LONDON, UK – Tony Huang, an Assistant Store Manager from China was named the best Costa barista in the world on Wednesday (23rd October) at the international finals in London.
Tony Huang, who works at Guangzhou Grand View Mall 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 held at Vinopolis, London.
He scoops a 10-day trip for two to a country of his choice with a Costa Coffee connection.
The eight finalists were tested on their ability to produce a technically perfect cup of hand-made coffee and their knowledge and understanding of the industry.
They were also judged on their overall performance, flair and passion for coffee, and on their creativity by inventing their own signature drink.
Tony’s passion for coffee comes from endless exploration and he explained to the panel that it’s about where the coffee comes from; the story behind it and how it’s made that makes the coffee an experience.
Szilard Hathazi impressed the judges with his speciality coffee creation, a blackcurrant inspired short coffee that showcased the unique Costa Mocha Italia blend named the Cassis Cortado Shot.
The barista, who has worked at the Isle of Man Sea Terminal branch for two years, seven months was even more pleased that his family, who were seated on the front row, got to see him win the speciality coffee accolade.
The espresso challenge which had the finalists competing against each other to see how many Costa brand standard espressos they could make in two minutes was won by the European representative, Ricardo Costa from Portugal, who succeeded in making nine perfect espressos.
Head judge and Costa Master of Coffee Gennaro Pelliccia said of the winner:
“Tony did a fantastic job against some outstanding competition. He’s just what we look for in our baristas: someone who possesses true Pride, Passion and Personality about their coffee.”
Joining Gennaro on the panel were UK celebrity chef Phil Vickery and food television personality Stefan Gates. Vickery said of the competition;
“Judging Costa’s Barista of the Year 2013 competition has really opened my eyes to the exceptional skill and dedication displayed by Costa’s Baristas. I have been particularly impressed with the Barista’s creativity creating and developing their speciality drinks for us today and I now know what goes into a decent cup of coffee and will appreciate it so much more! Tonysimply ticked all the boxes for us: he was personable yet professional, and his skills shone throughout.”
“This year’s competition marks my second time as a Barista of the Year judge and the finalists have certainly lived up to my expectations and more this year. It has been brilliant to see how skilled these Baristas are and see personalities take centre stage at such an esteemed event for the Costa brand. I’d like to wish Tony and all of the finalists the best of luck in their future careers.”
Tony Huang joins a list of prestigious Barista of the Year winners including 2012 winner Victoria Stewart who, along with 2012 finalist Rob Pound inspired and helped develop Costa’s Chocolate & Orange Mocha Latte that successfully launched into UK stores this Autumn.
Source: Costa Coffee Press Office