Set against the beautiful green hills of Costa Rica at Starbucks first and only coffee farm Hacienda Alsacia, this year’s Starbucks Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Barista Championship reunited top baristas representing 21 markets across the region.
With mesmerizing precision and support for their fellow competitors, baristas flashed their latte art skills and flexed their beverage mastery.
“It makes me so proud that as we celebrate two decades of presence in this dynamic region, we have the opportunity to see our green apron partners gathered together at Hacienda Alsacia – Starbucks beautiful coffee farm – to showcase their coffee knowledge and expertise,” said Tom Ferguson, president, Starbucks Latin America and Caribbean.
After three days of competition where partners displayed their skill and artistry through multiple rounds of exciting coffee challenges, including espresso shot pulling, milk steaming, latte art and beverage innovation, Camila from Argentina earned the prestigious title of Starbucks LAC Barista Champion 2022.
“It’s been an incredible experience that extends beyond winning and representing my market and the larger Latin America and Caribbean region,” the champion said about her win. “What I’m most proud of is being part of something bigger and sharing an experience like this with so many beautiful people. I wouldn't change it for the world.”
Tasting coffee with her fellow competitors until dawn, sharing stories, practicing their craft, laughing and connecting through coffee was an invaluable experience to Camila, who felt supported by her partners every step of the way.
“Nothing really prepares you for this adventure,” she noted, “but it sure is worth it: the connections you make, the things you learn. I left Argentina with no idea how much knowledge and love I would leave the competition with. It would be amazing to participate again, but I would also like more partners to have the ability to experience this journey.”
This year, Starbucks green apron partners gathered at Hacienda Alsacia to fully experience the deep care that goes into the first 10 feet of a cup of coffee to share that connection with customers at the last 10 feet.
“The Championship helped us appreciate the importance of our work in the stores,” Camila shared. “It is an honor to be part of the arduous process behind a single coffee bean. However, the Championship was also about solidarity and being united. The friendships I’ve made here are the most beautiful thing I’m taking back home.”
It was a thrill to watch these outstanding coffee experts share their passion, love and out-of-this-world skills during the Starbucks LAC Barista Championship 2022. We are excited to continue recognizing the coffee mastery of our partners, who inspire us every day!