Gather & Gather announces Barista of the Year 2018

Fri 13th July 2018

Gather & Gather announces Barista of the Year 2018

Roxana Birca wins Gather & Gather’s Barista of the Year Competition
Eight regional finalists competed for the winning title at the iconic Shard building in London on 10 July 2018

Gather & Gather, Mitie’s catering business, has announced the winner of Barista of the Year 2018 is Roxana Birca from London. Roxana beat stiff competition as eight Gather & Gather regional winners from across the UK and Ireland vied to win the coveted Barista of the Year title in the finals held at the iconic Shard building on 10 July 2018.

Celebrating the high quality of baristas within the company, the competition was designed to showcase the expertise and coffee credentials Gather & Gather offers. Each finalist created a total of six beverages including two espressos, two milk based beverages such as a cappuccino or latte, and two signature drinks, in under 10 minutes. These were evaluated by a judging panel who marked competitors on skill, appearance and taste as well as serving skills.

The expert judging panel, included Head Judge Dan Harvey, from La Marzocco UK & Ireland, Sensory Judges Edita Chodarcevic, Head of Coffee Education at Union Hand Roasted and Dan Lacey, Projects & Development at Extract Coffee Roaster, alongside Technical Judge Mark Lamberton, Head of Coffee at Well Grounded. The panel were impressed with Roxana’s signature drink which was a blended coffee with mint infused brown sugar and lime. They unanimously agreed that Roxana’s technique was of the highest standard.

As well as holding the coveted Barista of the Year 2018 title, Roxana has won a trip to La Marzocco’s factory in Florence, Italy, which is renowned worldwide for the quality and craftmanship of its machines. She was also presented with an Oatley Goodie bag which included a keep cup, branded milk pitcher, t-shirt and hoodie.

The day was a celebration of all things coffee with a host of activity throughout the day including; a Latte Art Masterclass from Dhan Tamang, six times UK Latte Art Champion; A guide to Cupping by Julia Murray, Head of Coffee for Gather & Gather, Ireland; a sampling session from Brew Tea; and Iced Chocolate Tasting with Kokoa Collection.

Gather & Gather’s local roasting partners Extract Coffee Roasters, The Roasting Party, Ancoats Coffee co. and Union Hand Roasted Coffee manned the Brew Bar throughout the day. All this culminated in a coffee cocktail celebration as Roxana was announced Gather & Gather Barista of the Year

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