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Upper North Island Barista Finalists Announced

Upper North Island Barista Finalists Announced

Ben Boyle of Altura Cafe, Albany and David Huang of Maggazino, Newmarket were last night announced as the upper North Island’s top two baristas.

Ben and David will now go on to compete for the National Title in Auckland in November. Both Ben and David will join South Island finalists; Carl Sara & Rob Dempsey, Wellington finalists Andy Norman & Andrew Feldon and Napier Finalists Jessica Garland and Claire Whitburn in the bid to be crowned ‘National Barista of the Year 2006’.

Chris White, Co-Chief NZ Judge and World Barista Championship accredited judge, says “The upper North Island heat is always jam-packed with barista talent. The competitors really gave it their best and made great coffee! Ben and David had obviously put many, many hours of practice in and they had a great presentation.”

2006 is the first year that a signature beverage component has been introduced for all competitors, and there were some amazing concoctions on offer. Ben presented what he called ‘Cuban Sunset’ consisting of a cranberry syrup layered with a shot of espresso, cream, black sesame seed paste and crme fraiche. David presented ‘Caf© Zen Zen’ a coffee brew from a Symphone Vacuum coffee brewer combined with espresso and served with cane sugar, golden syrup and ground coffee to give the coffee a complete taste and aromatic flavour profile. Ben and David now have until November to sharpen their skills further in an effort to ‘wow’ the judges and become New Zealand’s National Barista of the Year.

The New Zealand National Barista Awards brought to you by Robert Harris are the only world recognised national competition allowing the winner to compete annually at the World Barista Championships. Robert Harris has been the major sponsor of the National Barista Awards since they began in 2001. Their consistent support of the Awards demonstrates their on-going commitment to the professional development of baristas in New Zealand.

Over 130 litres of milk is required for each regional competition equating to over 600 litres of milk during the entire search for a National Barista Champion. Anchor has been a key sponsor and supporter of the National Barista Awards for the past six years.

The top ten upper North Island Baristas, as found at the National Barista Awards regional heat, are:
1. Ben Boyle – Altura Cafe, Albany, Auckland
2. David Huang – Magazzino, Newmarket, Auckland
3. Faatafa Liufau – Centre of Gravity, Manukau City
4. Charlie Self – Altura Caf
6. ©, Albany, Auckland
7. Michelle Rutherford – Robert Harris Caf
9. ©, Taupo
10. Gregory Cornes – Caf
12. © People Limited, Ponsonby, Auckland
13. Natasha Lopes – Altura Caf
15. ©, Albany, Auckland
16. Dana Symonds – Robert Harris Caf
18. ©, Rotorua
19. John Prishen, Columbus Coffee, Botany, Auckland
20. Frances Thompson – Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre, Mt Wellington, Auckland

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