The high attendance and the high level of the participating baristas have been the stars of the 14th edition of the Cafès Cornellà Barista Contest.
The Cafès Cornellà Barista Contest, held in May 2017, packed La Sitja Cultural Centre in Fornells de la Selva. The high attendance and the high level of the participating baristas were the stars of the gastronomic event, the first barista contest organised in Spain 14 years ago. David Brull, a barista from the GEiEG cafeteria in Girona, was the winner of the best Barista in 2017 award, in which six participants, selected from among eight hundred candidates who have taken the Cafès Cornellà Barista course, competed. The baristas who competed for the title had to make 4 non-alcoholic coffee-based speciality preparations, 4 espresso coffees and 4 cappuccinos in 15 minutes. The baristas Yajaira Chica, from the Granier Cafeteria in Barcelona, and Anna Arroyo, a student at the Vescomtat de Cabrera d’Hostalric Secondary School, obtained the second and third prizes respectively. Juan Pablo Osorio, a student at the Escola d’Hostaleria (Hospitality Sector Training School) in Girona, Alex Alonso, a student at Olivar Gran Secondary School in Figueres and Medin Ruiz, from the Amici Coffee & Tapes Cafeteria (Girona) also participated. Those classified in first and second place will be able to compete in the Catalan national competition to be held in 2018.
The Girona brand has dedicated this years’ edition to the future professionals of the hospitality sector. The auditorium housed about two hundred students from Olivar Gran Figueres Secondary School, the Hospitality Sector Schools in Girona and Lloret de Mar, the Aula del Ripollès and people training through the Municipal Employment Service in Girona. Present in the audience were the Mayor of Fornells, Mateu Parera-Nieto, the director of the region’s Educational Services in Girona, Josep Pere Polanco, and the president of the Fòrum del Cafè (Coffee Forum), Antonio Gros.
Cafès Cornellà also put the audience to the test. From the stage, questions were asked on the subject of coffee and the world of baristas that the audience had to answer . Likewise, this year’s present edition included a Latte Art competition, a race against the clock with contestants being gradually disqualified, a fun contest in the art of drawing with emulsified milk. The attendees themselves evaluated the competitors and awarded the best Latte Art prize.
The Best Barista of the Year
The participating baristas were evaluated on both technical and sensory aspects as well as for their stage presence. The sensory jury was led by Anna Vicenç, President of the Catalan Association of Sommeliers, Salvador García-Arbós, journalist and gastronome, Ruben Sanz, from Quality Espresso, and Marc Solé, Trainer at the Concepto Barista company in Barcelona; the technical jury was made up of Marc Saña from Compak and Albert Homs, professor at the Olivar Gran Secondary Escola d’Hostaleria in Girona, who had the role of leading judge.
In the framework of the competition, Cafès Cornellà awarded the Silver and Gold PINS for 2017. This is an award that recognises the applied knowledge of coffee gastronomy by baristas in their Espresso Point cafeterias (a certification of quality in the production of coffee) throughout the previous year. The Gold PIN was awarded to barista Xavi Ruiz, and the Silver was given to baristas Jenny Quiles and Eva Pons Domenech.
Barista contests in Spain originated in Girona, with the competition organised by the Girona coffee roasting company Cafès Cornellà in 2003. It was impelled with the aim of promoting a good cup of coffee, through the implementation of the Espresso method and the promotion of a professional who until then was not acknowledged in our country, the barista. Baristas are specialists with knowledge in the extraction of coffee’s aroma, keeping all the factors involved in its preparation under constant control, and in the preparation of specialist beverages based on an espresso coffee.
To introduce the knowledge about the Espresso Method and give impetus to the role of the barista, at the beginning of the decade Cafès Cornellà launched the Training Department, which to this day has provided more than 10,000 courses and more than 8,000 trained baristas.