Costa Coffee has completed this year’s search for the finest global barista as a Bulgarian contestant stole the crown beating the nine other finalists at the Global Final of Costa’s Barista of the Year Competition.
Held at Costa’s London Roastery on 21st October, Mihaela Petkova who works the Costa store in Serdika Center, Sofia convinced the panel of industry expert judges, which included Gennaro Pelliccia, Costa Roastery Technical Manager, and Charles Metcalf, Wine expert and TV presenter, that he is the cream of the coffee crop. The 10 outstanding finalists had battled through demanding country and regional heats to earn the chance to lay claim to the prestigious title which celebrates Costa’s supremacy in the art of making fantastic coffee and become the Barista of the Year for 2010.
The finalists came from as far afield as China and Dubai as well as Bulgaria and seven finalists from the UK.
Gennaro Pelliccia comments: “The Barista of the Year competition is a showcase event to demonstrate how great coffee isn’t born of luck. It takes a lot of skill to be an expert barista. During the competition, the baristas are tested on skills such as their ability to produce a technically impeccable cup of handmade coffee and their knowledge and understanding of the industry. As a judge, we’re looking for real flair and passion for great coffee.”
In the final round of the competition contestants are tasked with creating their own unique signature drink which is judged on its taste, presentation and innovation.
Mihaela Petkova built a rapport with the audience, judges and made drinks with flair and confidence. Along with her signature drink, Lavender Spell, which is a combination of typical herbs and spices from Bulgaria, a mix she claims is ‘real magic’. Mihaela also demonstrated great skill and passion earning her first prize of a week’s holiday for two – including spending money – to a country with a coffee growing connection, as well as a custom-made winner uniform shirt to proudly wear in store and the all-important Barista of the Year Trophy.
Mihaela Petkova commented, “I am overwhelmed. It’s an amazing experience to be named as Costa’s Barista of the Year. I’m delighted that the industry judges liked my speciality drink. I spent a long time perfecting it with my regular coffee loving customers and I can’t wait to tell them that it won!”
This year’s runners up were Claire Godber from Esso in second place, with third place going to Phillip Martin from Bluewater.