Coffee Craft & Passion on Display at Starbucks 2023 Latin America and Caribbean Barista Championship

Sebastian from Peru crowned the region's top Barista Champion at this year’s competition hosted at Hacienda Alsacia, Starbucks coffee farm and global agronomy headquarters in Costa Rica

Seattle, WA – Amidst the lush, coffee-scented landscapes of Hacienda Alsacia in Costa Rica, Starbucks proudly hosted its 8th annual Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) Barista Championship this week. The grand celebration brought together green apron partners (employees) from 21 unique LAC markets to showcase their coffee passion, craft, leadership, and expertise.

After three days of intense competition – featuring challenging coffee rounds that showcased participants' artistry and skills, including espresso preparation, milk frothing, latte art, and the preparation of innovative beverages – Sebastian, the local champion from Peru, emerged as the prestigious Starbucks LAC Barista Champion and hoisted the trophy with pride.

“The coffee passion of our partners who wear the green apron and the moments of connection they create in our stores each day is core to what we are as a company,” said Tom Ferguson, president of Starbucks Latin America and the Caribbean. "As Starbucks continues to grow within the Latin America and Caribbean region and globally, we remain committed to promoting the art and skill of coffee-making and supporting the professional growth of our partners. This is why it fills us with immense pride to witness our green apron team come together at Starbucks first and only coffee farm, the iconic Hacienda Alsacia, to showcase their love for coffee and exceptional craftsmanship."

"I am excited because this entire journey has been full of effort, dedication, consistency, and perseverance. Getting to this point is very emotional. I have nothing but gratitude for everyone, the team, and the partners for being here and making these days wonderful. What I am taking back to Peru will be something very exciting. I look forward to sharing the art of making coffee and sending greetings to all of Peru and to all the partners who are watching me,” said Sebastian, LAC Barista Champion, during the ceremony held at Hacienda Alsacia on November 16.

Crafting Coffee Connections Across the Region

Over the years, this annual competition has consistently celebrated the exceptional talent and dedication of its coffee-loving green apron partners, who serve as the foundation for creating meaningful connections with every cup of coffee across the region. With over 150 national champions participating in the LAC Barista Championship since its beginning, this event stands as a testament to their unwavering expertise.

Starbucks takes great pride in hosting the LAC Barista Championships at Hacienda Alsacia, Starbucks global agronomy headquarters, offering the partners a unique opportunity to firsthand experience and appreciate the meticulous care invested in crafting each cup of coffee they deliver to customers every day.

LAC is a fascinating and dynamic region that continues to offer key growth opportunities for Starbucks. For over 21 years, Starbucks has worked to innovate, expand, and elevate the coffee industry in the region. The unique climate, geography, and growing conditions in it promote the growth of exceptional quality coffees with distinctive flavors. Today, with the help of strategic business partners, the company has brought the unique Starbucks Experience to 24 markets across Latin America and the Caribbean.

Starbucks is committed to providing customers with the finest coffee experience possible. The LAC Barista Championship plays a vital role in this commitment, with the talented champions bringing their experience to stores across the region, ensuring that every cup of Starbucks coffee is an extraordinary work of art.

Each year, Starbucks Barista Championships are held across Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and Latin America and the Caribbean regions. As Starbucks expands the tradition, the first-ever North America Barista Championship is set to kick off this February, with a grand finale scheduled for the summer of 2024.

Read more about Starbucks Latina America & the Caribbean Barista Championship at Starbucks Historias.