Greek barista wins Barista and Farmer competition

Nikolaos Kanakaris, 32 year-old Greek barista from Athens, is the winner of the third edition of Barista & Farmer, the talent show designed by bar champion Francesco Sanapo, in collaboration with Rimini Fiera e SIGEP – the International Artisanal Gelato, Pastry and Bread-making Show.  The event sponsored by the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) stopped in Puerto Rico, Honduras and Brazil, where contestants visited the famous plantations of O’Coffee in the state of Minas Gerais. After 11 days of individual and team tests, Kanakaris got the better of the other two finalists, Russian Olga Kaplina and local hero Raphael Ferraz De Sousa, who took second and third place. T en top baristas, selected from 200 participants, took part in the contest. The Greek barista won first prize for the points he scored in the various tests and for having collected the most kilos of coffee, as well as the extra credit he received for his positive attitude and team spirit. The sponsors’ special award went to Indonesian Evani Jesslyn, for her commitment and the elegance displayed during the ten days of tests. The experience of the contestants has been filmed and shown on the Barista and Farmer website and will soon be depicted in a documentary. “I discovered coffee by chance,” Kanakaris says. “When at school there was a six-month strike and so I found myself working behind the counter in a bar, and I have never stopped since. As I have said from the very first day, there are no words to describe this experience, but I must confess that winning the competition is truly not that important. Instead, what is important are the relationships I have built with the people I have met thanks to this programme, who will always be close to my heart.” The theme of this year’s competition was environmental sustainability and the promotion of the coffee production and supply chain. The participants took part in a process that spanned the full cycle, from the harvest in the plantation, throughout all the processing stages, with the use of various technologies, up to the experience of tasting and various opportunities to consume the product. The main sponsors were Lavazza, La Cimbali and Faema (the two main brands of Gruppo Cimbali) and Mumac Academy, the coffee machine academy of the group.

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