In an epic display of skill, flavour, and aromatic perfection, the highly anticipated conclusion of Third Wave Coffee’s Regional Barista Championship (West Zone) reached its climactic finale on Monday.
Held amidst the captivating atmosphere of Oberoi Mall in Goregaon, Mumbai, and overseen by esteemed judges, six talented and passionate baristas hailing from Mumbai and Pune emerged victorious. Their impressive triumph solidifies their status as esteemed ambassadors of Third Wave Coffee (West), marking their entry into the highly anticipated TWC Barista Championship finals.
The grand finale is scheduled to take place in the vibrant city of Bengaluru on June 13 and 14, and will witness an intense competition among the top 18 participants from across India, all vying for the coveted title of Barista Champion of Third Wave Coffee. Additionally, among these 18 participants, the top six performers will also earn the distinction of representing Third Wave Coffee externally in the National Barista Championship.
The TWC Regional Barista Championship (West Zone) witnessed a remarkable showcase of grit, determination, and skill as 16 participants put their abilities to the ultimate test in the finals. In front of a live crowd, each articipant had a tight timeframe of 15 minutes for setup and an additional 15 minutes to perform. With a strong emphasis on taste, technique, presentation, and the art of storytelling, the participants crafted an impressive array of 4 sets of espresso, 4 sets of milk-based beverages, and 4 sets of signature beverages. The latter stood out as a unique highlight of this esteemed event, as each participant had a signature blend unique to their barista craft.
Participants were tasked with creating a one-of-a-kind coffee-based concoction that showcased their personal style, innovative techniques, and deep understanding of flavour profiles. To achieve this, they incorporated additional ingredients such as syrups, spices, or unique brewing methods, aiming to deliver a truly distinctive and memorable experience for the panel of judges.
Following a fiercely competitive ten-hour battle, the names of the victorious six baristas were declared as follows:
- Viraj Mahamunkar – Mumbai
- Anam Shaikh – Mumbai
- Atharva Sutar – Pune
- Mahesh Mandare – Mumbai
- Devilal Fulwariya – Mumbai
- Siddhi Raorane – Mumbai
Santosh Baswaraj, the Assistant Manager at TWC’s Learning and Development department and a former representative of TWC at the World Barista Championship in Melbourne, served as one of five esteemed judges in Monday’s Regional Championship. He shared his perspective, stating, “My role was to evaluate the sensory and technical aspects of the competition. Overall, the judges assessed based on how well the participants managed their stations and presented their beverages, as well as the accuracy of flavour in their beverages. Our aim was to identify something unique and outstanding in their performances.”
“The TWC Barista Championship is an exhilarating celebration of talent, passion, and craftsmanship of our talented baristas,” said Hariharan Pillai, Regional Head at TWC. “This prestigious competition not only showcases their exceptional skills but also serves as a platform to elevate the coffee culture we hold dear. TWC’s Barista Championship also unites coffee enthusiasts from various regions, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. It is truly awe-inspiring to witness the baristas’ artistry unfold as they masterfully extract nuanced flavours, meticulously craft each beverage, and enthral us with their creative concoctions.”
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