Barista Nick Muller, who works at Il Postino in Alstonville, is hosting a barista challenge in Ballina this Sunday and encourages coffee-lovers to come along.
Barista Nick Muller, who works at Il Postino in Alstonville, is hosting a barista challenge in Ballina this Sunday and encourages coffee-lovers to come along.

Baristas battle for coffee crown

Move over Vancouver, there’s a challenge of Olympic proportions happening in Ballina this weekend and it’s all about that most precious, precious of liquids: coffee.

Nick Muller, the barista at Il Postino in Alstonville, is hosting The Gun Barista competition where local baristas go head to head to see who can make the best coffee.

So far there are six baristas from cafes in Lismore, Ballina, Alstonville and Byron Bay signed up, and more are welcome to join on the day.

“I enjoy drinking coffee and enjoy making coffee and it’s great to see other passionate people getting involved,” Nick said. “Anyone who loves coffee should come along – it’s going to be a lot of fun. And the more people that come to watch the better!”

Any baristas can enter for $5 (all equipment, milk and coffee is supplied) and compete for the $100 first prize and a coffee tamper with the winner’s name engraved beneath those coveted words: Gun Barista North Coast Champion.

Each barista has to make seven European cappuccinos and seven lattes as fast as they can. The barista will then be judged on speed, quality of coffee, cleanliness, depth of froth, latte art, consistency etc.

Rob Forsyth from the AustralAsian Specialty Coffee Association will judge the winner.

“The idea was to try and get a bit more recognition for the baristas in our area and try and create a bit more awareness about coffee culture,” Nick said. “There’s a lot of good baristas and a lot of really good cafes, but I don’t think people always realise how involved the process of the making coffee can be.

“The idea of Sunday is for it to be a fun day where you can also learn about coffee, and all the competition coffees are going to be made in takeaway cups so the audience can be part of the tasting.”

The Gun Barista competition is on this Sunday, February 28, at the coffee roastery at 65 Piper Drive in the Ballina Industrial Estate. The event starts at 1pm and everyone is welcome.


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