Costa knows their most important ingredient is their staff. Every year they celebrate this through a world-wide competition to find their coffee supremo, the Champion of Champions … the Barista whose passion, skill and creativity sets them apart from the rest. The Barista of the Year (BOY) is hard fought and highly prized. Making sure the final captures the imagination of the people lucky enough to be in the room AND all the other Costa teams around the world, is a tough challenge … but one Costa knew we were up to.
The event ran like clockwork and the audience … both in and out of the room … loved it. Staff from across the globe competed to win in the Speciality drink, Espresso race and Latte art challenges.
First up, ten finalists (six from the UK, four from overseas) competed on Day 1 behind closed doors at one of the Costa training academies. They were judged on the delivery of four core drinks, made four times each. Judging carried over into Day two … the high profile live event.
On Day two, footage from the first day was shown to get everyone involved and start to build excitement before the finalists took to the stage in front of the live audience.
Each finalist created their speciality drink for the judges using their own recipe. They also competed in a high pressure espresso challenge to see who could make the most brand-standard espressos in a set time.
To really engage Costa’s social media community, a separate latte art competition was held, alongside the main competition, celebrating the Barista’s creativity and attention to detail.
Judges – including two guests and Costa’s own Master of Coffee – were wowed with amazing creations and speedy espressos.
It seems the competition brought Costa’s energy and passion for coffee to the fore and rewarded the Baristas for their very individual blend of coffee magic.
Costa’s global internal comms lead Lisa Morgan said: “This was the first year we worked with Top Banana on the event and they really helped us take it to a whole new level and create a buzz around the awards. “The set and stage worked really well and made the finalists feel really special as the spotlight was completely on them. I am excited about the next one in January… although it will be hard to top this year’s event.”