Best barista to run NZ champs

23:01, Mar 19 2014
Emma Markland-Webster
READY TO GO: Emma Markland-Webster at The Coffee Factory in Nelson.

A Nelson coffee connoisseur is off to Wellington this weekend to help find New Zealand's top barista.

New Zealand School of Coffee owner Emma Markland-Webster is events manager for the Huhtamaki New Zealand Barista Championship 2014.

This annual competition chooses one dedicated barista to represent New Zealand in an international competition. The 2014 champion will go to the World Barista Competition in Rimini, Italy, in June this year, where about 60 countries will be represented.

This will be Emma's seventh year involved with the NZ Specialist Coffee Association event.

Coffee is her life. She won New Zealand Barista of the Year in 2001, and was one of six finalists in the World Barista Championship in Oslo, Norway, in 2002.

She had also judged the world competition.

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There were 23 entrants so far in the New Zealand competition.

Entrants have 15 minutes to make four espresso coffees, four cappuccino and four signature drinks.

Emma says the competition is to show the skills behind the barista profession.

"It's a lot more than just making a cup of coffee. It's about the bean origins, the roast profile, everything goes into it.

"We are looking for a barista that knows their coffee back to front."

The signature drinks aim to highlight the espresso. Emma expects there will be a focus on "sensory overload".

"It's really about the smell not just the taste, it's the aroma and the sounds around you."

Nelson