LONDON, U.K. – Klara Rohel, a Costa barista from St. Ann’s in Dumfries was named Costa’s 2015 Barista of the Year Champion last night at the global final at Tobacco Dock, London. Klara, who has worked at the Annadale Roadchef store on Junction 16 on the A74 for a year and three months, beat stiff competition from Costa’s most accomplished baristas from around the world to be named the best Costa barista in the world in the 10th year of the international championship.
Klara impressed Costa’s Master of Coffee, Gennaro Pelliccia, celebrity chef Phil Vickery and esteemed restaurateur and cookbook author Dipna Anand with her outstanding performance in each of the stages of the final.
The showstopper of the competition was Klara’s signature drink, the Peanut Long Macchiato. In this round, the winners pour their own personality into their coffee, and Klara displayed her talent, imagination and skill in her creation. Klara also impressed the judges by crafting 11 perfect espressos in an exhilarating one-minute espresso race against her fellow competitors.
In addition to taking home the coveted trophy Klara was also awarded a 10-day trip for two to a country with a Costa connection of her choice.
Klara joined eight other baristas in the final of the competition’s 10th year. The competition tested their ability to produce a technically perfect cup of hand-made coffee; their personality and performance, flair and passion for coffee; knowledge and understanding of the industry; and their creativity by inventing their own signature drink.
The 26-year-old barista said of her win: “I’m still in shock that I have won Barista of the Year! The whole journey has been amazing and I was so honoured to even reach the final. I’m very grateful to my family and friends and to my Costa colleagues who have given me so much support along the way.”
Head judge and Costa’s Master of Coffee Gennaro Pelliccia said; “Our people are the most important ingredient in our coffee. The confidence and craft they show in their coffee making skills ensures that our iconic Mocha Italia blend continues to be the coffee that our customers know and love across the World. With over 30,000 Costa Coffee baristas around the world Klara did a fantastic job against outstanding competition. She has everything we look for in our baristas: someone who possesses true pride, passion and personality.”
Vickery said of the competition: “This is my third year of judging Costa’s Barista of the Year competition. I am always so astounded by the outstanding skill, knowledge and dedication displayed by all the finalists and this year was no exception. I have been particularly impressed with the baristas’ creativity in making and developing their speciality drinks for us today and presenting themselves in such a confident and engaging manner.”
The competition celebrates its tenth anniversary and Klara joins the list of prestigious Barista of the Year winners who have since gone on to undertake roles across the Costa business. The list includes Kat Finch from the UK, who won the competition as a Store Manager in 2008 and is now the Regional Operational HR Manager at Costa South East Asia and India, living in Singapore; Tony Huang, the 2014 winner from China who now develops Costa Coffee’s new drinks in the region and Victoria Stewart the 2012 winner who now works in the Costa UK HR team and organised this year’s landmark event.