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Searching for our best Barista

"Just what we look for in our baristas: highly skilled, creative, and highly enthusiastic about coffee..."

The Costa Barista of the Year competition is a global search to find the best Costa barista in the business. Each year, 10 finalists selected from 29 countries are invited to the final in London.

They are tested on their ability to produce a technically perfect cup of hand-made coffee and their knowledge and understanding of the industry. They are also judged on their overall performance, flair and passion for coffee, and on their creativity by inventing their own signature drink.

The reigning champion, Victoria Stewart, 21, beat stiff competition from some of Costa’s most accomplished baristas around the world, to be named Barista of the Year at the Champion of Champions final.

Victoria impressed the judges with her creation, a White Hot Chocolate Ginger Macchiato, named the Caraginger. The final-year student of Ancient History and Archaeology, who has worked at the Market Street branch for two years, said: “I still can’t believe they called my name out. I didn’t expect to win, and so was quite relaxed about it all and just had a fantastic experience. Winning was an amazing bonus. I hope I can be an inspiration to others to give it a go next year.”

Head judge and Costa Master of Coffee, Gennaro Pelliccia said of the winner: “Victoria did a fantastic job against some outstanding competition. She’s just what we look for in our baristas: highly skilled, creative, and hugely enthusiastic about coffee.”