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South Africa’s Phuti Mmotla Crowned The Best Starbucks Barista In EMEA

Starbucks Barista, Phuti Mmotla from South Africa has been crowned the best barista in the whole of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at this year’s Starbucks 2022 EMEA Barista Championship final.

An annual competition that seeks to identify the leading barista talent, this year’s final saw all ten finalists battle it out for the top spot in the heart of Starbucks coffee expertise – the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan.

Phuti, who is a partner at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront Starbucks Store, was crowned Starbucks’ best barista in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) after going through local heats, and then on to the regional final. Ten baristas were tested on coffee tasting and storytelling, latte art and signature beverages – with the aim of winning the coveted purple apron.

The 2022 Starbucks EMEA Barista Championship Final was the largest one yet, connecting over 40 000 green apron partners from 42 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the first hybrid championship since COVID-19.

Originally from Pretoria, Phuti joined Starbucks five years ago when he moved to Cape Town. Over his career he has found his passion for coffee, learning not just about how to make the perfect latte art but about the farming of coffee, its roasting profiles and complex flavours.

His favourite thing about working for Starbucks is that it and provide a home away from home, connecting people no matter where they come from. His aim is to continue to inspire the growing coffee culture throughout South Africa.

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