THE winner of the first North Devon Barista Championships has now been revealed after the fiercely fought competition took place yesterday.
The championships took place at the Big Sheep and after dozens of entries the judges whittled them down to a final six competitors.
The six final contestants impressed judges Joanne Fairweather, from ‘Beyond the Bean’, in Bristol and Chris Austin from Conti Coffee as they served up espressos, lattes an cappuccinos making it a difficult for the judges to choose their winners.
After much deliberation Ryan Brodie of Camper Coffee from Crediton was crowned the winner.
He said: “The competition was so close but it was my signature coffee, ‘Saffy Darling’ which I think swung it for me.”
Ryan’s signature coffee was a mellow mocha mixed with saffron and cardamom.
Camper Coffee is a mobile coffee unit and Ryan, who used to work in Barnstaple’s Boston Tea Party, travels around North Devon in Camper Coffee serving quality coffee to locals and tourists.
Ryan has been making coffee since he was 15 and has entered a number of barista competitions in the past but this has been his first success. His prize is a luxury Baristsa kit worth £180.
The two runner ups were Mollie Sargent of The Great British Tea Shop in Ilfracombe and Kirsty Spear of RHS Garden Rosemoor, who each received an engraved coffee grinder.
Kirsty’s signature coffee was entitled Turkish Delight, a pink coffee which was created by using rose water and beetroot from Rosemoor garden while Mollie used peanut butter and chocolate to create her signature coffee.
Rick Turner, the director of the Big Sheep, who came up with the idea for the Barista competition was delighted to play host to the inaugural barista competition and is already looking forward to hosting next year’s competition.
Nigel Mackenzie-Shapland of Havana Coffee Company, who sponsored the event along with the Journal, was thrilled with the number of people who entered the competition.
He said: “The aim of the competition was to raise standards in the quality of coffee served in North Devon.
“Nowadays with national competition in virtually every High Street, customer’s expectations and standards are rightly very high and baristas will receive feedback from top judges on how they can improve the quality of beverages they serve up.”
Lisa Templeton, the editor of the Journal, said: “I am thrilled the event has been such a success particularly as it is such a good way of encouraging the development of new skills in a fun way. And let’s not forget, some people take their coffee very seriously."