Jamaica Blue has been crowned the winner at the 2016 DaVinci Gourmet Australian Coffee Chain Challenge.
The competition, which took place on 24 November at Stockland Wetherill Park NSW, saw nine of the best coffee chains in the country battle it out for what has quickly become Australia’s most prestigious title for coffee chain businesses.
Soul Origin took second place and The Coffee Club won third place.
Competing against eight other chains from around the country, the competition consisted of three rounds including latte art round, service (involving the preparation of 20 coffees in 10 minutes) and a creative challenge where teams were tasked with creating a seasonal beverage.
Jamaica Blue’s winning creation was the Signature Vanilla Spice, which combines Jamaica Blue’s signature blend coffee with vanilla and cinnamon to create the perfect Christmas beverage.
“The competition is taken very seriously by all the brands. With the high standards on display at this year’s event it is a great result for team Jamaica Blue to be crowned the overall winners by judges from the coffee industry,” says Jeremy Regan, Head of Coffee at Jamaica Blue.
The Chain Challenge is the ultimate barista competition for Australian coffee chains, which tests each team’s ability to produce quality and creative coffees in a high stress environment.
“We were so impressed by the effort that all the teams put into this year’s competition. At just two years in, the format has been well embraced by Australia’s coffee chains, serving an important function by providing an avenue for rising stars in the business to challenge their skills,” says ASCA Vice-President Andrew Kremmer. “We have already begun preparations on how we will improve the competition next year.”
In 2016 Muffin Break won the inaugural event, with Jamaica Blue in second place, and Gloria Jean’s Coffees in third place.
Owned and operated by The Foodco Group, Jamaica Blue prides itself on its high-quality, globally sourced coffee beans that are served by trained baristas. It’s win is the latest success story in the growing network of 170 Jamaica Blue cafés around the world.
Image caption: Jamaica Blue’s winning baristas includes Hwasuk Choi of Jamaica Blue Warringah Mall, Hannah Betham of Jamaica Blue Fiona Stanley Hospital (Team Captain), Lewina Stewart of Jamaica Blue Toowoomba The Ridge, and Jim Pini of Jamaica Blue Macarthur Square.