our baristas to showcase their in-depth knowledge and passion for coffee.
After regional heats across the UK and Europe, 16 semi-finalists took centre stage at our ‘Social Bee Café’ in Shoreditch. After an intense first round with each barista serving two espressos, milk beverages and signature drinks within just ten minutes, the judges had a tough job of whittling it down to their top six.
Baristas were assessed on their coffee knowledge, flavour notes, grinding technique, milk preparation and customer service skills. A closely fought final saw Anita crowned the winner to a roaring ovation.
Using Sidama, an Ethiopian coffee blend grown 1800m above sea level, Anita impressed the judges with her festive-inspired dark caramel, pear, cinnamon and chestnut-infused signature.
Commenting on her win, team leader and barista Anita said: “When my name was called out as the winner, it was the most amazing feeling. The competition this year was tough, there are some incredible baristas in BaxterStorey. Last year I came second, this year I wanted more than anything to come first and I did it! I would say to anyone, never give up”.
Beatrz Lecuon, Retail Manager at Clyde and Co said: “I am incredibly proud of Anita, this achievement is testament to all the hard work she’s put in, practicing her routine every day. She is mad about coffee – her passion is admirable, and I couldn’t be prouder. No one deserves this more than her.”
Chloe Walsh, based at Channel 4, scored second place with her black forest gateau inspired signature and Austeja Kaleinikova, based in Plumtree Court achieved third place with her dark chocolate and blood orange Americano. Ling Lobet was recognised with the first Rising Star Award, hand selected by the Barista Academy as the individual showing significant improvement and passion for coffee.
Noel Mahony, Co-CEO commented: “What a day! This competition has been going for fifteen years and we have seen some amazingly talented people come through our Barista Championships. The technical skill, talent and enthusiasm we have seen from our baristas today has been sublime. A huge thank you to everyone involved – I am incredibly proud of all of you”.
Our competitors were joined by over ten of our suppliers for the coffee festival, which was held alongside the competition. Speciality coffee roasters Matthew Algie brought their nitro cold brew bar serving Suki tea nitro infusion and oat milk chai, whilst No1 Living Drinks gave guests a taste of kombucha. The Social Bee team over-saw the after party with live music from London-based DJ and BaxterStorey head chef Taz Tariq.
Having won the 2019 Barista Champion title, Anita will enjoy a tour of the Matthew Algie roastery in Glasgow, tickets to attend the World of Coffee Show in 2020 in Warsaw and will be entered in the SCA’s 2020 UK Barista Championship.