Makau, the Kenyan Barista

March 25, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – John Muli Makau is getting better at it! He is a Barista at Dorman’s Coffee House and his prowess in making this addictive brew has landed him top honours in the National Barista Championship, yet again.

Mr Makau is Dormans’ top Barista (name applied to a person, usually a coffeehouse employee, who prepares and serves espresso-based coffee drinks) and will represent Kenya in the world Barista championship in Atlanta, Georgia next month.

Last year, John Muli emerged 12th worldwide.

The National Barista Championship recognises professional skills and the art of coffee preparation presentation and service. This year’s event saw a total of 52 Baristas from the country’s top coffee houses participating, courtesy of SN Brussels Airline and American Airlines.

Each competitor had 15 minutes to prepare and serve espresso, cappuccino and signature coffee drinks to four judges.

The six baristas who reached the finals in the competition were evenly divided between the two major coffee houses, Nairobi Java House and C. Dormans, each hoping to represent Kenya in the World Barista Championship in April this year, where over 56 countries will converge in Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Centre.

They will whip up the frothy beverage in front of a live audience of several hundred spectators and thousands of online viewers from around the world.

The National Championships were organised by the Kenya Chapter of the Eastern African Fine Coffees Association (EAFCA) together with local coffee industry players, C. Dorman, Nairobi Java House, Al Pasha Coffee Lounge, Savana Coffee Lounge and Pete’s Coffee.

This year’s competition was sponsored by over seven local and international companies who gave a total of Sh1.5 million in cash and in-kind sponsorships, including SN Brussels Airline and American Airlines, who are giving Mr Makau a free ticket to Atlanta for the contest.

Bridget Carrington, Managing Director of C. Dormans and Vice-Chairman of the East Africa Fine Coffee Association (EAFCA), noted that the quality of the local championships had improved and any of the finalists could easily represent Kenya in the World Championship.

EAFCA now sponsors barista championship events in Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, and Ethiopia, besides Kenya.

The competition aims to encourage Kenyans to embrace coffee as a beverage.


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