Barista team have whole latte talent

BARISTA CHAMPIONS: Fiona Archer and Olivia Storey beat over 300 baristas across Australia to win BRONZE at the 11th Muffin Break Barista Championship.
BARISTA CHAMPIONS: Fiona Archer and Olivia Storey beat over 300 baristas across Australia to win BRONZE at the 11th Muffin Break Barista Championship. Contributed

COFFEE gurus Fiona Archer and Olivia Storey beat over 300 baristas across Australia to win bronze at the 11th Muffin Break Barista Championship.

The duo was crowned best in Queensland and competed in an intense two-day event among Australia's top 15 baristas.

Olivia said they weren't expecting to place third.

"I thought we were the underdogs, you know? Just two little baristas from Caboolture competing up against the big-city baristas,” she said.

"But we got best in Queensland and third in Australia so we were really happy about that.”

Fiona said it came as a surprise to her too.

"There was some fierce competition and the other teams were amazing at their latte art so we were very surprised,” she said.

Five rigorous challenges saw finalists scored on creativity, latte art and team work.

Scores were awarded for extraction time, temperature, creativity, contrast, foam and milk quality as well as symmetry of latte art.

The girls had just seven minutes to present judges with 10 cups of coffee including a random mix of macchiato, flat whites, long blacks, lattes, cappuccinos, piccolos, double shot and soy milk drinks.

Olivia said she has always been a coffee lover and became a barista as soon as she left school.

"I didn't know what to expect going into the competition, it was really challenging,” she said.

"Everyone went above and beyond and I didn't realise how much skill everyone had in Australia with coffee and how much people got into it.

The duo dedicated their latte art to Caboolture recreating the Bribie Island Bridge

Olivia said her and Fiona had to create something significant.

"Everyone was making traditional latte art and we wanted to make it a bit more complex and relate it back to home,” she said.

Fiona said the Bribie bridge is one of her favourite places to visit with her three sons and paying tribute to that piece of the Island was something she was keen to include in her coffee art.

The team make approximately 2000 coffees a week at Caboolture where they both agree that it's down to a science; extraction, perfect grind, quality of water, pour technique, temperature and of course, personal preference.

But Fiona said it's making her coffees with love that draws back repeat customers.

"It's all about technique, practice and a whole lot of love,” she said.

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