The Coffee Club’s hunt for the best barista in the country has ended with Ana Beatriz Vasquez Ramirez, from The Coffee Club Remarkables Park, taking out first place. She was one of six finalists who took on the challenge of making eight coffees in under 10 minutes. Ramirez, who was almost unable to compete due to waiting on a renewed work visa, will now go onto to take part in the Global Barista Championship Final at The Coffee Club’s Global Convention in Brisbane in August..

Ramirez credited her win to practice and learning, “I pay a lot of attention and really care about it. I have received a lot of excellent training on how to make coffees, and I watched YouTube videos as well to help me improve.”

The Coffee Club New Zealand Barista Championships saw five judges scrutinise every aspect of the finalists’ performances. Two judges oversaw the technical evaluation, judging 20 different criteria in the preparation and making of the coffees. Finalists were required to make eight coffees for the sensory judges, containing two espressos, flat whites, lattés, and cappuccinos.

This is the first year that the New Zealand championship has been held, with the promise of more to follow. “We’re looking forward to doing this again next year,” said Andy Lucas, director of The Coffee Club New Zealand. “I hope we see even more competition. And, of course, I’m hoping Ana wins it for New Zealand at the Global Barista Championship Finals. We’ll be cheering for her!”