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Johanna Harakis of The Guardhouse Café is named Owens Coffee Barista Champion

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Owens Coffee
Posted on
25 Oct 2022
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Owens Coffee, one of the region’s leading coffee roasters, hosted its first ever Barista Championship in October.

The new competition, which set out to find the best espresso-maker, saw baristas from across the region compete for the title at Owens’ headquarters. Johanna Harakis, of The Guardhouse Café, Brixham, was named this year’s champion.

Jenny McDonough, Head of training and talent at Owens Coffee, said there was a serious side to the new competition:

“I’ve been in the hospitality industry for a long time in the South West and the feeling that you are just a waiter or just someone serving coffee is something I’d like to see the end of – because it is a career, a profession… It is important to encourage talent and professional ability, which is something that we champion at Owens’.

“There are different brew ratios and there are guidelines on how to make the perfect espresso. The competition tested the barista’s knowledge and their interpretation of those guidelines. Competitors chose one of our coffees for the espresso and two milk-based drinks and then told the judges how to set up the calibration of the espresso machine to make the perfect cup.”

Winner of the Owens Coffee Barista Championship 2022, Johanna Harakis said:

“This is my first ever barista competition so I’ve been a bit nervous. You’ve got to make sure the coffee comes out at the right speed – about 22 to 25 seconds – and the weight of the coffee is around 16 to 18 grams. If it’s too quick it comes out bitter and acidic – if you get it right it’s smooth and it’s lush and you get a really good hit.”

Runner-up was 17-year-old Oliver Taylor, of the Bay Tree Café, Newton Abbot. Also taking part in the competition were Jenny Cheung, of the South Sands Hotel, Salcombe, Daisy Craner Watts and Tilly Cox of the Market Street Kitchen, Appledore and Luna Moretti, also of The Guardhouse Café, Brixham.

Lorraine Bridden, founder of Owens Coffee, said:

“We take a huge amount of pride in sourcing our coffee beans and roasting them to perfection – but you can make or break a cup of coffee if the calibration in the machine isn’t right.

“A good cup has to taste right and be well presented. But the competition is not just about the coffee – it is about enthusiasm and passion too. This is about showcasing good barista skills across the region and because of this, our first competition has been a great success – hopefully, we will make it bigger in the future.”

First prize included an Ottomatic CHEMEX Coffeemaker from Marco Beverages Systems worth over £300. There were also prizes from Eversfield Organic, Flapjackery, Boo Chi Kombucha, Luscombe Drinks and Bar Buoy Cocktails.

To find out more about Owens Coffee please visit owenscoffee.com or call 01752 897124. Like and follow Owens Coffee on Instagram: owenscoffee_, Facebook: @OwensCoffee and Twitter: @OwensCoffee.

Photo credit. All images: Paul Slater Images Ltd.

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