Mr. Rafael Miguel Bautista bagged the 1st-ever Starbucks Philippine Barista Championship 2017 title today in a competition held at at the Colegio de San Agustin Auditorium in Makati City.
Starbucks Philippine Barista Championship 2017
Previously called the “Starbucks Coffee Ambassadors Cup” under a different competition format as organized by Starbucks Philippines, this year’s search for the ultimate barista has adopted the international competition format which highlighted the skills of the barista.
In particular, the three main segments of the contest was composed of preparing their own pour-over cone system, exhibiting their creativity through latte art (Rosetta & freestyle), and showcasing their very own rendition of a signature beverage using any of Starbucks Coffee.
All of this should be done within 20-minutes in front of 4 coffee expert judges and a crowd of 2000 fellow Starbucks coffee masters and baristas.
Now called the Starbucks Philippine Barista Championship, the big event was at the Colegio de San Agustin Auditorium in Makati City starting from 1pm up to the announcement of winners by 5pm.
“This is one way to recognize our Global COffee Masters who show unparalleled skill, knowledge and passion for coffee. This competition provides a chance for us to inspire them to develop their skills in the coffee industry,” said Angela Cole, operations director for Starbucks Philippines.
From the initial 300+ coffee masters in the elimination round, the qualifiers round trimmed the contenders to a few. In the semi-finals round, only 12 baristas were left wherein only the top 6 moved on forward the finals / championship round which was held today.
The finalists composed of 2 representatives from each of the three “areas” or segments different Starbucks Philippines branches are categorized into. Incidentally, the 2 representatives this year composed of 1 make and 1 female from each area.
“Coffee is the Hero”
It could be said that victory did not come easy for Rafael “Miguel” Bautista as he had to go through the journey mentioned above.
In the championship, he had to contend with a lot of similarly innovative ideas including a Sampaguita-infused coffee recipe. At the end of the day, it was a well-deserved win with Bautistas eloquent presentation of his signature drink using the basic Starbucks Espresso uniquely prepared and made special with ingenuity.
“Lot’s of hard work, Kinailangan namin mag-experiment and lot’s of trials and errors.” shares Miguel after a short interview on what made his signature drink special.
Bautista is a global coffee master from the Starbucks Venice Grand Canal mall in Taguig City.
The 1st and second runners up were Ces Ranillo (Starbucks Philcom) and Ana Mendoza (Starbucks 14 Jupiter), respectively. Ranillo will join Bautista in Taiwan to support him as the Philippines’ representative to the Starbucks Regional Barista Champion this coming March 27, 2017.
Completing the roster of finalists are Emmanoel Bagan (Starbucks The Rock Holy Spirit Drive), Camille Cuyugan (Starbucks SM Southmall),and Carmina Fernandez (Starbucks The Sapphire Bloc).
“And finally we came to understand what signature beverages are. So you’re supposed to highlight the flavors of the coffee. And not the whole beverage itself…the coffee is the HERO.” adds Rafael Miguel.