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12 July 2018

Gather & Gather announces Barista of the Year 2018

  • Roxana Birca wins Gather & Gather’s Barista of the Year Competition
  • Eight regional finalists competed for the winning title at the iconic Shard building in London on 10 July 2018

This morning, Gather & Gather, Mitie’s catering business, has announced the winner of Barista of the Year 2018 is Roxana Birca from London. Roxana beat stiff competition as eight Gather & Gather regional winners from across the UK and Ireland vied to win the coveted Barista of the Year title in the finals held at the iconic Shard building on 10 July 2018.

Celebrating the high quality of baristas within the company, the competition was designed to showcase the expertise and coffee credentials Gather & Gather offers. Each finalist created a total of six beverages including two espressos, two milk based beverages such as a cappuccino or latte, and two signature drinks, in under 10 minutes. These were evaluated by a judging panel who marked competitors on skill, appearance and taste as well as serving skills.

The expert judging panel, included Head Judge Dan Harvey, from La Marzocco UK & Ireland, Sensory Judges Edita Chodarcevic, Head of Coffee Education at Union Hand Roasted and Dan Lacey, Projects & Development at Extract Coffee Roaster, alongside Technical Judge Mark Lamberton, Head of Coffee at Well Grounded. The panel were impressed with Roxana’s signature drink which was a blended coffee with mint infused brown sugar and lime. They unanimously agreed that Roxana’s technique was of the highest standard.

As well as holding the coveted Barista of the Year 2018 title, Roxana has won a trip to La Marzocco’s factory in Florence, Italy, which is renowned worldwide for the quality and craftmanship of its machines. She was also presented with an Oatley Goodie bag which included a keep cup, branded milk pitcher, t-shirt and hoodie.

The day was a celebration of all things coffee with a host of activity throughout the day including; a Latte Art Masterclass from Dhan Tamang, six times UK Latte Art Champion; A guide to Cupping by Julia Murray, Head of Coffee for Gather & Gather, Ireland; a sampling session from Brew Tea; and Iced Chocolate Tasting with Kokoa Collection.

Gather & Gather’s local roasting partners Extract Coffee Roasters, The Roasting Party, Ancoats Coffee co. and Union Hand Roasted Coffee manned the Brew Bar throughout the day. All this culminated in a coffee cocktail celebration as Roxana was announced Gather & Gather Barista of the Year

Allister Richards, Managing Director of Gather & Gather, said:

“It was a closely fought competition. The standard was exceptional with all our competitors showcasing the extremely high level of skills and expertise people have come to expect from Gather & Gather. Congratulations to Roxana. She absolutely deserves the title of Barista of the Year 2018 and we are extremely proud of her achievement.”

Head Judge, Dan Harvey, said:

 Quality is so important to Gather & Gather and this competition was a showcase of the highest standard. We’re delighted for all the competitors but particular congratulations to Roxana for a well-deserved win.”

The eight finalists were: Sam Rodrigues (Osterley, London), Roxana Birca (Central London), Jay Roberts (Bristol), Matthew Coddington (Winnersh), Nicole Mellor (Stockport), Kirra Catford (Derby), Amie Wischmeier (Edinburgh), Varun Udhin (Ireland).

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

Gather & Gather has over 400 baristas across the UK and Ireland. The Gather & Gather Barista of the Year competition was open to anyone who works for Gather & Gather.

 About Gather & Gather

Launched in April 2013, Gather & Gather offers restaurant, café, hospitality and event services to a range of clients across a broad spectrum of sectors including media, technology, legal, financial services and retail.

Employing 2,700 people, Gather & Gather has become one of the UK’s leading workplace catering experts, connecting customers to brilliant, on-trend food and drink, a market-leading wellness programme and an award-winning suite of technology. Gather & Gather is part of Mitie Group plc.

 About Mitie

Founded in 1987, Mitie is the UK’s leading facilities management and professional services company. We offer a range of specialist services including Security, Engineering Services, Catering, Cleaning, Pest Control, Landscaping, Energy and Property Consultancy, Property Maintenance, and Custody Support Services.

Mitie employs 49,000 people across the country, looking after a large, diverse, blue-chip customer base, from banks and retailers, to hospitals, schools and government offices. We take care of our customers’ people and buildings, by delivering the basics brilliantly and by deploying advanced technology. We are pioneers in the Connected Workspace, using smart analytics to provide valuable insight and deliver efficiencies to create outstanding work environments for customers.