Global Costa Coffee competition won by Brent Cross barista

A London-based barista, Kinga Sobczynska, has been named Costa Coffee’s 2017 Barista of the Year Champion at the global final held in the capital.

Sobczynska who has worked at the Brent Cross Shopping Centre store at Brent Cross for five months, beat stiff competition from Costa’s most accomplished baristas from around the world to be named the best Costa barista in the world in the 10th year of the international championship.

Sobczynska impressed Costa’s Master of Coffee, Gennaro Pelliccia, celebrity TV chef Phil Vickery and Clair Preston-Beer, Costa’s MEA MD with her outstanding performance in each of the stages of the final pouring her own personality, talent, imagination and skill in her coffee creations.

In addition to taking home the coveted trophy Kinga Sobczynska was also awarded a 10-day trip for two to a country with a Costa connection of her choice.

Sobczynska joined eleven other baristas from around the world in the final that tested their ability to produce a technically perfect cup of hand-made coffee; their personality and performance, flair and passion for coffee; knowledge and understanding of the industry; and their creativity by inventing their own signature drink.

The 20-year-old barista said of the win, “I’m still in shock that I have won Barista of the Year! The whole journey has been amazing and it was such an honour to even make the final and meet other Costa baristas from all around the world. I’m very grateful to my family and friends, my Costa colleagues and my regular customers who have given me so much support along the way.”

Head judge and Costa’s Master of Coffee, Gennaro Pelliccia said, “Our people are the most important ingredient in our coffee. The confidence and craft they show in their coffee making skills ensures that our that our customers around the world know and love across our unique blend.

'With over 30,000 Costa Coffee baristas around the world Kinga did a fantastic job against outstanding competition. She has everything we look for in our baristas: someone who possesses true pride, passion and personality.”

Phi Vickery said, “This is my fourth year of judging Costa’s Barista of the Year competition. I am always so astounded by the outstanding skill, knowledge and dedication displayed by all the finalists and this year was no exception. I have been particularly impressed with the baristas’ creativity in making and developing their speciality drinks for us today and presenting themselves in such a confident and engaging manner.”

Sobczynska joins the list of prestigious Barista of the Year winners who have since gone on to undertake roles across the Costa business. The list includes:
- Victoria Stewart, the 2012 winner, who now works in the Costa Global Innovation Team creating new and unique drinks for the brand
- Tony Huang, the 2014 winner from China, who now develops Costa Coffee’s new drinks in the region
- Tatum Clewes, 2013 runner-up, who has seen her career progress within the coffee shop brand as a result of the competition, being promoted to a managerial training role to tutor the next generation of Costa baristas.