Aramark has announced Marta Michalewicz as Barista Champion 2018, after beating five other competing baristas from Aramark sites across the country.
Living in Dublin, Marta has worked at the AIB Bank Centre since June 2017 and has been a barista since 2015.
For the competition, each finalist created a total of twelve beverages including four espressos, four milk-based drinks and four signature drinks. These were evaluated by a judging panel who marked competitors on skill and taste, as well as overall presentation techniques. The event was sponsored by Bewleys, and Hugh Jordan Catering Supplies & Equipment supported with grand prizes for all the finalists.
The judging panel was led by Maria Cassidy, a certified Q arabica grader, tea sommelier and certified national sensory judge. Maria was joined by Andrius Valiauga and Wojciech Tysler; both former barista championship winners who have represented Ireland in international competitions; and Keara Fitzgerald a sensory and technical judge.
The winning beverage was a raspberry infused espresso. Second place went to Amanda Nieto de Almeida, whose signature coffee was an autumnal plum drop with a handmade syrup of dry plums, water and sugar.
Shane Flynn, Managing Director, Aramark Food Services Ireland, said: “This is a simply brilliant result which shows the flair and attention to detail our baristas have achieved in knowing all about their profession and serving the very best speciality coffees to our customers. To achieve national recognition is a great achievement and all of us at Aramark are very proud of all our brilliant barista finalists.”
Ali Hulley, Coffee & Brand Manager, Aramark, said: “Congratulations to Marta. She absolutely deserves the title of Barista of the Year 2018 and we are extremely proud of her achievement.”