10 April, 2017

Hot competition, but the winner is...

When you order a coffee from an M&S Café, you expect the taste to be perfection in a cup. But do you also consider its appearance, the depth of crema, the coffee art that’s in front of you?

Judges in the M&S Barista of the Year 2017 competition did. They used all these criteria, and more, to decide an overall competition winner from four finalists.

The competition is an eagerly awaited event in the M&S calendar and open to anyone working in an M&S Café. There’s fierce but friendly rivalry, and those taking part are really put through their paces. This year, there were 259 brave contestants from across the land scaled down to 13 semi-finalists, each of whom had to prepare four consistent espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. If there’s one message to be taken away from the competition, it’s that practice makes perfect!

These 13 talented baristas were then judged over a steaming 2-day competition and further whittled down into four finalists. The final was held at the Matthew Algie training facility in the London Business Design Centre. Each barista was given 30 minutes to set up their machine and the same time to make 16 coffees – at this stage, creating their own beautiful signature creation.

One of the finalists was Dean from our Metro store, who reached the same stage in 2016. While being pipped at the post again, he was gracious enough to thank us for the amazing opportunity. David from our Chichester store was another second-time finalist. Last year, nerves got the better of him – but not this year, even though it just wasn’t quite enough. And the third runner-up was another David, from our White City store, who wowed the judges with his latte art patterns.

But the M&S Barista of the Year 2017 is… drumroll, please… Sean from our Fforestfach store. A newcomer to the competition, he showed amazing passion for coffee, and his confidence and calmness in such an intense environment were admired by all.

Sean’s prize is a four-day, all-expenses-paid trip to the World of Coffee event, this year in Budapest. As winner, he also gets the opportunity to gain the SCAE Intermediate Certificate – and possibly beyond that, the Expert Certificate.

Well done, Sean. Hard luck to the other finalists and thanks to all the other baristas for taking part.

Have we got you inspired? Take a look at our Cafe opportunities here

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