On October 15 of last year, he won the seventh annual Canadian Barista Championships — which were held at the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show in Vancouver — on the strength of his signature drink, made with espresso from the Koke Cooperative in Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, which drew inspiration from a Black Forest cake.
Straw has been training every day for the event, working with chef Scott Jaeger from the Pear Tree to develop his signature drink, one that has been created to compliment the special espresso roast that he’s currently developing with 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters’ Vince Piccolo.
Celebrating its 11th year, the event welcomes gifted baristas from more than 50 countries. Each competitor must prepare and serve 12 separate espresso beverages, including the classic espresso and cappuccino, as well as four “signature” drinks of their own creation and present them all to a distinguished panel of judges. Competitors have only 15 minutes to prepare all 12 drinks and are judged on station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and overall judge’s impression.
Caffè Artigiano baristas have won every Canadian title since the competition began in 2003, and Caffè Artigiano is the only café in the world to have competed in the World Championships more than four times. For more details about the competition, click here.