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NZ Baristas Top Honours in Coffee ‘Bledisloe Cup’

News Release 15 April 2008

New Zealand Baristas Take Top Honours in ‘Bledisloe Cup’ of Coffee Making

With the price of an inner-city coffee heading up towards the $5 mark, you expect it to be good. And if you’re served by one of the winning Team New Zealand Barista Champions, you know it will be worth every penny.

In what has been referred to as the Bledisloe Cup of coffee making, New Zealand beat the Australians for the first time in two years to win the first heat of the Da Vinci Trans-Tasman Barista Championship.

With a team made up of some of New Zealand’s top coffee aficionados, including the World Number 3, two World Judges and a former New Zealand champion, the ‘Three Flat Whites and a Short Black Team’ convincingly won each of the sub heats in speed and presentation to take top honours against the Australian ‘Barista Roos’.

The Da Vinci Trans Tasman Barista Championship is a race to serve the maximum number of drinks while achieving great artistry and taste. With only 15 minutes to create 10 x Piccolo Lattes, 10 regular café lattes and 10 designer lattes, the team works together to create coffees with flair, with a random sample from each category tasted and evaluated by the judges.

Team member, Chris White, commented: “Anyone can create a great coffee given loads of time. However, trying to create multiple coffees in as quick a time as possible, while ensuring perfect taste and presentation, is not as easy.

“The Da Vinci Barista competition is a replica of a real life café environment - speed up to make up time and you could end up losing points on taste or artistry … in real life you risk losing your customers!”

Organiser of the competition, Sean Edwards, commented: “The Da Vinci Trans Tasman Barista Championships are becoming a fought over accolade as the rival teams compete to be the best.

“The Australians were pretty gutted to lose this heat after having won in the previous two years. There will be a real challenge on hand for the second and final Heat in Auckland at the HospitalityNZ trade Show in September as the Australian ‘Barista Roos’ Team regroup and come back with a new attempt to defeat New Zealand’s very strong team.”

The New Zealand team was represented by Carl Sara owner of Christchurch Muffin Breaks, Emma Markland - Webster from Atomic Coffee, Luciano Marcolino trainer for Vivace in Christchurch and Chris White from Auckland Coffee roaster Altura Coffee. Carl Sara also won the finals of the Pura Latte art competition taking the trophy back to New Zealand.

The event final will now be contested in Auckland at HospitalityNZ held on 2 September 2008 at the ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane. Trade visitors can pre-register for the event at


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