Sunshine Coast barista Chenise Kirby, from Shingle Inn Sunshine Plaza, has been chosen as the national café chain’s best barista after she made the best espresso, flat white and signature drink for a panel of coffee judges at the finals held yesterday in Brisbane.
This year marks the sixth year Chenise has competed in the finals – and the first year she has taken out the title.
The judges were thrilled to see her back and said it was her technical skills that helped her to win the 2018 title.
“Chenise has really taken on the feedback from the past competitions and has developed a really good technique – she had the highest technical score out of all the finalists,” said Dillion Robinson, Grinders QLD Trainer and one of the judges.
“Overall the standard was brilliant, but Chenise’s perseverance, standard and knowledge of the brand and coffee bean origin really stood out,” Dillon said.
Chenise said she can’t believe she has finally won, but she feels that this year she definitely gave it her all.
“It’s very overwhelming and so exciting! I tried really hard with my technical side and really listened to the feedback I received from the previous years. I’m just happy to have won!”
Chenise was one of five top baristas chosen from all over Australia to compete in Shingle Inn’s 2018 Barista of the Year championships
The finalists had 15 minutes to prepare an espresso, flat white and signature drink for the four sensory judges who each tasted the coffees, with one technical judge who was at each barista’s side throughout the competition, timing the shots and watching their process.
Judges also said Chenise’s signature drink was well balanced and one of the best in the competition, with a unique creation of a cherry ripe flavoured Mocha coffee called the “Cherry Bomb” –
A lot of regular Shingle Inn customers specifically request Chenise to make their coffee with her teddy bear coffee art one of the most requested.
Her favourite coffee to drink is a caramel iced latte and her favourite coffee to make for customers is a classic latte or flat white as then she can be creative with art on the top of them.
Chenise has worked at Shingle Inn for over 8 years alongside her mother, Annette, who is the franchisee at Shingle Inn Sunshine Plaza.