McCafé has won the 2018 Monin Coffee Chain Challenge, held at Luna Park Sydney on 9 November.
Jamaica Blue placed second and Velocity Espresso and Bar placed third out of the five competing teams.
A team of baristas from across Australia represented McCafé in the competition, including Gabrielle Vella of McCafé Kenmore in Queensland, Alexa Smith of McCafé Sturt Street in Victoria, Jaylene Bruton-Peters of McCafé Langwarrin in Victoria, and Omar Ajajul Jalal of The Corner McCafé in New South Wales.
“The award is a token for all the efforts we, our managers, licensees, head office staff, and Suntory put in. The motivation and trust they showed towards us helped us reach our potential and put on our best show. I am so proud,” Omar says.
Jessica Kershaw of Suntory Coffee, McCafé’s roaster, says each team member brought such a different coffee making talent to the McCafé team. They were all committed to their training and worked well together.
“The whole team was supportive and had so much fun during the whole event and in the lead up to it, the energy the team had was infectious,” she says.
The Monin Coffee Chain Challenge is a team-based competition that puts the country’s leading coffee chains head–to–head in an event consisting of three rounds: latte art, seasonalbeverage, and service time.
In the latte art round, teams had five minutes to produce three different latte art patterns chosen by spinning a latte art wheel.
McCafé’s Omar put up a swan and rosetta, while teammates Alexaand Gabrielle worked together to create a peacock free pour design.In the seasonal beverage round, teams had seven minutes to produce and present a espresso-based drink using at least one gourmet syrup or sauce.
McCafé’s signature beverage, the Apple Pie Iced Coffee, took inspiration from McDonald’s new Apple Pie McFlurry and used the new McCafé blend. The drink used Monin’s Speculoos and Green Apple syrups, as well as Monin Caramel sauce.
In the service time round, teams drew a card from a hat containing 20 random drink orders which they prepared within 10 minutes to a high standard.
The McCafé team each took on a different role to get all 20 drinks made well within the allotted time. Jaylene made espresso and bases while Alexa textured milk to the perfect consistency. Omar poured each coffee and Gabrielle presented the drinks to the judges.
“Myself and our McCafé team were given the opportunity to participate in a competition doing what we love. I cannot wait for next year to compete but also meet some of the most talented baristas from around Australia,”Alexa says.