Reposted from http://www.cityfood.com/people/baristas/
(Edited from the press release.)
Caffè Artigiano’s Kyle Straw won the seventh annual Canadian Barista Championships held in Vancouver on October 15th, 2009 at the Canadian Coffee & Tea Show. Kyle is the General Manager of Caffè Artigiano’s Hornby Street location, who will go on to represent Canada at the next World Barista Championship in London in 2010. Kyle carries on the legacy of his Caffè Artigiano patriots who have won every Canadian title since the competition began in 2003. Sammy Piccolo is a four time Canadian Barista Champion, and an unprecedented four-time World Barista Finalist.
After 18 months of rigorous practice and extensive training, Kyle delivered a polished routine and represented Vancouver with confidence and great passion. “I was lucky to have amazing support with my training from Vince Piccolo, Todd Pollock, Sammy Piccolo and Willie Mounzer”. Says Kyle. “It was a great team effort that got me here, and to win first place by 41 points is an incredible feeling.”
Each competitor must prepare and serve 12 separate espresso beverages: 4 espresso, 4 cappuccinos, and 4 “signature” drinks of their own creation, and present them to a distinguished panel of judges. Competitors have only fifteen minutes to prepare all twelve drinks and are judged on station cleanliness, taste, beverage presentation, technical skills and overall judges impression. The panel especially loved Kyle’s signature drink, which drew inspiration from a Black Forest cake. Made with a winning combination of espresso from the Koke Cooperative in Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Madagascar; black cherry foam; whipped cream; and an espresso infused chocolate, Kyle’s signature drink wowed the judges with its great balance of flavours and elegant presentation.