Two baristas from BaxterStorey’s AXA headquarters contract in Brussels have taken first and second place in the 2018 Belgium Barista Championship.

BaxterStorey’s Remy Poirot and Erica Lamenter were taking part in the Speciality Coffee Association-organised championship at the Viva Sara Kaffée Kortrijk coffeehouse in Belgium last week. Three finalists were invited to illustrate their creative flair and in-depth coffee knowledge to industry judges, and serve four espressos, four milk beverages and four signature drinks within 15 minutes.

In addition to explaining to judges their choice of coffee and demonstrating their understanding of their espresso machine, each barista was marked on their customer service and creativity. Both Remy and Erica used coffee beans roasted by local Belgium supplier Cuperus. Jana Slamova, national barista trainer at BaxterStorey, said: “Both Remy and Erica are firsttime competitors in the national championships, and we are so proud of their incredible achievements in this final. They worked very hard to prepare for the event and their performance has highlighted the extremely talented professionals they are.”

Earlier in the year, Remy and Erica also secured second and third place, respectively, in the 2017 BaxterStorey Barista Championships, which saw six baristas from across the business compete in a closely fought final at the Salvation Army International Headquarters in London. Belgium Barista Championship winner Remy will now represent Belgium at the prestigious World Barista Championship 2018, which is being held in Amsterdam from 21-24 June.

Remy commented: “I am thrilled to have won – it was an adrenaline-fuelled day and very exciting. I developed a simple but effective signature drink, adding unrefined coconut sugar to complement the tropical flavours of the espresso and tangerine juice to bring creaminess to the drink. I’m really proud to be able to represent Belgium in the World Barista Championship, and can’t wait to compete in Amsterdam in June.”

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