STOKES BLOG Battle of the Baristas - Latest News

Battle for the Best Barista!

Award-winning family firm, Stokes Tea & Coffee, celebrated the rock stars of coffee at its second Barista Championship which took place at the company’s dedicated Barista Training Academy in Lincoln, (on 27th March).

Guests travelled from the length and breadth of the country for the event including highly regarded coffee aficionados, business leaders, experienced barista trainers and Stokes’ wholesale customers.

The competition was lively and hit fever pitch as five competitors battled it out in two rounds to prove their mettle in both technical and creative heats. The judges who included John Skinner of M.A.D Barista Training, Charlotte Bennett from Healing Manor Hotel, Steve Goulder from Downtown, Mark Allibone from the Chamber of Commerce and Paul Robinson, Associate Principal, Commercial Enterprise Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education, had a difficult task to settle on the winners, given that the calibre was so high.

Dan Smith, Landmark Cafe & Restaurant won the Technical Round

As they deliberated, the audience was entertained by champion latte artist and coffee influencer Barista Benji who also leads the Marketing team at Sanremo UK who sponsored the event. The crowd clamoured to get photographs as he created a range of stunning images on numerous lattes.

Latte Art Demo by Ben Lewis aka Barista Benji

Finally, the independent judges returned having reached their unanimous decisions.

Dan Smith from the Landmark Café & Restaurant in Ashby Cum Fenby was thrilled to be awarded the prize for the Technical Round. Grace Cox from Gingerbread Cafe in Grimsby, was stunned as it was announced that she had been named both Best Personal Drink and Overall Winner.

Grace Cox from Gingerbread Cafe won 2 awards including overall winner

Mike Palliser Stokes Training Academy Manager

Mike Palliser, Training Manager at Stokes’ Barista Training Academy said: “After the success of our first championship we decided to do it again and it’s been brilliant. Tonight, has been another demonstration of the pride and passion for the importance and skills of baristas. They are the vital part in any hospitality business in making sure that the quality and consistency of the drinks served hits the mark every time. Winning and keeping customers depends on it.  Skilled baristas are crucial to the success of every coffee outlet.

He added: “We’re proud to be able to support independent businesses. We’ve trained hundreds of baristas and customers at our academy. They love its facilities and unique setting because they can experience our working roastery next door, while studying a variety of courses including professional qualifications because we are accredited by both the Beverage Standards Association and City & Guilds. Here’s to next year’s event!”