Kenya National Barista Championship

Photo Credits: Susan Wong

March 31, 2011 – The finals for the Kenya National Barista Championship were held today at Junction.  Sponsored by both Nairobi Java House and C. Dormans, the champion will go on to represent Kenya in the 12th World Barista Championship in Colombia June 2-5, 2011.

Six Kenyan finalists competed today based on their technical skills, understanding of the coffee bean, and creativity.  Each competitor used their own beans that have been roasted and supplied by themselves, which ensured optimal understanding of the body, flavours and aromas of the bean.  The barista’s technical skills were scored separately by two technical judges.  Each barista also created a signature drink where their creativity was showcased.

The annual event is a great platform for the coffee sector to raise public awareness on coffee culture and setting benchmarks for practicing baristas in the Kenyan coffee service industry.

The highest Kenyan finish at the World Barista Championships was 12th place back in 2002.  The goal from the Kenyan organizing team is a top 10 finish for 2011 in Colombia.

C. Dormans’ Director of Retail Operations Eric Omondi, noted the importance of training baristas properly.

“When we first started supplying coffee to hotels, the baristas would ruin our roasts through poor coffee preparation.  Consumers would assume it was our roast, but in actuality, we had a great roast,” Omondi explained.

As a result C. Dormans’ started the first certified barista training program in the country, which was certified by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe to educate aspiring baristas on the technical and creative aspects of brewing coffee.


Featured Competing Baristas


barista_competitor_980542871.jpgDAVID AMUTABI – JAVA

This year is Amutabi’s 2nd barista competition.  

He noted the importance of a barista’s coffee understanding in the competition: “Each barista should be capable of expressing their coffee and brewing a good espresso.”  

Amutabi’s signature drink married flavours of hazelnuts and cinnamon, which was then combined with heavy cream and a shot of espresso.  Finally, the drink was topped with special homemade chocolate fudge!  




barista_competitor2_819700413.jpgCATHERINE MARINGI – C. DORMANS

A 5 year veteran of the Championships, Maringi prepared for the competition for the last 2 months.

Inspired by her love for chocolate and flowers, Maringi signature drink included chocolate, cinnamon, hibiscus, cream and a shot of espresso.

“I would name it HibiChoc!” said Maringi.




When asked about featuring their baristas’ signature drinks on their menus, both C. Dormans and Java executives have promised to do so in about 2 weeks time.  

Can’t wait to give these signature drinks a try!

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