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National Barista Awards Wildcard Entry Announced

15th September 2006

National Barista Awards Wildcard Entry Announced

The National Barista Awards brought to you by Robert Harris are proud to announce the Wildcard Finalist for 2006 - Faatafa Liufau, from Centre of Gravity, Auckland. Faatafa was placed third overall at the Northern regional heat at SkyCity on August 14th and will appear at the National Barista Award Finals on November 11th at North Harbour Stadium.

Emma Markland-Webster, Judges Convenor and a World Accredited Barista Judge, says “The wildcard category ensures we have the country’s strongest baristas in the Grand Final. The wildcard entry is so important because a certain region may have a particularly high standard, and as such a third place-getter may be deemed strong enough to deserve a place in the final as is the case with Faatafa this year .”

This acclaimed competition not only finds New Zealand’s top barista, but the winner is also sponsored by Robert Harris to fly to Japan in 2007 for the World Barista Championship. Four regional heats were held through June, July and August in Christchurch, Wellington, Napier and Auckland with the top two baristas from each competition plus the wildcard heading to compete in the finals at the Wildbean Café Coffee Festival and Awards at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday 11 November 2006.

The 2006 National Barista Awards Finalists who will complete for the national title are:
Carl Sara – Muffin Break, Christchurch
Rob Dempsey – Muffin Break Northlands, Christchurch
Andy Norman, Vivace Espresso, Wellington
Andrew Feldon, Streetwise Café, Otaki
Jessica Garland – Robert Harris Café, Rotorua
Claire Whitburn – Café DMP, Napier
Ben Boyle – Ben Café, Auckland CBD
David Huang – Magazzino, Newmarket, Auckland
Faatafa Liufau - Centre of Gravity, Auckland

An expert panel of seven judges will determine New Zealand’s 2007 National Barista Champion. Each competitor has a total of 45 minutes to compete – 15 minutes setup, 15 minutes competition time and 15 minutes clean-up. Within their competition time each barista is required to make four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature beverages. A signature beverage is a unique espresso beverage designed by the barista; the only requirement is that it contains a shot of espresso and no alcohol or illegal substances.

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.

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