Camila from Argentina crowned the top barista in the region at the 2022 Barista Championship Final in Costa Rica.
Seattle, WA – As Starbucks marks its 20th anniversary in Latin America and the Caribbean, the company celebrated its green apron partners and their passion for coffee at the 7th Starbucks Latin America & the Caribbean Barista (LAC) Championship. After a two-year hiatus for live events due to COVID-19, this in-person competition returned to the region to recognize leading barista talent, testing top baristas from every Starbucks store across LAC markets and recognizing the best-in-the class of Starbucks coffee craft expertise.
“It is an honor for me to congratulate Camila as Starbucks LAC Barista Champion this year,” said Tom Ferguson, president, Starbucks Latin America and Caribbean. “As we celebrate two decades of retail presence in this dynamic region, we are so proud to see our green apron partners gathered together at Hacienda Alsacia to showcase their coffee craft, knowledge and expertise.”
This year’s Starbucks LAC Barista Championship was hosted live from Costa Rica and Starbucks coffee farm and global agronomy headquarters, Hacienda Alsacia, located on the slopes of Poás Volcano, an hour from the capital city of San Jose. As a natural location for this event, Hacienda Alsacia’s mission is to ensure the future of coffee for all by supporting coffee farmers and promoting sustainable farming, including sharing a variety of best practices freely with farmers around the world.
“Our partners’ passion for coffee helps build meaningful connections with our customers, our planet and our communities,” said Michelle Burns, executive vice president, Global Coffee, Social Impact & Sustainability, Starbucks. “We are thrilled to have our Barista Championship program back in LAC and welcome our green apron partners to Hacienda Alsacia, which is such a special place for Starbucks. Here, our partners can experience first-hand the deep care that goes into the first 10 feet of a cup of coffee, so they can share that connection with customers at the last 10 feet.”
Following three days of competition in which partners showcased their craft and artistry through multiple rounds of complex coffee challenges, including espresso shot pulling, milk steaming, latte art and beverage innovation, regional champion Camila from Argentina took the prestigious crown of Starbucks LAC Barista Champion. Following the competition, a celebration took place at the beautiful landscape of Hacienda Alsacia, recognizing all Starbucks national barista champions and their achievements.
“I am very grateful for all my green apron partners. Not only for today but for these past days spent together. For making them beautiful, full of love, affection, and hugs – it was incredible!” said LAC Barista Champion Camila during the awards ceremony at Hacienda Alsacia. “Today, I not only walk away with coffee knowledge, but also, I take back an entire Starbucks family. I know that each one of us will return home, but we will stay connected through video calls and creating coffee action plans. I’m grateful and my cup is full.”
LAC is equally important to Starbucks future as it is to its coffee legacy. The company is reinforcing its commitment to the region by investing in training for, and celebrating, its green apron partners. Over the last 51 years, Starbucks goal to source only the best available coffee has allowed the company to discover unique Latin American beans from more coffee-growing markets such as Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica, Brazil, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, among many others. Starbucks provides employment opportunities to over 20,000 partners in more than 1,550 stores. For 20 years, the company has worked to innovate, expand, and elevate the coffee industry in Latin America and the Caribbean – a fascinating and dynamic region that continues to offer incredible growth opportunities for Starbucks.
Read more about Starbucks Latina America & the Caribbean Barista Championship at Starbucks Historias.