Greek barista Nikolaos Kanakaris wins Barista & Farmer 2016

After 11 days living the life of a coffee farmer in Brazil, Nikolaos Kanakaris from Greece has been crowned the winner of Barista & Farmer 2016.

The 32-year-old barman from Athens won the third series of the reality talent show which took place from 3 – 13 May.

“As I have said from the very first day, there are no words to describe this experience, but I must confess that winning the competition is truly not that important,” Nikolaos said. “Instead, what is important are the relationships I have built with the people I have met thanks to this program, who will always be close to my heart.”

The Greek barista won first prize for the points he scored in the various tests, for having collected the most kilos of coffee, as well as the extra credit he received for his positive attitude and team spirit – not to mention his victories in the individual tests.

Russian Olga Kaplina won runner up and local barista Raphael Ferraz De Sousa from Brazil won third place

The sponsors’ special award went to Indonesian competitor Evani Jesslyn for her commitment and the elegance displayed during the 10 days of tests.

Barista & Farmer is a project created by three-time Italian Barista Champion Francesco Sanapo, in partnership with Rimini Fiera, Sigep, and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe. The talent show is dedicated to the promotion and the culture of specialty coffee.

A total of 10 baristas, selected from 200 participants, took part in the third edition. Barista Rosey Hill of D’Angelo Coffee in Adelaide was Australia’s representative.

For 11 days, the international baristas lived the life of a coffee producer at O’Coffee company, located in Pedregulho, in the Alta Mogiana region in Lambari, Minas Gerais.

The finalists woke up at sunrise each day and spent their mornings on the farm. They participated in challenges such as coffee picking, weighing and using a depulping machine. In the afternoon they attended classes at the Barista & Farmer Academy to learn about subjects such as botanics, agronomy and applied chemistry in the field of coffee. Classes also focused on coffee production methods, roasting, green and coffee sensory, tasting sessions, and field demonstrations.

Baristas were also given the opportunity to visit the Lambarì community, which since 2010 has been involved in Lavazza’s the sustainability project ¡Tierra! to improve the social, environmental and production conditions of major coffee-growing countries.

“It has been the best edition ever and we will continue to work in this direction so that the next one can be even better. What I can say is that this time a truly special group was formed, for whom winning the competition wasn’t the main element. Instead everyone focused on sharing an unforgettable experience, and I believe that all 10 participants managed to fully appreciate and take advantage of their time here,” said Francesco Sanapo.

“So congratulations to [Nikolaos], but I want to underline that the great thing about this group was that the victory belongs to all of us in some way.”

A documentary of Barista & Farmer 2016 will soon be realised. For more information visit

Image credit Dino Buffagli

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