Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, has launched its inaugural Barista Academy, revealing the five baristas who will make up the company’s elite group of coffee experts.
Selection for the Academy was conducted through a rigorous trial process, which stretched over three days, with an emphasis on technical skill, consistency and quality. Starting with over 30 entrants, Compass whittled the applicants down to ten for the final heat.
The concluding round was judged by a panel of esteemed judges including: Lauro Fioretti, World Barista Championship Judge and Product Manager at Simonelli Group, Owen Thom, Training and Quality Coordinator at Speciality Coffee Association, Gayan Munaweera, Head of Coffee Quality at UCC Coffee, and Paul Whitehead, Regional Sales Manager at BUNN UK.
The Barista Academy’s Master Baristas are:
- Thales VB Pima (Restaurant Associates)
- Razvan Cojocaru (Levy UK)
- Pariwarten Nepal (Eurest)
- Sziszi Walter (Restaurant Associates)
- 6Sharon Trundle (14 Forty)
Compass will now progress the skills of these baristas by enrolling them onto the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) Coffee Skills Program. The baristas will have the opportunity to work towards a Diploma in Coffee and potentially working towards becoming an Accredited SCA Trainer, enabling them to spread their expert knowledge across the business’ barista community by leading SCA training courses themselves.
Stephen Lovegrove, Head of Format (Café and Foodvenience), said: “The standard of the Barista Academy entrants has been outstanding. They have demonstrated creativity, knowledge and expertise during this process and they are testament to the quality and skills of our baristas.”
Louise Pilkington, Marketing Director – Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Over the last two years we’ve been raising the bar in our hot beverage offers. By launching our Barista Academy, we have empowered our baristas to enhance our brands and create fantastic tasting coffee for our clients and the public.”