BeanScene Magazine

Higher Ground and Lily Blacks win Melbourne’s Bartender vs Barista competition

From the May 2017 issue.

Barista Lewis Baldwin of Higher Ground café and bartender Zee Wason from Lily Blacks have won Melbourne’s Bartender vs Barista competition.

Monin and Mr Black hosted the event which saw the city’s best baristas to go head-to-head with the industry’s most skilled bartenders to see who could produce the best signature coffee and cocktails.

Supportive crowd of friends and colleagues gathered at Lock & Key on 8 May to watch the cocktail shaking and coffee extractions unfold.

In the ultimate showdown against two sides of the hospitality industry – morning vs night professions – competitors had six minute to complete two coffee-influenced drinks in front of judges – one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic coffee drink.

The cocktail round, won by Lily, had to feature at least 20 millilitres of Mr Black.

The non-alcoholic category, won by Lewis, had to feature at least 10 millilitres of Monin syrup.

Lewis impressed the judges with his signature drink which featured Monin Salted Caramel syrup served over cold drip coffee granita, topped with Julius Meinl espresso foam, and grated chocolate and nutmeg.

Other extreme and innovative drinks from the six competing bartenders and five baristas included Mr Black infused quail eggs, and prosciutto infused in Monin toasted marshmallow syrup.

“The Bartenders vs Baristas competition is a great platform for young, up and coming bartenders and baristas to compete in an encouraging, creative and welcoming environment,” says Tomas Vikario, Stuart Alexander’s Beverage Innovation Manager. “We unearthed some serious talent in Melbourne.”

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