Spotlight: Our Barista Championship Finalists!
With the Muffin Break Barista Championships fast approaching, we’re highlighting the 10 finalists who will be competing against each other to take the title of 2022 Barista Championship.
About the championships
All 10 finalists have been invited to attend the finals in Sydney on May 31st & June 1st 2022, where they will compete in 4 main challenges including testing their technique, presentation, tasting, and latte art skills.
The finalists will also have a chance to tour a coffee roasting facility, attend a workshop with an expert latte artist to hone and further their skills. The finalists who compete will walk away with some amazing prizes and giveaways and the crowned champion will be awarded with $1000 and the title of ‘Muffin Break Barista Champion’.
The road to becoming Muffin Break’s Best Barista
The competition began in 2021 with in-store qualifying rounds, whereby hundreds of baristas went through rigorous testing on extraction time, temperature, creativity, contrast, foam and milk quality, as well as symmetry of latte art.
To make it to the finals, baristas had to score above 80% in the in-store qualifying round and place in the top 10 scoring Baristas in Australia.
To make it as a finalist, it requires years of barista experience and knowledge and hundreds of hours of experience on a coffee machine to perfect the correct technique and presentation skills.
Additionally, to be eligible to compete, the baristas must complete the Muffin Break Barista Program, involving an online training course, 80 hours practice on the coffee machine and a practical evaluation.
With some exception barista’s returning to the competition, and some new, highly talented fresh faces, this year is set to be an outstanding turnout.
Zoe from Muffin Break Northland
Winner of the 2018 Barista Latte Art Competition, Zoe from Muffin Break Northland in Melbourne is approaching the competition with the gaze to take out the title for the first time.
Zoe has been a barista for nine and a half years. Having lived in Melbourne for 20 years, Zoe has won several awards, including 2nd place in the Barista Latte Art Competition in 2017 and 1st place in Latte Art Competition in 2018.
She has perfected the art of latte art designs, in creating several of her own including her signature cute teddy bear, plus variations to popular artworks including the kitty, swan, rosetta, tulip and bunny, just to name a few.
Besides the art behind the coffee, she also loves her customers “My favourite thing to do for my customers are make consistency good quality coffee every day. Besides, customers are my friends. I remember all my customers coffee!” Zoe mentions.
Elisha from Muffin Break Wanneroo
Born and bred in Western Australia, Elisha has been a barista for over 10 years, and this is her second time competing in the Barista Championships. In 2016, she placed third; this year, she’s looking forward to returning to take out the title of Muffin Break’s Best Barista.
Having learnt through school and at Muffin Break from her sister, she loves creating the perfect cup of coffee for her customers “I love memorizing my customers orders and producing high quality coffee.” Elisha mentions.
Elisha is thrilled to be going to the finals, not only to try her best in the competition, but also to soak up all the knowledge over the two days.
Alex from Muffin break Midland Gate
Alex from Muffin Break Midland Gate has been a barista for just over a year. Having lived in Western Australia since 2018, this is Alex’s first time competing in the Barista Championships.
With only a year’s experience, Alex’s detail orientated drive has seen her go from strength to strength, and ultimately, land her a finalist position in this year’s barista championship. “My favorite thing to do for my customers is presenting a good cup of coffee with latte art within a short amount of time. I try to make our loyal customers feel special by remembering who they are and their regular orders, and delivering them just after they finish the payment process” Alex mentions.
blake from muffin break wagga wagga
Newcomer, Blake from Muffin Break Wagga Wagga,has been a barista for 8 years. Living in Wagga for the past 4 years, this is Blake’s first time competing in the Barista Championships and he’s looking forward to challenging himself and to seeing what he can achieve.
He is also bringing some exceptional latte art skills to the table; Blake loves coming up with his own latte art designs and often provides some magnificent phoenix, anime characters and colourful swans for his customers.
Emma from Muffin Break Eastland Kiosk
Emma has been a barista for 4 years. Living in Melbourne for the past 10 years, this is Emma’s first time competing in the Barista Championships.
Having learnt basic coffee theory through a prior hospitality institute certificate, Emma spends lots of time learning, practicing, and growing her skills at home and at Muffin Break Eastland Kiosk. “My enthusiasm towards coffee will be my biggest strength which leads me to keep learning and becoming a better barista”, Emma mentions.
Keeble from Muffin Break Strathpine
Living in Queensland for the past 10 years, Keeble has been a barista for three years. This is also Keeble’s first time competing in the Barista Championships.
Keeble is thrilled to be going to the finals, to hopefully land himself a top three position, armed with his motto “It always seems impossible until it’s done. You can do it.”.
Keeble from Muffin Break Strathpine in Queensland also mentioned, “I believe there’s no end to learning and enhancing my barista skills. By competing with other great baristas, I will know more of my own strengths and weaknesses during the process; also, I get to observe how others master the barista skills and learn from them.”
Sara from Muffin Break Belmont
Sara from Muffin Break Belmont in Western Australia, has been a barista for just over a year. Born and bred in Western Australia, this is Sara’s first time competing in the Barista Championships and she is thrilled to be going to the finals.
Not only is she going to try her best in the competition, but also aims to make some new friends. With her motto “If you always think you’re the smartest in the room, you’ll never learn from others. Assume you always have something to learn from every person.”, we’re sure Sara and all 10 finalists will be leaving with plenty new friends and a wealth of knowledge.
Ollie from Muffin Break Gateway
With four years of experience in the field, this is Ollie’s first time competing in the Barista Championships.
Ollie’s expanded his knowledge and learnt from various avenues, including previous jobs and courses. Having worked at Muffin Break Coolalinga for the past year, Ollie just loves Muffin Break and the award-winning coffee “I love our coffee beans, love the taste. I am proud that we serve award winning beans to our customers. I like the vibe of Muffin Break, we have good ingredients, good products and I work with good people.” Mentions Ollie.
michael from muffin break fountain gate kiosk
And lastly, but certainly not least, previous winner of the 2017 championship, Michael Chen from Muffin Break Fountain Gate Kiosk in Melbourne is returning to attempt to take out his second win for the store.
So, who will take out the title of Muffin Break Barista Champion for 2022? Keep your eyes peeled for coverage through the Muffin Break social channels towards the end of May!