Louise Olsson from Sweden emerged the winner of the 2013 Caffè Ritazza World Barista Championship. This is the third year that Olsson, who works at Stockholm Central Station, has entered the competition. To compete, she had to demonstrate her coffee-making talent in serving four espressos, four cappuccinos and a personalised coffee-based drink. For this signature drink, Louise took inspiration from her grandmother’s raspberry lemonade recipe. The United Kingdom's Matteo Pavoni from Caffè Ritazza of Euston Station in London won second place, while Ireland's Kate Crozier from the International Airport of Belfast won third. Special recognition for the best signature drink went to Miko Au from Hong Kong, who won a visit the headquarters of the syrups producer Monin in Bourges, France. This was the first year the competition included a segment dedicated to Latte Art, which saw Cyprus' Christodoulous Christodoulou emerge as a winner.
“Every year there is improvement in terms of the preparation of the drinks, in the coffee knowledge and in the creativity that goes into producing the signature drinks,” said Stuart Coombes, International Operations Director for Caffè Ritazza, in a statement. “This is proof of the dedication and of the enthusiasm of our team and of the commitment of Caffè Ritazza to quality training for its baristas at all stages of their careers.” Paul Meikle-Janney, Head Judge and Director of barista trainers and coffee consultancy Coffee Community, said he has witnessed the evolution of trends in the competition. “Within the world of barista competitions, the emphasis has changed over the years,” said Meikle-Janney in a statement. “A few years ago the focus was more on the improvement of Latte Art techniques whereas, more recently, we are seeing greater appreciation of coffee itself, including the knowledge of its origins, of the different varieties and processing techniques.” Maurizio Maccagnani of La Spaziale, who hosted the Caffè Ritazza World Barista Championship and supplied the S5 TA professional espresso coffee machines, noted the importance of the competition to the industry at large. “Every year the Caffè Ritazza World Barista Championship is a rewarding opportunity for all of us at La Spaziale,” said Maccagnani in a statement. “It keeps reinforcing the close relationship with Caffè Ritazza and with SSP Group with the common goal to develop the philosophy we both share.”