Costa Coffee has always taken pride in its handcrafted coffee, so you can just imagine how the barista is king in this situation. Somehow, when you settle in your chair at Costa, you expect your drink to be a labor of love – where the staff behind the counter perfectly know their beans, temperature and even the hand motions required to make the perfect cup.
The piece of good news is that Justin Dela Fuente, a barista representing Costa Coffee Philippines recently emerged champion in the Southeast Asia and Indian leg of the annual Barista of the Year (BOY) competition organized by the famous coffee chain. This January 2017, he will be taking the honors of representing the region in the Barista of the Year grand finals to be held in Costa Coffee’s home base of London, United Kingdom.
Justin’s winning signature drink: the Sparkling Caffe Mojito –
Much elated by his win and looking to excel further in the UK by bringing home the BOY title, Justin shared some tips on how to be the best barista ever:
1. Patience is key. Justin had to start out like everyone else, as a novice fumbling at making the first cup. At the start, he didn’t make the perfect latte art or even the perfect brew but Justin says it just take the right attitude of realizing that everything takes time and it’s also just a matter of time before one becomes good at the craft, so be patient.
2. Learn all you can,and what you can. Honestly, I get giddy when the staff at Costa Coffee call me by my first name. But being a barista is not just about being friendly with the customer, according to Justin.
“Being the best in your craft requires an insatiable desire to learn. We must go the extra mile to research about the industry, mastering your barista vocabulary and learn all about making the perfect dink. We must also take every criticism positively,” Justin notes.
3. P is for Passion. “If there’s one thing you can put too much of in every cup, it’s passion,” says Justin. “Keep in mind that being a barista is a privilege and people count on you to make good coffee that’ll brighten up their day or be the sweet ending to their night. Make sure you pour some passion into every cup of coffee you make because the customers trust you enough to make their favorite drink. Take that as a challenge and give them the best coffee experience they’ve ever had.”
4. Throw some fun into the mix. – After P for Passion, there should also be F for Fun. Justin relates: “As a barista, you are not expected to be a robot. You can be who you are and your co-baristas and customers will love you for it. Have fun, maintain a positive outlook and that 9-hour shift of yours will fly by. Trust me, your daily grind won’t be as bad if you continue to attract and spread positive energy to everyone who comes in and out of your store.
5. Serve your best. There’s a good way to know if everything you learned on the job will not only delight the customer but can also fit international standards. Someone like Justin joined local and international barista competitions because he believes this is the only way to level up. It gives him the right motivation to excel because the judges in the contests really know their craft and are perhaps the most discriminating coffee people.
We are throwing our support for Justin and Team Costa Coffee Philippines by using the hashtag #JustinForTheWin. We wish you the best of luck in London! 🙂