This past April, one of our roasters, Manuel Borsato, competed in the London Coffee Masters at the London Coffee Festival. Having placed a respectable 5th, we were so excited to be able to send Manuel to the Big Apple to compete at the New York Coffee Masters in September. Below are some of his reflections on the competition and his experiences in NYC!
Our industry has seen a vast amount of change in the past few years across the board and in such a fast changing environment, it is important to embrace and connect the skills of the best people in the industry.
What better way to celebrate those skills than the Coffee Masters competition?
The Coffee Masters rewards sixteen highly skilled barista’s, and also provides a platform for the industry’s best talent. Such is the high standard at this competition, it can often seem overwhelming and aprovoke a ‘not for me’ thinking for many baristas out there who actually do a fantastic job day-in-day out. However any barista who is keen to improve their skills should not be afraid to step up to a challenge at this level.
The Coffee Masters involves fast paced rounds, touching on all aspects of the coffee and hospitality industry, such as cupping, brewing, latte art, an order challenge and even a cocktail making challenge.
Manuel's Signature Drink set up for Coffee Masters NYC
I’ve been proud to take part in this competition in both London and New York representing Climpson & Sons.
It’s been the second time for me taking part and it actually taught me a lot. It taught me to never stop improving my skills and not to be afraid to put myself into the game. That stage can sometimes be intimidating but it actually pushes your skills and passion forward, allowing you to commit to improve your standards and knowledge at the same time.
The contenders were from all over the globe, including Australia, Italy, Japan and the UK and the level this time around was very high. In fact, it reflected the amount of effort, commitment and the skills that baristas taking part at this, or any other competition, put into it. It is most definitely the perfect way to attract and more importantly retain new staff interest into the coffee industry.
After three days of battling it out, the higher prize went to the most talented, capable and precise out of the sixteen contenders, Yuko Inuoe. She has been part of the Timberyard team since their first opening and we've have been working closely with them ever since. She is part of the family and hands down, the best barista the UK has seen in the last few years.
Well done Yuko, you champ!