BNE’s best barista!

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Baristas from across the terminals at BNE have gone head-to-head to claim the title of Brisbane Airport's Barista Champion for 2023. 

The winner was Katie Selwood who works at The Coffee Club at the International Terminal, owned by Airport Retail Group (ARG.) 

Katie was awarded $2,500 in prizes, with runners up Danni Redmond from The Common (Airport Retail Enterprises) at the Domestic Terminal and Phoebe O’Sullivan from Windmill & Co (ARG) at the Domestic Terminal each taking home $1,000 and $500 respectively. 

The six finalists were required to submit two espresso coffees, two milk based coffees and their best latte art. The competition began six weeks ago with a total of 25 entrants, and only the very best making it to the final. 

Each year more than 3 million coffees are sold at Brisbane Airport from two dozen retailers. It is the most consumed beverage in-terminal, surpassing water, soft drink, and alcohol sales. 

For many travellers, it is their first taste of Brisbane as they arrive in the sunshine state, or their last taste, before jetting off on a holiday. coffee 3

For these reasons and more, Brisbane Airport is committing to helping their retailers enhance their skills through a targeted barista training program and competition. 

Martin Ryan, Brisbane Airport Corporation Executive General Manager Commercial, said the Barista Competition is about more than just a great cup of coffee. 

“The Airport is a truly unique environment, servicing millions of passengers annually. The Barista Competition is our chance to reward and recognise the exceptional work our retailers put in, 365 days a year. Through programs like the Barista Competition, we can provide a space for retailers to hone their specialty coffee skills, while working with some of the country’s leading barista trainers.” 

Brisbane coffee gurus, Peter Wolff and Aaron Leck, of Wolff Coffee Roasters were on hand to judge and officiate the competition. They also provided an initial 25 baristas extensive training, plus ran the heats and theory test in the lead up to competition day. 

Passengers were able to watch the Barista Competition live in terminal, with six finalists battling it out over a three-hour period. Local favourites now brewing at Brisbane Airport include Belissimo coffee available at Bound; Merlo coffee available at Merlo Espresso and Wolff coffee available at New Farm Confectionery.