Deaf Can Coffee crowned 2020 Barista Champions

Just in case you missed your favourite barista at your coffee shop last weekend (March 7), the local coffee community was duking it out at the 2020 Barista Competition.

Rebecca Levy of RagaMuffin Café whipping up something great! (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

Participants across different coffee houses delivered their best skills at the AC Hotel in New Kingston, Jamaica.

The Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, for the third year, staged its professional preliminary barista competition. The competition spanned two rounds.

Event host Terri-Karelle Reid Griffiths has a light moment with Deaf Can Coffee’s Blake Widmer. (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

The baristas representing the competing brands included Shandel Mclaughlin- Café Dolche, Demil Ballen and Andreen Smith – Deaf Can, Sadiki Gordon- Toyota Coffee House, Taniece Helon – Starbucks, and Rebecca Levy- RagaMuffin Café.   

Focus and flavour the order of the day. (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

The first round required each competitor to create a traditional latte in five minutes for four judges.

Taniece Helon of Starbucks brought her A-Game! (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

Each barista was assessed on three critical key areas: preparation of style, the visual aesthetics of the latte and its taste.

Can a latte be any more perfect? (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

In the second and final round candidates battled their way out to create a signature coffee drink in ten minutes. They were scored on four areas: preparation style, visual appeal of the drink, uniqueness of the drink and taste of the drink.

Demil Ballen making his signature coffee beverage. (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

At the end of the evening, Demil Ballen of Deaf Can Coffee and Sadiki Gordon of Toyota coffee house will both advance to the finals of the competition to be hosted at the Coffee Festival on Saturday, March 21.

Terri-Karelle Reid (centre) flanked by baristas from Deaf Can Coffee. (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

The panel of judge included Carol Rose- Brown, Director for Jamaica Center for Tourism, Fionna Fennell, Communications Director in the Ministry of Tourism, Gariel Ferguson, member of the Gastronomy board and Tracy-Ann Francis, a representative from the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).

Judges critique the coffee beverages provided by the baristas. (Photo: Shaquiel Brooks/BUZZ)

Director of Communications in the office of the Ministry of Tourism, Fionna Fennell told BUZZ that she was particularly excited with the line-up of young baristas, as it showcased their skills and talents in a growing global industry.

Check out the gallery with more highlights from the event!