What is a barista?
Following the example of a sommelier, a barista is a specialist in espresso-based coffees. He must recognize the complex flavours of different coffees, find the perfect combination of grind and temperature, and have the right technique to extract and exhale all the flavours.
The Canadian Barista Championship
Presented each year at the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show, the Canadian Barista Championship (canadianbaristaacademy.com/barista.htm) brings together the best baristas in the country. The challenge? Prepare 12 espresso-based drinks – four espressos, four cappuccinos and four creations – all in 15 minutes. The criteria by which they are evaluated include technique, workstation cleanliness, taste and presentation. The winner then goes on to the World Barista Championship. (worldbaristachampionship.com)
The best baristas in Canada
They have participated in various championships and have finished at the top. From east to west, here’s where to find them.
Cliff Hansen – Bridgehead
Momiji Kishi – Dark Horse Espresso Bar
Sameer Mohamed – Sense Appeal Café
Aerin Fogel – Mercury Espresso
Anthony Benda and Alex Scott – Café Myriade
Luke Spicer – Cafe Neve
Benjamin Put, Jeremy Ho and Christopher Tellez – Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters
Joel May – Fratello Coffee
Josh Hockin – Transcend Coffee
Rob Kettner – Fernwood Coffee
Logan Gray – Discovery Coffee
Ian Sudbek-Reid – Habit Coffee
Philip Hong and Cheryl Wright – Caffè Artigiano
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