Champion barista full of beans at trophy win

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf held its second annual Champion Barista competition for employees at the end of July. The winner, Hendrix Inogacia Santos, then went on to achieve international accolades at the regional heat in Malaysia last month.

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By  Sarah Campbell Published  September 7, 2005

Making a great cup of coffee is a matter of stiff competition in Dubai, where the perfect cuppa can earn you international recognition. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf held its second annual Champion Barista competition for employees at the end of July. The winner, Hendrix Inogacia Santos, then went on to achieve international accolades at the regional heat in Malaysia last month. The coffee and tea retailer invited employees from all of its UAE outlets to compete to create 12 perfect beverages in 12 minutes while maintaining the style and standards of the coffee house. A total of 63 UAE contestants participated in the competition, which was held at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dubai World Trade Centre on July 23. After an active morning of blending, brewing, tasting, and battling it out for perfect form and brew style, Hendrix Inogacia Santos, lead barista at the Dubai World Trade Centre outlet, was declared the UAE’s number one barista. Santos was then flown to Malaysia to compete in the regional Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Asia Pacific competition, which was held on August 1. He walked away triumphant once again, after winning the regional title, and now goes on to attend the international olympics of coffee blending held to be held in Los Angeles, California in November. “I was really thankful. I was really nervous to begin with when I saw the competition, but as I kept doing well, my confidence came back. It was a great experience for me and I look forward to the next step,” Santos told Caterer Middle East. If Santos wins the next stage, then his own unique coffee will become part of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf menu worldwide. “We are thrilled and delighted to take part in the second International Barista Competition, this is an exciting time for us and for all Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf baristas who get the chance to exhibit their talent,” said Vikas Sandhir, operations manager for the company. “By offering competitors the opportunity to create four espresso-based, signature drinks of their choice, we are giving them the exclusive chance to take an active part in the creation of innovative beverages,” he added.

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