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Kiwi ‘Coffee King’ Focused On World Barista Crown

10 JUNE 2004

Kiwi ‘Coffee King’ Focused On World Barista Crown

New Zealand’s ‘coffee king’ Carl Sara heads off to the World Barista Championships in Trieste, Italy next week with the world coffee-making crown firmly in his sights.

Carl, who manages two Muffin Break cafés in Christchurch, is New Zealand’s sole representative at the fifth annual World Barista Championships, which are widely acknowledged in the industry as the ‘Coffee Olympics’.

He qualified for the World Championships by winning the National Barista title in Auckland last year and has been training hard for this event, which brings together the top baristi from 30 countries who will compete on the world stage on June 18.

Each contestant has to impress a team of six judges by presenting four espresso, four cappuccinos and four specialty espresso based drinks. They also have to deliver a fully commentated routine that is both entertaining and informative before being assessed on presentation, work flow and rate, flair, understanding of process, consistency and overall quality.

Carl says he is focused on winning gold and proud to be representing his country.

“I have been training for the World Barista Championships for two months and have gone to great lengths to ensure everything I use is branded New Zealand. That means everything from my uniform, crockery, glasses, cutlery, tablecloths and coffee beans have New Zealand branding. I’m really looking forward to delivering now on the hard work that I’ve put in and showcasing a bit of what New Zealand has to offer.”

Carl and a team of 15 people, including coaches, team manager, gaffers and support crew, fly out for Trieste on Monday (14 June). The competition heats take place 18-19 June and the final, involving the top six qualifiers, is on June 20th.

When not perfecting the art of coffee making for the forthcoming world championships, Carl can be found co-managing his Muffin Break cafés in Christchurch.

The Muffin Break chain is owned by Foodco, and General Manager Garry Croft says the entire Muffin Break team is excited about Carl’s involvement in the World Barista Championships.

“We have about 150 baristi in our ranks and Carl’s achievement, making it to the world competition for the first time, has really sharpened their own focus and goals. They are now striving to emulate his success which can only be good news for our customers wanting great coffee and great service – as well as great muffins!”

Mr Croft says many people perceive Muffin Break to be a mainstream cafe outlet. “To a certain extent, this is so. We don’t see ourselves as a chain of trendy cafés, but we are very focused on delivering top quality espresso coffee that meets high-end consumer expectation.

Carl’s success highlights Muffin Break’s philosophy that you don’t need to visit a trendy high-brow cafe to enjoy great coffee. We wish him every success at the World Champs and look forward to welcoming him home in style”.

CAPTION: Carl Sara and one of his winning coffees.

For more details about the World Barista Championships visit:


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