A South African barista just scooped up the world’s best barista award at the 2019 Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Barista Championship Finals.
Starbucks reports that after an intense three days of competition, 30 finalists – each of them already National Champions in their home markets – battled through coffee skills tests and demonstrated their deep passion for coffee.
It is reported that the search for the best of the best took nearly nine months and involved approximately 15 000 Starbucks baristas who entered this year’s competition.
Only one could take home the grand prize, and that prize was ultimately taken by Teddy Nzama from South Africa.
The World’s Best Barista
As winner, Teddy will be invited on the trip of a lifetime to visit the Milan Roastery and to join fellow partners (employees) for an annual trip to coffee farms in Rwanda where he’ll see first-hand how coffee is grown and processed. He will also meet farmers who produce some of Starbucks coffee. Teddy also took home the coveted trophy, a golden milk steaming pitcher, and an extremely rare purple Starbucks apron.
The competition consisted of each barista champion sharing their knowledge of Starbucks ethically sourced coffee along with showcasing their coffee craft.
The competition was eventually whittled down by almost 50% when the final 16 battled it out in a nail-biting latte art throw-down. The latte art throw-down was invented in Seattle, the birthplace of Starbucks, and saw competitors go head-to-head where only the best latte art, created with perfectly steamed milk, made it through.
About a barista:
Baristas have a variety of duties to include preparation of drinks and customer service. They take orders, greet customers, and complete transactions using registers. Baristas prepare both cold and hot beverages using a variety of machines. Machines include blenders, grinders, commercial coffee machines, and steamers. They steam milk, measure ingredients, and grind coffee or espresso beans.