At just 21-years-of-age, Sydney barista Melissa hall has been named champion at the seventh annual Foodco barista championships.
After knocking-out hundreds of competitors from across australia and New Zealand to make it to the grand final, Melissa used her six years of experience as a barista at Muffin Break Penrith to whip up 12 cups of coffee in 15 minutes before a panel of judges.
Melissa impressed the judges with the tactile balance, consistency and colour of the cremà in her espresso as well as the creaminess of the froth and smoothness of the milk in her cappuccino. however it was Melissa’s signature beverage called “t ropical Piccolo” – maple syrup, coconut syrup and fresh lime over a 30ml shot of espresso – that ultimately capped-off her prize-winning performance.
“I didn’t make it to the final last year so to have come back to win the title this year is an achievement I’m so proud of,” Melissa said.
“It was definitely a nerve-wracking experience but part of me knew the judges would like my signature drink. It’s memorable and delicious and now I can’t wait to make more of it!”
Muffin Break brand manager John MacPhail said the quality of talent displayed at the grand final was exceptional and demonstrated Muffin Break baristas are equipped in a range of skills essential to professional coffee making.
“In addition to freshly-baked foods, coffee is a key element of the Muffin Break product mix. Our Melbourne-roasted proprietary coffee blend is award-winning and all Muffin Break baristas undergo hours and hours of training on a regular basis,” John said.
In addition to the coveted titles of 2013 Muffin Break Barista Champion and 2013 Foodco Barista Champion, Melissa has won a host of prizes including an apple mini iPad, a state-of-the-art coffee machine and grinder and mentorship from qualified industry experts in the lead-up to next year’s prestigious M.I.C.e competition.