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Barista Buddies at Foundation

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On 14 September, The Foundation Coffee House in Manchester hosted the first Barista Buddies event. The event was concocted by Origin's Wholesale Manager, Oli Jones and Laura Chamberlain from Oatly. They wanted to create an open to all barista event that would be as fun to watch as to participate. It was rooted around the idea of entering as a pair, where you could turn up with a fellow barista (or home enthusiast) and that all events taking place would require two people to participate.

The Foundation Coffee House

Photo: Alex de Palma

The evening was split into two parts, firstly, the Oatly Throwdown. Now this was unlike any regular latte art challenge, normally where competitors show off their highly practiced milk texturing skill set – but with challenges being thrown down that competitors would have never prepared for, such as blindfold pours, pouring behind your back and even a relay race, this meant that there was a level playing field for all who joined in.

The baristas would then pull shots of espresso and steam milk on the amazing La Marzocco Linea Mini, working together along the way, with the audience judging the winner of each round.

The Foundation Coffee House

The Foundation Coffee House

Photos: Alex de Palma

After our winners were crowned for the latte art round, there was a short break to enjoy pizzas provided by the guys at PLY, incredible natural wine from the team at Love and Labour and delicious beer from Cloudwater.

Whilst all competitors relaxed and reflected on the fun and frolics of the early part of the evening, a “blind cupping” was set up. This gave the barista buddies another chance of glory, where maybe they had not managed to pour the best latte art, there was a chance for redemption. 10 coffees were arranged on the table, with competitors then able to taste their way through each coffee, with a list of each coffee that were on the cupping table itself, and through their sense of taste and memory bank of what coffees from certain parts of the world may taste like, they had to try and match up each cupping bowl to the coffee.

The teams were then scored on both accuracy and speed, with the winners receiving prizes from both Oatly and Origin Coffee. Will there be more barista buddies events? Only time will tell.

The Foundation Coffee House

Photo: Alex de Palma

The Foundation Coffee House is open seven days a week at Sevendale House, Lever Street, Manchester M1 1JB.


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