Barista Egle Stuksyte, based at Gazprom Marketing and Trading Ltd, London, has been crowned winner of our 2017 Barista Championships.
The Awards, which showcase the exceptional talent within our business across the UK and Europe, saw fifty of our baristas compete in regional heats across England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Brussels.
Sixteen reached the semi-finals, which were held at the Salvation Army International Headquarters in London on Thursday 18th January. After an intense round, the judges chose their six finalists, who then had to demonstrate their creative flair and in-depth coffee knowledge in a 10 minute presentation. A closely fought final saw Egle announced as the winner to raucous applause from the audience.
Egle took inspiration from her trips to Morocco, with her signature drink made of coffee caviar, Moroccan spiced infused espresso and condensed milk. She said: “I’m thrilled to have won. I’m extremely passionate about coffee and have loved the chance to show my skills, especially in front of the World Champion!
“It’s been a great opportunity to meet other baristas across the business. The Barista Academy has been extremely supportive in encouraging us to be creative with our recipes. My customers especially have loved trying them and always give me honest feedback. I’m really proud that my signature drink is being rolled out across the business – this whole experience has been a real career highlight”.
Jana Slamova, Barista Trainer and UK Barista Championships finalist, said: “We have incredible talent within our business. This competition gives our baristas an opportunity to be recognised, and we hope it continues to inspire and increase their skills and confidence to produce quality coffee for our clients across our many locations.”
Dale Harris, 2017 World Barista Champion, was also in attendance to help judge the competition. Speaking of the finalists, he said: “It was a fierce competition with so many talented baristas vying for the top spot.
“The trend for different approaches to coffee continues to grow, so it’s been great to see how each finalist experiments with their tools, coffees and other ingredients to create some exceptional drinks. However, Egle’s Moroccan inspired presentation and drinks really worked”.
Huge congratulations goes to our Brussels team who dominated the top three with Remy Poirot achieving second place, and Erica Lemestre taking third.