There is always a person behind the coffee, but could there be a champion barista behind your next beverage? Meet the 16 finalists from across Europe, Middle East, and Africa competing to win the title of Barista Champion 2021.
"It’s really nice to see the impact a great drink has on a person’s day. To see when they take the first sip of their perfectly prepared drink."
"I decided to join the Starbucks team myself to make the customer feel the same way that I felt when I joined."
Julia, Czech Republic
"To win the title will be a great deal for Starbucks in Czech Republic, I believe. For me, I think it will be sort of appreciation for my skills, for my time with the training."
"It would be above all to give the best of myself to represent the mark of Starbucks in Europe and in the rest of the world. I would like to try to become the best possible ambassador for the siren."
"My ever first favourite coffee was drinking freshly brewed Pike Place. It definitely was a significant moment for me which became the starting point of my whole passion for coffee."
"Winning would be a dream come true. I would share my story with so many partners and hopefully inspire them to never give up and always to believe in themselves."
"The first time I saw my barista trainer pour a latte art finish, I was inspired…to learn the same, to do the same. As I started learning and practising, my passion grew even further."
"If I were to win, I would share the values to the world, and I would tell my fellow partners that coffee is more than a latte. It goes from soil to cup and the stories behind it are amazing."
"Ever since I’ve been working for Starbucks, I don’t see myself without being coffee-related. Winning for me would be very rewarding and challenging."
"My love for coffee originally brought me to Starbucks but working with a great team has become my favourite part of the job."
"Today coffee is more than a drink for me. It transformed from daily routine to inspiration, interest and even obsession."
Kay Kay, South Africa
"I would use my global influence to make sure that we teach more people about Starbucks…we teach more people about coffee. I will also teach the youths in my community to ensure that we have a generation of baristas and farmers."
"If I were to win the EMEA Barista Championship 2021, I could be an example for all partners in my country. I would show them with patience everything is possible."
"As an EMEA Barista Champion, I would train new partners while demonstrating a commitment to our mission and values"
Barb, United Kingdom
"I started working for Starbucks in 2016 in Czech Republic, fast forward five years, now I live in Bristol. I remember when I was growing up, I used to struggle with English, and I never imagined that I would be able to live in the UK and do coffee tasting in English in front of so many people. So I do feel like Starbucks was a part of that journey for me."
Ann Catrine, Denmark
"Due to COVID-19, I was sent home from my old job and I had to find new challenges within my job life. So I actually moved back home to Denmark for the first time in seven years. One day I was lucky enough to see that Starbucks was actually trying to search for new people. And I was like that must be me who is that perfect person to fit into that position, and here I am one year later as an assistant store manager, and currently a store manager of my own for the next four months."