Finalists for Coffee Masters named

A group of twenty baristas, representing countries from the UK to Australia, are set to compete in a Coffee Masters competition at this year's London Coffee Festival.

The contestants – along with their place of work and home country – have just been revealed as:

Cosmin Mihailov (Colonna & Smalls, UK)

Davide Berti (La Chichera Café, Italy)

James Bailey (Workshop Coffee Co., UK)

Jolie Beckett (Matle Group, Australia)

Matt Perger (ST. ALi and Sensory Lab, Australia)

Patrik Karlsson (Five Elephant, Germany)

Raimonds Zadvornovs, (King Coffee Service SIA, Latvia)

Craig Simon, (Think Tank Coffee, Australia)

Pete Garcia (Square Mile Coffee Roasters, UK)

Gayan Munaweera (UCC Coffee, UK)

Tom Booth (BHS, UK)

Luke Kristofski (Caravan King’s Cross, UK)

Slawek Saran (Forum, Poland)

James West (Union Hand Roasted, UK)

Valentine Wanders (De Superette, Belgium)

There are also four wildcards, Ben Morrow, Sonali Tailor, Nathanael Charis and Yuko Inoue.

The contestants were picked on the strength of videos showing them making a signature drink. One of them will win the top, £5,000 prize in the competition later this year.

Computers will face-off, one against another, in several knock-out stages, including latte art, cupping and brewing.

In The Order section, for example, they will need to make ten beverages using espresso, while working to a time limit. In the Espresso Blend round, they'll have to make their own blend of coffee.

The contest will be overseen by Harris + Hoole and Taylor Street Baristas co-founder,  Andrew Tolley; the 2009 World Barista Champion Gwilym Davies; the co-owner of Square Mile Coffee Roasters, Anette Moldvaer; the co-founder of Koppi Coffee Roasters, Anne Lunell and St ALi director Salvatore Malatesta. These names make up the judging panel.

The London Coffee Festival takes place April 30th to May 3rd this year, at Brick Lane's Old Truman Brewery, London.

"As a barista I experienced and contributed to the growth of specialty coffee in the UK and I am happy to see Coffee Masters celebrating all that has been achieved," said Gwilym Davies.

"I welcome the opportunity to use my experience as a World Barista Champion, cafe owner, barista trainer and WCE Head Judge to contribute to this event as a judge and test the talent of some of the world’s top baristas."

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