December 4, 2013

GLORIA JEAN’S Coffees Latte Art Championships

Gloria Jean’s Coffees has opened more than 800 coffee houses across 39 markets worldwide, including more than 400 coffee houses in Australia.  Their vision is, “to be the most loved & respected coffee company worldwide.”
To ensure their vision is met, training of their team members is vital. Excellence in coffee presentation is a critical element of the coffee experience and therefore barista competence including latte art, is a key skill for Gloria Jean’s Coffees team members.
Gloria Jean’s Coffees employ dedicated in-house Operations  trainers as mentors for team members. They are an espresso subject matter expert and facilitator in the Gloria Jean’s Coffees “Coffee University” training facility and coach, for every type of brew method used within the coffee industry.
In addition to this, both barista and latte art competitions are held by state, country and also worldwide to highlight and celebrate the talent and skill of their baristas across the globe.  All competitions are aligned with World Barista and Latte Art Championship standards ensuring they are staying up to date with technology, research and the latest trends around coffee. Testament to this is Gloria Jean’s Coffees very own NSW Operations Trainer, Elisha Mauger, who currently holds the National Cup Tasting Champion title and is ranked tenth in the world.
The 2013 Gloria Jean’s Coffees Australian Latte Art Championship was recently held at the Darling Harbour Amphitheatre in Sydney with judges Lance Brown and Brent Williams in attendance. Our very own Sean Edwards, Managing Director of Café Culture Int. held centre stage as MC for the event. Sean has both judged and co ordinated many Latte Art competitions and has seen many champions over the years. “The level of competition now days is extremely high. It’s great to see Gloria Jean’s Coffees encouraging their baristas in this way and today we have seen some world class latte art served to the judges” Sean commented.
Lance Brown from Lion Dairy & Drinks and Brent Williams from Da Vinci Gourmet are world accredited latte art judges. They have both been great advocates for the coffee industry and have been giving their time in the judges arena for more than 15 years collectively.
The six finalists in this year’s competition performed against the clock to create their best latte art across two macchiatos, two free pour lattes and two designer lattes.  And all within eight minutes!
The coffee artistry skill that is ‘latte art’ is trending globally and baristas are now celebrated artists as they create wonderfully intricate designs with endless possibilities for creativity. “As skills have developed from a three leaf tulip several years ago, to now a 17 leaf rosetta in a macchiato cup, so has the interest in these types of competitions,” commented Lance Brown.
At the end of the competition the margin between the finalists was microscopic, with all baristas competing to international standards giving the judges a really tough time.  Finally, the unanimous winner on the day, all the way from WA, was Mario Villamagna with his stunning Cheeky Fish and Six Leaf Tulip designs.
Congratulations Mario!
• The winner of the event was Mario Villamagna from the  Fremantle Gloria Jean’s Coffees in WA
• Mario won a $2,000 cheque and he will retain the prestigious title for 2 years
• Second place was Lee Hodgkins from Gloria Jean’s Coffees Emerald, QLD and third place was Kevin Park, Gloria Jean’s Coffees Newington and Strathfield, NSW

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