CH&CO names its top barista

CH&CO has crowned Julia Mello as its 2021 Barista of the Year. The talented head barista, who works at University College London, showcased her first-class technical skills, knowledge and creativity at the recent CH&CO Barista of the Year final.

The competition celebrates coffee and the skilled baristas across the company’s diverse catering and hospitality business. It also gives teams the opportunity to develop their craft, share ideas and learnings, and continue to experiment and push boundaries.

In front of expert judges, the eight finalists competed in two challenges – blind brewing and a latte art battle. The panel of expert judges included the 2018 World Barista Champion Agnieszka Rojewska, Ashley Dawes from Union Hand Roasted, Dan Harvey from La Marzocco and Ivan Fumigalli from The Roasting Party. The runners up were Charlie Needler, a barista working at Yorkshire Building Society, and Dorija Glasovac, head barista at Overends Kitchen at the Airfield Estate, Dublin.

Allister Richards, COO of CH&CO, said: “The standard was incredibly high and it was a close call, so huge congratulations must go to Julia, our worthy winner. She will now tour the country, visiting our regional coffee partners throughout the UK and Ireland and inspiring her barista colleagues across the business, as we continue to develop our teams and grow our coffee specialism and offer for clients and customers to enjoy.”

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