Italian coffee brand Lavazza hosted its first-ever barista competition, the Lavazza UK Barista Championships 2019, at the Ham Yard Hotel in London.
The event put six top baristas from some of London’s finest hospitality locations to the test, with Kumar Ghale from Côte Restaurants coming out on top.
Kumar surpassed the other talented contenders to be named as Lavazza’s UK Barista Champion 2019. As part of his prize he will win a Speciality Coffee Association Intermediate Barista Skills accreditation and a once in a lifetime trip to the Lavazza headquarters in Turin.
The barista competition aimed to provide a platform for baristas to showcase and elevate their talents.
It started in August with a heats stage which saw 150 candidates demonstrate their barista skills to secure a place in the semi-final. Following a semi-final competition at Lavazza’s Training & Innovation Centre in London, the six finalists went head-to-head in a gruelling final round.
Kumar competed against Konstantinos Mentesidis from Firmdale Hotels, Tibor Schwarz from Côte Restaurants, Amro Aly from PAUL, Ersilia Barberio from PAUL and Stuart Roe from Brunning & Price.
David Cutler-Colclough, brand ambassador & UK head of Training Centre at Lavazza, said: “We’ve seen some truly amazing talents come out of this competition. We value the work of baristas, so this competition is a great opportunity for us to not only celebrate our dedicated customers, but also to spotlight the role baristas play as an integral part of our business and further showcase our commitment to the community.”