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Robert Harris Barista Of The Year Announced

2005 Robert Harris National Barista Of The Year Announced

After 1788 coffees, a search spanning four cities and 149 contestants, New Zealand’s café culture is buzzing with excitement of this year’s top barista in the country being announced. Luciano Marcolino of Vivace Espresso has won the prestigious title of ‘2005 Robert Harris National Barista of the Year’ and he will now go on to represent New Zealand at the World Barista Championships in May 2006, in Bern, Switzerland.

Having come first at the regional heat in Christchurch, Luciano went on to beat eight other contenders at the grand final, held today at the Wilbean Coffee Festival at the Taupo Great Lake Centre. Luciano wowed the judges with a performance that included fantastic interaction with the judges and professional coffee to match.

Each contestant was required to make 12 coffees in 15 minutes, including four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature coffees – which were their own unique interpretation. The seven Judges (four sensory, two technical and one chief judge) marked not only the look and taste of the coffee but also the baristas technical accuracy. Luciano’s winning signature coffee was called ‘Ultimate Addiction’ and consisted of freshly ground orange zest, chilli seeds and vanilla pods topped with a 27ml espresso.

On winning the award, Luciano says, “This is fantastic, now I now have a bigger fish to catch at the worlds!” The runners-up in the competition were placed in the following order: Second place; Ben Boyle of Altura Coffee, Auckland Third place; Michelle Rutherford of Robert Harris, Taupo

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The Robert Harris National Barista competition is an independent annual competition which is open to all Baristas. It is the only competition in New Zealand that is accredited by the World Barista Championships and Robert Harris sponsors the winner to compete at the World Championships. As the most respected Barista Awards in the industry, the National Barista Awards are sponsored by a number of highly regarded companies and associations including; Robert Harris, Anchor, Faema, DaVinci, Hospitality Standards Institute and The Restaurant Association of New Zealand.

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