Every year, Starbucks organizes its Barista Championship, which gives the company's best coffee masters the opportunity to showcase their talents. This year, Hungary's best baristas were once again able to compete in person, at the national final of the five-round championship on August 2, 2022, at the Starbucks Király utca store. The jury of the company's coffee masters was helped by Dóra Szabó-Thalmeiner, gastro influencer, to select the best coffee expert. The local competition was won by the Kenya-born Hellen Omollo, who thus gets a chance to represent the country in the international final in Milan.
Starbucks pays special attention to the professional development of its partners and offers several opportunities for them to show their talent. In addition to further training, the Barista Championship is organized every year, where the company's best coffee masters compare their skills. After the break in 2020, the company organized the competition virtually in 2021, which will return this year in a hybrid form. From the personal, local rounds, national champions were selected from 44 countries, including the Hungarian winner Hellen Omollo.
The best 10 coffee masters selected from among them will compete in Milan on October 27, 2022, the brand will broadcast the grand final live.
One of the basic principles of Starbucks is that, in addition to quality ingredients, an important component of a delicious coffee is the attention with which a good barista prepares and serves it. In addition to proper roasting and the harmony of quality components, drinking coffee is a real experience. This is why the coffee chain created the title of coffee master and created its own corresponding course. Every year it provides its baristas with the opportunity to share their experiences and compare their skills at the Barista Championship.
"The love of coffee is common in all of our partners, but the knowledge and experience of our coffee masters also stand out among them and embody the most important values of Starbucks. Small attentions, mutual respect and demandingness are habits that we can use to brighten up other people's day. - said Kerek Fanni, the brand manager of Starbucks in Hungary. - I saw these qualities in the competitors in this year's finals as well, and Hellen Omollo was able to stand out from the best with his/her knowledge of coffee culture and creative use of recipes. We are proud to work with him/her and support him/her in everything in the international rounds."
The national finals of the championship were preceded by a café unit round and a district round. At the Hungarian final held in Starbucks Gozsdu, the participants had to complete 3 tasks. For the first part, baristas were able to share their personal stories about their passion for coffee and their own Starbucks journey. The contestants then prepared their favorite Starbucks coffee using the brewing method of their choice and presented it to the jury members during a guided tasting. Finally, the baristas had to prepare two caffe lattes and a flat white with latte art of their choice on top: a rosette, tulip or swan.
"The whole competition was a great experience, starting from the first round. I love coffee, in all its forms, so it is a special opportunity that I could become a coffee master with the help of Starbucks and continue to train myself - said Hellen Omollo, Starbucks' 2022 Hungarian Barista Champion. "It's a great honor to have the possibility to represent Hungary in the international round, I hope to get into the top 10 and return home with lasting experiences in October."