January 23, 2021

Leeds Barista crowned best in North after winning Costa’s Barista of the Year 2017 regional heat

Freddy Whittle

Leeds Costa barista, Freddy Whittle, 21, has proven he’s a cup above the rest after reaching the global final of Costa’s annual Barista of the Year Competition. Freddy has beaten Costa baristas from all over the North in a competitive knockout stage to battle it out in the ‘Champion of Champions’ final in London in January 2018.

The Woodhouse Lane Costa barista, who has worked in the store for over two years, said of his regional triumph: “It’s amazing; all the finalists were strong competitors so it feels wonderful to have been selected for the finals. I’m so glad the judges loved my speciality drink as it really is a reflection of my personality.”

The annual competition sees ten baristas from all over the world showcase their passion and flair for coffee for the chance to be crowned Costa’s Barista of the Year 2017. The final involves a series of challenges to create hand-crafted coffee to an exceptional standard.

Challenges include an espresso race, where finalists compete to pour the most ‘perfect’ espressos in a minute. Contenders must also showcase their creativity by inventing and preparing their own ‘signature drink’ for the judges.

Freddy’s signature drink for the competition is The Eco Blend, an intense, rich drink made up of a Cortissimo shot with textured milk and syrups. 

Freddy continued: “I loved the chance to create my own drink. Costa’s Mocha Italia blend is delicious and using it to create my own signature is an incredible experience.”

The Champion of Champions Final will be held at 8 Northumberland Ave in London on the 23rd and 24th January 2018, in the 12th year of the prestigious, global competition. If Freddy is crowned the champion, he will win a 10-day trip for two with spending money to a destination with a coffee connection.

Previous winners of the competition have gone on to undertake more senior roles at Costa, including Kat Finch, who won the competition as a Store Manager in 2008 and is now the South-East Asia HR & Operations Manager, living in Singapore.