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And the Barista Champion is…

by Intan Abu Daniel

It was a fight to the finish at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Barista Competition Grand Final last Sunday, 9 April 2017, but it was already a win for female baristas all over Brunei. The final five baristas – all females – took to the stage at the lobby of the Times Square Shopping Complex to prepare and then serve three types of beverages to the judges, all within a span of 15 minutes, to a huge crowd of spectators, sponsors, partners, media, families and friends.

Present at the event were guests of honour Yang Amat Mulia Pengiran Anak Abdul Mun’im bin Pg Anak Hj Tahiruddin, Managing Director of PAR Food & Beverages, and Amal Majidah binti Suhaili, General Manager of TS Property Management. Mohamad Fairuz bin Ibrahim, General Manager of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei, kicked off the event with welcome remarks.

The five baristas took turns to present their two core beverages and one signature beverage (either espresso or tea based) to the judges, and were judged in two categories: on technical skills, and on product taste, presentation and creativity.

Technical skills were judged by Dondy Sutresna, Operation Manager of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and 2010 Barista Champion Ridhwan bin Abdullah.

Product taste, presentation and creativity were reviewed by four sensory judges: Lim Yee Liang, Marketing Manager of Times Square Shopping Centre; Michello Lo, Baiduri Bank Manager of Card Brand Relationship & Business Banking Marketing Support; Yasmin Abdullah, Business Development Manager of the Royal Brunei Recreation Club; and Zul Majdi Razak, Co-Founder of Nexus Digital.

At the end of the competition, Ayu Siti Mauweyah was declared Champion Barista, and also won Best Signature Beverage with an appealing signature drink that featured coconut and pineapple mixed with coffee.

Ayu Siti Mauweyah was declared the Champion Barista of the competition

As Champion, Ayu Siti Mauweyah received a trophy, medal and certificate, along with a goodie bag that contained a BND100 cash prize, a BND50 voucher from Charcoal BBQ & Grill Restaurant, 6-months membership at the Royal Brunei Recreation Club, $100 Easi Recharge Card from DST, a Baiduri Mastercard Cash Card Preload with BND40, and more.

For her Best Signature Beverage award, she also received a BND25 cash prize, a Family Package Ticket to the Jerudong Park Country Club, a Baiduri Mastercard Cash Card Preload with BND40, one month membership at the Royal Brunei Recreation Club, a BND100 Easi Recharge Card from DST, and more.

As Champion, she will also be representing Brunei in a Barista Competition held in Kuala Lumpur this July.

The five finalists participating in the competition were Nur Faiqah Fareesya binti Zainuddin and Ida Faizah binti Haji Ibrahim from the RIPAS Hospital outlet, Ayu Siti Mauweyah binti Md Tahir and Norafiqah Farhanah binti Md Rosli from the BSP Headquarters outlet, and Norsafarinah binti Haji Mashod from the Brunei International Airport outlet.

On having females dominate the competition, Ida Patera, Marketing Manager of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei, commented, “In an industry predominantly occupied by men, it’s amazing to see that we ended up with five female finalists.”

Find out more about The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei by checking out their website here, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.