Broccoli Row barista Melissa Foskett puts her skills to the test. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Battle of baristas boils over

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Nelson coffee makers were put under the grind on Monday for the chance to be crowned Barista of the Year as part of the Nelson Hospitality Awards.

Seven competitors were given just eight minutes to make four espressos and four flat whites to serve to three judges.

Before competitors started to physically make coffees, they first had to complete a written set of questions to test their general coffee knowledge.

Judge Hayden Thompson, of Nelson’s Pomeroy’s Coffee, said they were looking for a total package which includes taste, presentation and customer service.

Melissa Foskett was the first competitor to take to the machine, followed by Kate Manley, Guy McCracken, Tania Kitto, Lara Coates, Clare Noble and Ashiah Pouwhare.

Judge Emma Hennah of Sublime Coffee said timing and the way they worked in their space, along with wastage, were also important aspects that they were looking for when determining a winner.

Contestants remarked that it was “tricky” not working with their own machines and being in a different work environment.

The winner will be announced at the Nelson Hospitality Awards 2019 on Monday September 9 at the Rutherford Hotel.